Yay! It is my first official French Friday with Dorie. I was also super happy to have my first Friday be not only a dessert Friday, but also a chocolate dessert Friday.
I read the Problems and Questions and was interested to see the issues with leaking, and reading all of that also motivated me to finally measure all of my springform pans. Whaddya know? I only have 9-, 9.5-, and 10-inch pans. (No wonder my Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cake was so flat.) Off to Amazon I went, and with the magic of Prime shipping, I am a proud owner of an 8-inch springform.
Enough of that boring equipment stuff, why is this post called a Tale of Two (Michel Rostang’s Double Chocolate Mousse) Cakes? Because I’m a dork. A doofus. A someone who uses cooking and baking as stress relief, but this time couldn’t bring herself to focus and therefore had some problems. In essence, I screwed up on the first one. It was a texture mistake, and I knew it would be edible, yet I wanted to try the cake as it was meant to be baked. In the process I ended up having the first served the warm method described in the book and the second one will be served in Dorie’s preferred way–double-baked and cooled overnight.
For the nitpickies, I used Valhrona 71% Cacao for the chocolate. I recently got a new over-the-oven microwave (we recently bought a house!) and it has both a melt and a soften feature. I cannot tell you how AWESOME the soften feature is when I forget to bring my butter to room temperature. Well, the chocolate subset of the melt button is also AWESOME. 2.5 minutes and my chocolate required about 6 stirs with a wooden spoon to be all melted up and good to go. Here’s what it looked like:
|Melted Chocolate, Mmmmmmm.|
Then, I got to the “lovely, velvety mix” part, after I added all the sweet and fatty stuff:
|Extra sweet and fatty chocolate!|
All was well, and I went to whip my egg whites. I’ve done this before, about 5,000 times. My husband’s favorite cake is Angel Food. I’ve made soufflés and never knew they could fall, but for some apparently apocryphal tales, until probably the 20th time I made one. As an aside, my brother has this concept that everyone has a “superpower”; that is, an ability at which they never have a problem. Ever. His ability? He can take pictures of himself (you know, that whole holding the camera out as far as you can thing?) and friends and always get everyone in the photo. For a while, I thought mine was the soufflé thing (see that nice transition? HA!). Well, that came crashing down, literally and figuratively. So, I’ve realized it’s that I don’t burn things in the oven. Ever. I have literally never burned anything that I’ve baked, whatever it is. I’ve overcooked things, but never ever burned them.
Anyway, back to the task at hand (I think this is why my students try and distract me during class). I was all freaking out because of reading the P&Q post an the issues people were having with the eggs. I was already baking it with the springform bottom on, yet for some reason I was sooooo worried about the texture of the egg whites.
All was fine…at least at this point:
|Frothy, firm beauty
At this point, I should also apologize that all the pics are taken with my phone’s camera.
Then, I misread the directions. Even though it went against everything I know about mixing frothy, firm egg whites into a heavier batter, I still did what I thought the directions said: I mixed some of the chocolatey goodness directly into the egg whites. And watched them plunge, nay freefall, into only a shadow of their former, cloudy beauty. J’étais une bécasse.
I was completely and utterly a silly goose because of course the directions did not say to mix the chocolate into the egg whites. Sheesh! You mix the egg whites into the chocolate. So, I went along my merry way and continued to bake the ridiculously flat batter. I ended up with a perfectly edible, though very thin cake. And it was really good precisely because it encompasses everything I love about this cookbook: it tastes lovely and it was actually super easy to make. Basically, the flavor belies the amount of time it takes to make the thing!
So, I went to my local wine bar, had some wine and pizza, and came home to make it the right way. Here’s the comparison pics:
|So, I actually almost dropped the one on the left (the “bad” one), on the floor.
That’s why it’s cracked.
|Height difference is immense when you mix it correctly!|