Tuesday, February 19, 2008

TWD: Almost-Fudge Gateau

MainGateau


This week, the Tuesdays with Dorie recipe chosen (by Nikki of Crazy Delicious) was Almost-Fudge Gâteau. Basically, it's a dense bittersweet chocolate cake with an optional glaze on top.

I've had a bit of problems with the recipes out of Dorie's book for things that use leavening, and some internet digging convinced me that it was the altitude wreaking havoc. I'm at 6000+ feet here in Colorado and apparently, you have to modify recipes when you're at that altitude. Who knew? (I'm being sarcastic. The altitude doesn't really affect box mixes that much - use a larger egg and the higher temp for the pan and you're usually all right. I was crediting my lack of baking skill for my problems more than the altitude....)

DSCN1084


The sites I could find on the subject all agreed that the first thing to try when baking was to increase the temperature and decrease the bake time. In addition, for cakes with egg white leavening, only beat to soft peaks to keep them from drying out.

Even though I still had some minor problems, the high altitude modifications seem to have really helped the texture. The gâteau came out dense and moist without the large/tough crumb problem I had with the Black and White Chocolate Cake.

Almost Fudge Gateau Mosaic


Lessons learned: I should have listened to my instincts and taken the cake out a few minutes before I did, because the edges were a little on the dry side. I didn't notice it on Saturday when I baked and first served the cake, but when I brought the remains to work on Monday, it had dried up noticeably. In addition, I used a mix of 70% cocoa and 60% cocoa, and woooo man was it bittersweet! Both of those are user-error, and easy to fix for the next time around.

Conclusion: This thing is beautiful! With the bittersweet chocolate, it almost seems like you have to be a chocoholic. Except that one of the taste-testers (I may have to get them t-shirts) is not a big chocolate fan, and he almost licked the plate clean. Next time, I'd either cut the bittersweet with semisweet, or serve it with something to cut the chocolate (possibly a raspberry glaze?). It's everything I like in a recipe: easy, tasty, and with a small bit of work, looks like an elegant dessert that took way longer than it really did.

High Altitude Recipe Modifications: higher baking temp (375F) for less time (28-32minutes), beat egg whites only until soft peaks form.

For the full recipe, see Nikki's post. Please visit the other TWD bakers to see how they did with the Almost-Fudge Gâteau!

21 comments:

Erin said...

Looks good! I bet it's frustrating baking at high altitude, but you look like you've done a great job adjusting =)

Nikki57 said...

Great job! I can't imagine the problems I would have if I had to make altitude adjustments. Even if the sides were a little dry it looks pretty and that's half the battle. Right?

Mary said...

love the process pics! another beautiful cake!

April said...

It looks beautiful! With the dry edges, you can always just eat your way through the middle! :)

Dianne said...

Your cake turned out beautifully. Great work! I agree with you...This cake looks like it took a lot more effort that it actually did. :)

Shawnda said...

Great job on the cake! It really was a chocoholic's dream :)

chelley325 said...

Great job! And congrats on figuring out the high altitude modifications... I'd probably be at a total loss!

Jaime said...

i agree w/you about the bitterness of this cake...but great job on making the altitude modifications!

Melissa L. said...

I think the cake looks GREAT! I love how silky smooth the glaze looks! Great job!!

Beth G. said...

Looks fabulous!! Great job :)

Lynette said...

Bravo to making it work at high alts!! it looks divine...

TPOX said...

Looks great! I loved seeing your along-the-way photos... glad to see I'm not the only one with marks all over the gateau from the cooling rack! Great job figuring out the modifications!!

amanda. said...

Yum! It looks delicious!

lemontartlet said...

Ya know, I had the same problem with the black and white cake. The cake looks really tasty, and sticking it in the fridge seems to help with the drying out. The fudge on top doesn't hurt either, lol... nice job!

theflouredapron said...

Your cake looks great! I love the top picture, with the glaze dripping down the sides just so. This was such a pretty cake.

Sweet and Savory Eats said...

I'm at a low elevation and still had a dry crust (so don't feel too bad). Your gateau looks great and it sounds like your taste testers are reaping all the benefits.

Dolores said...

I know I'd struggle with adjusting recipes for altitude, so I'm impressed with your results with this one.

Peabody said...

No fun with the HA baking...you did a great job.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

that glaze looks fabulous!

Melissa said...

So much more challenging for you with the altitude! I'm impressed!

Jhianna said...

Thanks for the kind words, everyone! (And sorry about the late commenting)

I had a blast making this one, even with the altitude adjustments. It's all a giant experiment, isn't it?