Cookbook War Stories Part 1: Musings on Chocolate Cake
Ok….I warned you guys I’d be talking about the trials and tribulations of writing this cookbook and with my half manuscript deadline creeping up in a few weeks, I’m starting to freak out a bit! I’ve been steadily chipping away at this cookbook: ticking off recipes, photos and writing on a daily basis. Recipe testing is just that – testing and sometimes you get it on the first or second try (woot!) and other times it takes a bit more. I’ve been working on a chocolate loaf cake recipe for about a month now (with my own special exotic twist, of course..) and it has literally been the bane of my existence!
It’s a loaf cake, and to me, a chocolate loaf cake has to be nothing less than moist, dense and ridiculously luscious. And I kid you not, I’ve tried umpteen iterations to get this recipe right. How delicate is this cake process?
Here are a few things I’ve learned:
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour is equal to 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cake flour but none of this matters because all purpose is perfectly fine for a loaf cake.
- Crème fraiche is a far superior if not a completely fatty substitute for buttermilk in a recipe. It also might mean your cake doesn’t set in the same amount of time….
- Too much flour can make your cake crumbly. So can too much sugar or too much baking powder. So can not waiting long enough to unmold the dang thing because you are so desperate to take a bite of it.
- LOVE dark brown sugar over light brown. I’m not going back.
- Too much fat in your batter can make your cake sink in the middle. So can opening the oven door too early to baby your beautiful cake.
- Grease AND flour….
- You may slowly be driving your husband insane with these five little words: “How does this one taste?”
The perfecting of this recipe continues, but I’m so close I can literally taste it. It will be so worth it I promise you. Once or twice more and it has to be right!
As always, would love to hear your own cake war stories!