Monday, September 9, 2013

Ina’s Chocolate Cake And How The Wind Blows


I can definitely recommend this chocolate cake of Ina’s, which I think EVERY American has already made (judging by the number of reviews on FoodNetwork.com). BUT don’t do what I did as I was finishing it off. 

Oh, first, I did make a little change. I one-and-a-half-timed the recipe (the cake AND the icing) and baked it in three NINE inch pans, instead of two EIGHT inch ones. I was feeding about 15 people, so I wanted a bigger cake. (I was lucky, I was only making dessert. It was my S-I-L that actually had to give everyone dinner.)

Everything proceeded well. I actually did everything Ina said, including sifting, which I sometimes skip. (I’ve told you before, though, that I always sift baking soda through a tea strainer, because getting little bits of that isn’t fun.) 

I cooled the layers in the pans as ordered and then cooled them OUT of the pans.


After I iced the cake, I thought it needed a little schuzzing (sp?), but I had hardly any time and no extra buttercream for rosettes, so I quickly grated some chocolate on a cutting board.

The problem came here. As I lifted up the cutting board to get it closer to the cake (so I could sprinkle the shaved chocolate on neatly), IT ALL BLEW OFF THE CUTTING BOARD because of the ceiling fan I had on ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM! It’s a new fan, so I was unfamiliar with its airflow patterns and it (obviously) does a really good job at getting a lot of air moving around the kitchen. So my advice is before you finish off anything in the kitchen, turn off all moving blades. 

   
 



Oy, that reminds me of that nightmarish incident where Chef George Perrier of Le Bec Fin cut his fingers in a food processor. My flying chocolate was nothing compared to that, but, again, ALL BLADES OFF is a good rule when handling food. 

7 comments:

Tom said...

When I moved into my house there was a ceiling fan in practically every room. The one in the living room had only 2 speeds: off and Amityville-Horror-shake-the-whole-house. That came down as quickly as possible. We put a really nice one in our bedroom that has a remote and our next-door neighbors liked it so much they put in the same one. The trouble is that we're in row houses and our remotes work on both fans since they're only about 12 feet apart.

Sue said...

THAT is really funny. My new fan's remote control came set on the factory setting. But my electrician said if it interfered with anything, we could change the code.

I hope you and your neighbors have the same internal temperatures!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Note to self: Call Sue before next birthday....

I think I did make Ina's cake once, or at least one very similar. She is the one who taught me to add a bit of coffee to a chocolate cake. I used that idea when I developed my own chocolate cake recipe. The version I made had coffee in the batter and was a sheet cake with a very heavy frosting.

Sorry about the chocolate accident, but you said so yourself it could be worse. I am still recovering from the image of a food processor slicing a chef's fingers off!

Sheila said...

I make this cake a lot. I'd love to know how to adjust the recipe to feed more people. I use square pans because I have a square cake plate. I know! SO ANNOYING!

Anyway, I'm not brave enough to spend that much time on that cake, and being so careful to get the cake out of the pan and layered without it breaking to risk ruining it with doubling or switching pans or whatever. HELP!

Emily said...

I want that cake! It looks so good! Would you make it again?

Sue said...

Rach,
Ina does give useful tips, doesn't she?

Sorry to leave you with that gruesome image, but I just try to see the best in every situation, i.e. my chocolate flying everywhere was no big deal compared to that food pro accident.

Sheila,
How come I never saw this comment?! Sorry!!! (Rachel too!)

When I'm figuring out cake pan sizes, I fill the cake pan which is specified in the recipe with water 2/3's of the way up. Then I pour that same water into the cake pan I WANT to use. If it's approximately the same, I go for it. For example, two 8 or 9 inch round pans (OR square for that matter) can go into one 9 by 13 dish.

You're right that getting a cake out of a square pan might be a bit trickier than a round one. But if you line your pans carefully, it should be okay. ALWAYS line your pans - round, square or ANY-shaped.

Sue said...

Em,
As soon as your cookies, cake, pie or ANYTHING arrive at my door, I'll send off this cake to you. Deal?