In my storytimes at the library, I talk. A lot. Most of it goes over the heads of the kids, but at my best moments I like to think that I'm embellishing their worlds with rich language. In the winter, I find myself using words that fall in the 'hibernation' spectrum: snuggle, huddle, wiggle, shelter, and cuddle. I like to imagine us as a pile of soft sleepy baby bears under a pile of leaves, warm and safe for winter.
In that kind of mindset, the Chocolate Cuddle Cake from The Baking Bible couldn't be better named. What can I say? I come from a family that has a tendency to lie in a heap, frequently while watching A League of Their Own. Since some of my heap-mates recently had a baby bear of their own, I was on my own for this baking, and while I can't say I hit a home run, I made it around the bases (mixed metaphor alert! don't care!).
The Chocolate Cuddle is a pillowy soft cocoa chiffon, baked in a parchement-lined springform (see above). Aside from some lazy egg-white mixing (see white spot in photo below), mine came out perfectly. I did not measure how tall it was, because, as our bake-through leader would say 'there's nothing I can do about it now'. I did trim the sides a bit to ensure an even rise, as it sagged a bit like a turban or a decorative squash.
The lovely squashy cake was then frosted with a quick ganache--I followed Rose's recipe but made mine on the stovetop instead of the food processor. I notice a slight difference in texture but it's not enough to make me get out my food processor. All extra ganache becomes truffles, by royal decree.
Ideally, the caramel whipped cream goes like this:
1. Make caramel.
2. Soften gelatin.
3. Whip cream.
4. Whip in the caramel and the gelatin.
5. Oooh, ahh, frost.
Instead, the whole thing seized miserably and looked like vomit.
It was very pretty all the same--a light and easy cake to carry, make, and eat. One co-worker commented that its spongey nature made it a bit difficult to cut, but everyone seemed to manage all right in the end. There you have it.
"I'm Leslie Monster, and this is Nightline."