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Jfood Has a Baking Lesson - Chocolate Cake Needs Chocolate

With a lot of encouragement from many hounds, Jfood tried to bake again. Mrs. Jfood took little Jfood shopping before heading back to college so he had the house to himself. Jfood decided to try the following chocolate cake (Mrs. Jfood LOVES chocolate cake).
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
First problem was there were only 9” pans in the house (thankfully they were 2” tall). Jfood figured if he had extra he would make some cupcakes. But when he asked Mrs. Jfood she just told him to put it all in. Mrs. Jfood left and Jfood began. Mixed all the cake ingredients and into the oven. 70 minutes later they looked great, but a little pale compared to the picture. But on to the frosting.
Jfood began to assemble the ingredients for the frosting. He stared at the cocoa powder at the other end of the counter and wondered why he bought it and why it was not in the frosting recipe. And then it hit him. It was supposed to be in the cakes. OMG, what a yutz. So in typical Jfood fashion, he told himself OK shake it off and start again. So two new cakes were mixed and then he placed these into the oven. Now these puppies looked like the correct color and they poofed nicely just above the pans. Out of the oven and the cooling process begins.
A couple of hours later Jfood began the frosting, fairly easy stuff. But it took forever to cool to “spreadable”, almost 2 hours, with the last 30 in the fridge. Then Jfood called Mrs. Jfood for help, “Now what do I do?” She guided him through the frosting process and then he added some powdered sugar around the edges. As she told him, “OK leave it alone now,” he smiled. It was a good looking cake but it was enormous. Jfood looked at the recipe again and saw “Serves 12-14.” OMG this was huuuuge.
After dinner came the big test, what did this thing taste like? So the dinner dishes were cleared and Mrs. Jfood began to slice. On the slicing scale she thought it held together very well but not great and gave it an 8. It was not the moist glistening cake that Jfood was anticipating either. Then onto the real test.
A first bite and Jfood was both proud and disappointed. The texture of the cake was outstanding and Jfood gave this a 10. The flavor though was not as rich and chocolaty as he had hoped. Now the frosting. That was a 8-9. It was really good. Then for the real critics. Everyone agreed that the numbers Jfood assigned were correct, very good but not great cake but they liked the icing better.
On the following morning with more that ¾ of a cake left, what’s a family to do? Of course, have a piece. Well the flavor of the cake changed over night. It went from the numbers above to a straight-out 10. Although Jfood understands that most braises taste better the next day, he never heard of this theory in cakes. He looked at Mrs. Jfood and asked, “so how is it today?” She looked at him and said, “it’s totally different, the flavors are more intense and they work great together.” So Jfood was not crazy.
So Jfood learned two lessons:
1 – Chocolate cake needs chocolate flavoring of some sort:
2 – Patience is a huge virtue in baking
3 – Cakes may taste better day 2
Nice ending to the Holiday Weekend.

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    1. Oh, definitely some cakes and other goodies are better the next day.

      Others, on the OTOH, are best eaten the same day, or even ASAP.

      Jfood gets merit points for making good icing, which is the only reason cake exists, in the first place.

      Plus he gets an 11 for making a chocolate cake for Mrs. Jfood because Mrs. Jfood likes chocolate cake.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MaggieRSN

        Thank you for the efforts and exploits of Jfood and the Mrs. Dutchdot enjoys reading what you're up to.

      2. Seems like jfood has learned 3 lessons for life as well.
        1 - Happiness needs to be incorporated during each day
        2 - Patience is a huge virtue in gaining happiness
        3 - Happiness lasts more than one day if the right ingredients are incorporated.

        1. Jfood what a great story for you to share. It is inspiring to read about your efforts and wonderful that you would make something your wife loves.

          I've learned over the years that many baked goods do taste better the next day...in fact some have been given a reprieve due to time.

          I only make cake so I can justify the frosting.

          This story also made me laugh because many moons ago when my aunt was a newlywed she wanted to surprise her new husband by baking him a cake (she was and still is much more of a cook than a baker). She was most excited by the prospect of such a task and took great pride in her endeavor. However, after an unusual amount of time passed and the cake appreared not to be done, she called my grandmother. My grandmother proceeded to go through the various steps of making a cake with my aunt. It was during this checklist that my aunt discovered that she forgot to incorporate eggs in her cake. The eggs were sitting on the counter. She eventually found the humor in this mishap..albeit was years later and every now and then we laugh about it.

          1. Very enjoyable, jfood. I hope someone here gives us the chemistry behind the day 2 phenom.

            should jfood choose to make a habit of this wife-pleasing chocobaking. . .
            I am not a frequent baker either, and these both work for me

            http://blog.washingtonpost.com/mighty...
            links you to the Very Good Chocolate Cake from Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock
            discussed previously here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/406975
            It has a super fine crumb, and contains coffee. Very Southern, which for once does not mean Too Sweet.

            Nigella's molten chocolate baby-cakes are a fine expression of love
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/402281
            http://www.nigella.com/recipes/recipe...