ALMOST-DISASTER WHITE CHOC CAKE

I imagined Sonia, sitting on my shoulder, frowning and telling me: Don’t f&^* with my recipes!

Here’s the thing: I’m planning a High Tea early in the new year; either on my birthday in January, or perhaps a Valentine’s Day event; a table groaning with cakes, pastries and teensy-weensy, very pretentious sandwiches. An event to make Miss Manners gnaw at her wrists.

“In recent years, high tea has become a term for elaborate afternoon tea, though this is American usage and mainly unrecognised in Britain. This usage is disfavoured by etiquette advisors, such as Miss Manners.” – wikipedia

So, I have been testing cakes; Sonia Cabano’s chocolate almond cake is sure to be a star of the party and I wanted a white cake to pair with it. I thought to simply substitute white chocolate for the dark in her recipe, and to bake it in a ring tin instead of a springform tin.

What could go wrong?

For one thing, white chocolate does not mate into an orgasmic creaminess with butter when melted, as other chocolate does. It makes a stubborn and stringy separate mess; but I forged ahead and folded it into my batter, hoping for the best and put it in the oven. I gave Mister Scoffier (my stove) a pat on the oven handle and asked him to be kind. Occasional peeps through the oven window left me with grave misgivings.

What came out 45 minutes later was a beautiful little angel, moist and with a slightly crispy outer-edge; sort of what you get in a coconut cake. Perfect.

The icing was a different story. The white chocolate melted beautifully in the cream, but refused to set like dark chocolate does, wouldn’t even coat my finger. (It does taste divine, though, and would make for a quick and easy custard over hot fruits; stow-away idea for future reference!)

Plan B was put in action; I made a butter icing and used some Droste pastilles a friend had given me earlier. Disaster averted; a successful contender for my High Tea table and dessert ready for after supper.

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27 thoughts on “ALMOST-DISASTER WHITE CHOC CAKE

  1. Hubby and I are leaving now to join you for a slice!

    I didn’t know that white chocolate would be so different to milk or dark chocolate. I’ve always assumed chocolate is chocolate (in terms of cooking or baking with it).

    • Officially white chocolate cannot be called “chocolate” because it does not contain chocolate liquor. Good white chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar, milk solids, vanilla, and lecithin. – joyofbaking.com

  2. Sister-friend: If you think that cake courted disaster, you obviously don’t know what disaster is (or could be)! Take it from someone who knows! For one thing, preparing a “practice” cake would never even qualify! True disaster only comes on opening night, or royal command performances, or cooking for your mother-in-love. True disasters end up in the trash bin – and stand for about $50 of wasted money, to say nothing of time. A genuine disaster would be sending your husband to the grocery store bakery to buy a ready-made cake, or a package of Oreos to serve. Or – worst-case scenario – baking a gorgeous cake, proudly slicing it and serving it, only to discover you had used Ivory soap flakes instead of flour, or some such. Seeing your guests making a run for the loo, the exit door, a trash can – wherever they can spit out or barf – THAT IS DISASTER!!! And don’t you forget it!!

    BTW, how DID that gorgeous cake taste, anyway? 😀

  3. Aah, doing a Mandy there by changing up the ingredients – kudos to you for making it work. It looks fabulous! Wonder if it would work in cupcakes… just a thought. I am mad about anything cupcake at the moment, I recently made phyllo pies in muffins tins and tomorrow is my carrot cake cuppy-cake-style.
    I cannot wait to hear what else you will be serving at your tea.
    🙂 Mandy

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