Sunday, April 29, 2007

Daring Bakers April Challenge - Darkest Chocolate Crepe Cake

Well, I’m finally done. Those Daring Bakers are really putting me to the test and this month’s challenge was no walk in the park. Brilynn of Jumbo Empanadas decided to test our culinary skills by asking us to make a Darkest Chocolate Crepe Cake from Martha Stewart. As I looked at the four-page recipe, I had inkings that this was not going to be any ordinary cake. I thought the recipe looked a little wacky and perhaps that’s why I procrastinated and left it to the last few days in April.

The cake is made up of three components; chocolate crepes, hazelnut crème filling and chocolate ganache. The crepes were a breeze to make though I had to do a little trimming to make everything circular. They didn’t stick or rip which I am very thankful for. Out of the 36 I made, I only ended up using 18. The crème was a little labour intensive but not difficult. It is a meringue-type hazelnut crème for which I used hazelnut butter instead of hazelnut cream. It was light and airy like a mousse and tasted very yummy. The difficulty started when I began assembling the cake.

After the crepe/crème tower was complete, it started to lean which freaked me out. (Had the filling been more like an icing, this probably wouldn’t have happened.) Filling was spilling out everywhere so I propped it up with 4 straws and put it in the fridge, took a deep breath and made the ganache. I cleaned up the cake as best I could and covered it in the chocolate. The final result is not very even or flat on top. It’s more dome-like but I finished and I was relieved, though slightly frustrated.

Well, the final result (including taste and appearance) turned out okay. The layers are not ultra distinct but you can see them. I also made the candied nuts to put on top. As you can see from the picture, I turned my back on the sugar for a second and it got very dark amber. I thought that since it was just for decoration I would use it. I don’t think I’ll ever make this cake again and I truly believe the parts are much better than the sum product. Everything tasted nice, but perhaps not all together. Overall, I’m glad I tried it. I’m also glad I have a neighbour with family over who I could share the cake with. If you’d like to see what the other Daring Bakers came up with, just click on the links in the sidebar. There are some truly spectacular cakes to behold!

26 comments:

Peabody said...

Yes, cake assembly was quite interesting. Good job.

Mary said...

I like the domed top on your cake.

valentina said...

Like Mary, I also like the doomed top! Beautiful looking cake.

Marce said...

yeah, I don´t think the domed top is a mistake, it looks fine like that, my crepes did the same thing and I also needed a couple of straws to hold it in place before putting it in the fridge. I take it as a good learning experience for all of us, cursing included, of course.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Domed tops are good. I like your cake.
Interesting comment about the parts being better than the whole, that has merit!
Yes I am very happy for neighbors who are so happy when I call and say "I have something if you'd like." Nobody asks what is it any more they just say "I'll be right over."

Lis said...

Hey Jen, I think your cake looks wonderful! I like the shape of it and I love the darkness of the sugared nuts! In the sunlight it almost looks purple.. how cool! =)

I hope this challenge didn't scare you away and that you'll stick with us!

Excellent job!
xoxo

Ivonne said...

Great job, Jen!

Good idea to use hazelnut butter. And I love the way your hazelnuts turned out!

Brilynn said...

Nicely done!
And I actually think the dark sugar colour looks quite good.

Elle said...

Your glaze looks amazing and I'm so glad that I'm not the only one with dark amber covered nuts :). So glad that you are a DB! Your photos are lovely, too.

Helene said...

Love the look of your cake. nice dome. I too did darker caramel nuts, I figured it would show better in the picture.
Great job!

Freya and Paul said...

The domed top looks really professional! That darned sugar burns so quickly doesn't it but I love the colour in the sunlight! Beautiful!

Laura said...

That glaze must be an inch thick on top! I still reckon Martha used super-glue to keep her cake straight! Looks good!

Ilva said...

Looks great, we had the same problem, the assembling was the tricky part for me too!

Meeta said...

It looks wonderful! I agree - the domed top gives it a unique look. Great job!

gilly said...

Hi Jen - great job on the cake! I love the idea of using hazelnut butter - YUM! And you candied decorations are beautiful! Beautiful work!

Quellia said...

Your domed top looks just fine! Great work!

Glenna said...

Nicely done! I think coming out of this one ONLY "slightly" frustrated is a success. That was one hard recipe.

breadchick said...

I don't think the domed top was a mistake. Mine domed a bit too and it didn't look half as pretty as yours! I agree that parts did have more merit than the whole. The whole cake was a bit underwhelming but the granache and the cream were great!

veron said...

I share your experience about the filling starting to squish out. Your final product looks terrific. And I do like the dark amber of your hazelnuts.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Jen, this is fabulous - I'm with the girls, your domed top makes your cake even more beautiful and unique.

Cheryl said...

Another one well done. Your ganache looks so delicious.

Columbus Foodie said...

Dark amber is still much better than burnt on mess. ;)

It turned out well - I like the domed top.

Claudia Dunitz said...

I like the domes top, and it looks wonderful sliced too. Nice job!

dankos said...

This is just the most delicious looking thing I’ve seen in ages. I can’t wait to make it! Yum!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Sumptuous! That crepe cake looks delicious...

mrbunsrocks said...

New member of TDB here - your cake looks really good. I absolutely LOVE the way the candied nuts look - beautiful!

I don't think I'll be making that recipe though....

;)

- definitelynotmartha