The Chocolate Ruffle Cake from Baking with Julia seemed like the PERFECT recipe to serve a loved on V-Day.
However, as I started to read through the recipe, I knew right away that my relationship with this cake was going to be the baking version of a one-night stand. One and done. No repeats. No regrets.
This feeling was validated, when the whole process began with my needing to scrub the underside of my sheet pans for 20 minutes with steel wool. This did not bode well.
The cake itself gave me little headache. I halved the recipe to fit into a 6" pan and ended up with a cake that was able to be split into three layers. The creme fraiche fillings came together without a hitch. Soaking syrup...well, if I couldn''t get that right I might as well pack up my spatulas and go home.
Now, the crowning glory of chocolate ruffle cake is the ruffles. Making these ruffles involves thinly spreading molten chocolate over the back of my now immaculate half sheet pans and performing spatula gymnastics to create "ruffles". Yeah, well, about that. Two chocolate stained shirts and multiple curse words later, I finally figured out the technique was too perturbed with the process to redo my original ruffle fails. I was not feeling any love for the ruffles.
With the ruffles resting in the refrigerator, it was time to work on the chocolate wrap. Spreading the chocolate onto the plastic was not so bad until it came time to wrap the band with the melty chocolate onto the cake. Melty chocolate drips. All down the side of the pan and all the way down the front of the cabinets that I was working here. Love was SO not in the air.
Somehow, in spite of all this, the wrap stayed on the cake and I was able to stick my wonky ruffles into the cake. I finally breathed a sigh of relief that this monster of a cake was done - at which point, I stuck my thumb through the side of the chocolate wrap. I brushed it off, figuring that if I took pictures from the top of the cake, no one would realize there was a big old thumb hold in the side of the cake.
And of course (because it couldn't end differently at this point), I didn't have the lens secured all the way into the camera when I went to take pictures. I figured this out after the fact.
Each time I cut into the cake, shards of chocolate went EVERYWHERE. (Do you know how hard it is to clean up little pieces of melty chocolate up off of floors?)
Fortunately, the cake redeemed itself in the flavor department. My chocolate lover was pretty please to have this very decadent chocolate dessert all to himself; I was happy that I didn't throw it out the window like I was tempted to...
- It is better to have tried and floundered than to have never tried at all.
- Patience is a virtue. I felt really virtuous that day.
- Good chocolate covers a multitude of sins.
- If it's chocolate, somebody will eat it - even if its ugly.
- Make sure you hear the lens click into the camera before taking pictures.
- Cakes like this are the reason bakeries exist.