Friday, October 9, 2009

The cupcakes that weren't.

I have this amazing Roald Dahl Cookbook, written by his wife after he died. It's recipes are all lovingly illustrated by Quentin Blake, and are fun to look at, even if they don't sound very good. (Snozzcumbers? Mosquito Toes? Not good in the original books, not good in real life.)

HOWEVER, there IS a recipe for Boris Bogtrotter's Chocolate Cake from the book Matilda. In the story, Bruce gets caught sneaking a piece of cake belonging to the terrifying headmistress Miss Trunchbull, who is best known for shot-putting kids by their hair. His punishment? Eat an entire chocolate cake in front of the school assembly- and not just any cake- a 2 ft diameter, dense, seductive chocolate cake. Good for Bruce, he ate it all.

I made the cake once in college, and I remember it being lovely, though now that I think about it, not very stable.
And for some reason, I decided I would use this recipe as cupcakes and then fill them with different fillings- aztec gold ganache, caramel and peanut butter cream.
I also decided I'd add a bit of baking soda to give it some rising power.
Oh, and then I decided to overfill the cupcake papers.

So this is what I got:

SUPERBLY delicious, but not cupcake-like at all. Eric sat down and ate 4 and was heading for a 5th before I pointed out (kindly, I might add) that just because they are sunken doesn't mean there isn't just as much cupcake batter in each one.

I'd say this cake is worth a shot, though maybe not the way I made it.

Here is the original recipe:

8 oz good quality semisweet chocolate
1.5 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 c plus 2 T sugar
1/4 c all purpose flour
6 eggs, separated, yolks slightly beaten

8oz quality chocolate
8 oz heavy cream

Overn: 350F.

Line a 8.5 in round cake pan with wax paper and butter bottom and sides of the paper. (I would totally disregard this if I was making this cake. Well, maybe I would line the bottom. I hate extra steps like this.)

Melt chocolate in a double boiler, or a Pyrex bowl set in a saucepan of simmering water. Mix in butter and stir til melted.

Transfer to a large bowl and add sugar, flour, and lightly beaten egg yolks.

Whisk egg whites til stiff. Fold half the whites into mixture, blend thoroughly, then mix in the other half. (maybe someone can explain to me why it is necessary to go through the half-stop-half thing. I'd really like to know.)

Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for about 35 min. There will be a thin crust on top of the cake, and may appear undercooked. It will get firmed as it cools.

While the cake is cooling, prepare ganache. Melt chocolate into cream over low heat. Stir til blended, cool slightly.

When cake is cool, flip upside down if it is sinking in the middle and spread chocolate ganache all over cake.

It's good with strawberries and raspberries too!

Making ganache:

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