Sunday, January 4, 2015

Rose's Alpha Bakers: Chocolate Cuddle Cake

Week six of my bake-through adventure with Rose's Alpha Bakers is the Chocolate Cuddle Cake, from Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Baking Bible. I'm back in school this semester and had some studying and a paper to write this week so I made an abbreviated Cuddle Cake; I omitted the caramel whipped cream topping and just covered the cake with the ganache. I had some darker ganache left over from my Ischler cookies so I drizzled that over the top in a sort of crisscrossing pattern. Not the prettiest cake I've ever made, but it was chocolatey and delicious!

a very light and tender cake

The cake was a chiffon cake, so it's leavened by beating the egg whites into a meringue and folding that into the batter. The recipe called for what seemed like a lot of sugar, so I was a little worried that the cake would be too sweet, like some chiffon cakes are, but the cocoa powder cut the sweetness and it was just right. 

The cake's texture was extremely light (almost fluffy) and very tender. It was also very moist (some chiffon cakes can be dry, in my opinion); going on day 3, it's still very fresh and moist. My only complaint was that the ganache was very firm when it cooled so it was less like frosting and more like...almost like a chocolate truffle topping. The ganache melted in your mouth, so still delicious, but I would have liked a softer ganache as frosting.

The ganache is made first and set aside to firm up for a few hours. Next time I might add a touch more kahlua because the flavor got lost in the finished ganache.
the ganache called for kahlua...yum!

so easy, but I forgot to add the kahlua when it was in the food processor...
no problem, I'll just stir it in

Now on to the cake!

mise en place for the cake

The cocoa powder is melted with boiling water and the cooled slightly. Then the oil, egg yolks, and vanilla are added.

combining the wet ingredients

mixing the wet and dry ingredients

Then the wet ingredients are added to the dry ingredients and mixed well. I only have one bowl for my stand mixer and didn't want to take the chance of my meringue being deflated by any traces of oil, so I just mixed these ingredients by hand. Whisk whisk whisk!

after whisking for several minutes my batter is smooth and shiny

Now it's time for the meringue. This was actually quite fun and easy to make and was very pretty when done. The egg whites and cream of tartar are whisked until soft peaks form. Then some sugar is added and the mixture is whisked again until stiff peaks form. The final meringue was smooth and glossy.

soft peaks...still very foamy and bubbly

now whipped into stiff peaks...a gorgeous meringue!

When you reach the stiff peak stage, you're ready to incorporate the egg whites into the chocolate batter. Gently fold in the egg whites otherwise your beautiful meringue will deflate.

looks like a snowy cute!

carefully folding the meringue into the chocolate batter

don't completely incorporate the meringue (until the final addition)
or the egg whites will deflate and the cake will be flat

I had to improvise with my pan set-up because I didn't have the required cake strips (which go around the pan and help it bake evenly) I just wrapped a few layers of aluminum foil around the side of my cake and it came out just fine.

Before baking a flower nail (used for making sugar flowers) is inserted into the batter which helps the batter rise evenly.

voila, my handy-dandy flower nail

my finished cake! It even has cracks on the top,
just like Rose said it would.

The cake is cooled upside down on this ingenious cooling rack set-up. Cooling it upside down helps to avoid the dip in the center of the cake often seen in a chiffon cake.

the cooling rack is elevated on the edges of some glasses

and here is my upside down cake, cooling

when the cake is completely cooled, the pan is removed and the
parchment strip is carefully peeled away

now it's time to frost!

My crisscross ganache decoration was a bit messy, but tasted delicious!

I'll just pretend I was going for an avant-garde look

the finished cake is lovely

time for a bite...yum!

Bye for now...


  1. you skipped the best component! i hope you find a time and reason to make the caramel ganache. however, your cake looks lovely.

    1. Thanks ECL and faithy. I know I skipped the best part, but I was so crunched for time so it was either skip the caramel whipped cream...or the whole cake :( I'll definitely find a reason to make it the future!

  2. I agree too that you skipped the best component! The caramel whipped cream is really very good, you have to try to make it some time soon when you have the time, you won't regret it :) Your cake looks wonderful!

  3. Alice--Good idea to make the two-toned chocolate topping! The cracks on my cake weren't nearly that defined. I was watching it carefully (with paranoia!) waiting for the cracks...and they were so small I couldn't see them through the oven door. I had to use a thermometer to determine if the cake was done! Hear hear, Faithy and Jen--do make that Caramel Whipped Cream, you won't believe how delicious it is! If you have time, please stop by my blog and see my results.

  4. Alice , your cake looks wonderful, you did a wonderful job and your pictures are nice too.

  5. Looks wonderful. I love your idea for the decoration

  6. I'm impressed with your shortcut cake, which still looks attractive and quite delicious--BUT you really must try the caramel whipped cream sometime (unless you hate caramel and/or whipped cream, which I doubt)--it's quite sublime.

    1. Thanks Marie. I definitely will make the caramel whipped cream another time. Maybe I'll just do the whole thing over so I can get the full effect :)

  7. What a great idea to drizzle the ganache!

  8. "Time for a bite...yum" about says it all, even without the caramel whipped cream. Your cake looks beautiful! BTW, thanks for your response to my blog. It was great.

  9. I love your photos, especially the one with the cooling rack imprint on the top of the cake. The swirls design makes my heart sing. Love the ganache drizzle too. Yumm.... I think I'll go eat a piece of that cake right now. Have a great week.

    Patricia @ ButterYum

  10. ב''ה

    Great step by step. I won't tell you to make the whipped cream. :P

  11. Beautiful texture!! I did the reverse. Skipped the ganache and made my version of caramel whipped cream instead. Big hit!!

  12. A beautiful rendition. Know it was as good as it looks.