Perfectly imperfect chocolate cakes

Don’t you hate it when you bake a cake and it turns into a dog’s breakfast by the time a few folk have tried to saw through it with plastic knives? I thought I’d preempt that by making lots of bite-sized cakes for that mega-lab party I’m committed to attending tamara. Perfect for buffets and such. Just pick a mini-cake up, satisfy your chocolate urges, and not feel like a cannon ball has dropped into your stomach for the rest of the night. And I thought a silicone mini-muffin tray would be the absolute perfect way to get this done without mini cake cases, which I could not find in Ralphs last night.Ah. It would have been perfect if I’d only realised how wobbly the silicone tray was in the metal rack it was sold with. A previously purchased silicone madeleine tray made perfect madeleines when placed on a cookie tray. My mistake was not repeating that… But hey, it’s a casual affair, I’ve not been stressed about it, and if you’re going to pop a whole muffin or mini cake into your mouth, you’re hardly going to care if it’s lop-sided

So, I present to you my perfectly rough-shod, shove-in-face mini chocolate muffins:

Choccy muffins

No, I am not embarrassed. Because they taste great!

The piss-easy recipe recommended by Chotda also suffered the same warped silicon tray fate. You’d think I’d have learnt from the muffins, eh? But hey. The taste, though, was awesome, and the more pathetic looking ones will be stuffed in the freezer for desperate times when we have no sweeties in the house. Fortunately, that was merely half the mix. The other half went into the regular muffin tin. Where they rose and fell. What is wrong with me today? Ach well. They were shoved aside while the dog and I took our evening exercise.

We returned to tackle the chocolate mousse. It was all going so well: the 70% chocolate melted well, the whites went into their soft peaks nicely, then glossed up some with the addition of sugar. But either my slapdashness during yolk/white separation or slackness in choice of bowl must have introduced some water to the yolks, and blow me if they didn’t half seize my lovely melted chocolate. Bugger. Something is seriously wrong with me today. But who cares; it’s chocolate! A quick zap of heavy whipping cream in the microwave to warm it up to roughly the same temp as the seized chocolate and some stirring over a warm pan gave me…. Ganache! Which was perfect for spreading on those tasty-but-ugly little chocolate cakes.

If I’ve learnt anything today, it’s that I need to bake more often. I’ve lost the knack of baking with precision – something I do without thinking in the lab. I can set up my work bench to get through a crap load of work without a mistake while juggling two other experiments. But I can’t make a simple chocolate cake or mousse without messing up. Something’s screwy with my priorities… :p

P.S. Do you think I can get away with using this as the excuse why nobody received any Christmas cards from us last year?


2 thoughts on “Perfectly imperfect chocolate cakes

  1. oh uh. the mistake with the cakes was with me. mini cakes should stay in the oven for prescribed length of time–10 for muffin tin? i forget–and then turn off the heat, leave cakes with door closed for another 10. arrrgh! sorry. but like you said, it’s chocolate!

    love the muffins, don’t think they are unattractive at all.

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