Sammy the Seal

Archive for September, 2013|Monthly archive page

Dobos torte, failures and successes

In delicious on Thursday, 12 September, 2013 at 13:33

dobos 1st attempt 1

The Hungarian classic. I might as well disclose up front, the taste, specifically, the texture of the cake layers, was no good. Tough and chewy, yuck. I followed a recipe to the letter, rather than applying what I knew.  It was a separated egg sponge, and it said to mix the flour in thoroughly, then the egg whites. Tsk. Also, I was referencing another recipe  which had a different baking temperature and said to bake until brown. However, the recipe I used has less than 50% sugar than that one. So there’s your browning. So I ended up overbaking the layers by about 100%, as well as possibly overmixing (the recipe had 8 ounces of bread flour as well). Looked great though:

dobos 1st attempt 2

The caramel came out great too, perfect in my opinion. Oh, those dark bits in the icing? Chocolate got too cool when folding into the buttercream. Whoops. I should be ashamed for not folding quickly and more thoroughly, tsk.

dobos 1st attempt 3

Layering was fine, a bit thick on some layers. It looks good enough, so if I didn’t say anything about consuming it, no one would ever know. But, I’m trying to improve, not impress.
dobos 1st attempt section 1

dobos 1st attempt section 2

I was so disappointed and apologetic (and slightly ashamed)– I tossed out the last quarter of it– that I had to do it again the next day, just to get it right. I alternated the egg whites and flour, stuck to the one recipe’s baking time and temperature, paid closer attention (i.e., opened the oven door and touch-tested more) and it came out much better. These layers were soft and spongy, just like a sponge cake. I’ve seen this cake masked in almonds, and plain, but I already did the plain, so why not. Also, some prop up the slices with rosettes or nuts, some lay them flat, and I already did the former.

dobos 2nd attempt 1

Unfortunately, the sugar is way undercooked, obviously. I wonder if it even got to 300°. It was chewy and sticky, not crisp. (Damn it!) It looked amber in the pan, but it was just the concentration of the color. That and I’m always worried about burning sugar, even though sugar is cheap and the whole process takes but a few minutes. It should be dark amber, not light golden. Oh well. Damn it, just 20-30 seconds would’ve made all the difference.

dobos 2nd attempt 2

Less icing too, but only because I was using the leftover from the first cake and I had to make it last.

dobos 2nd attempt section

dobos 2nd attempt slice

If only I could switch the top layer of the first with that of the second, I could’ve had a cake where the entire thing is edible, fancy that.


Kalamata olive bread

In delicious on Monday, 9 September, 2013 at 14:29

olive bread first try 1

Made with a piece of tile as my hearth. I have no idea what the inside looks like, these weren’t for me. They look like how they did in school on the outside, but I don’t even remember how it looks on the inside, so even if I had cut it open, I wouldn’t know how to compare cell structure.  My stupid crappy oven runs hot, so between the time I put it in and checking on it half of the time through, the temperature had spiked about 50 degrees, so I have a feeling it may have been dense on the inside because the crust may have set too quickly.

I should do this stuff more often, it’s not as meticulous and fussy as pastry. It’s also not that photogenic, which is why I don’t have any pictures from 3rd quarter when we did bread and viennoiserie.  I mean, you have the finished product, which I couldn’t cut into because it was for an order, and photos of proofing.

olive bread proofing 1

olive bread proofing 2

Filler. Woo!

Black forest cake, more laundry

In delicious, You're a kitty! on Friday, 6 September, 2013 at 15:21

black forest cake whole 2

This one’s pretty standard, as far as traditional components go. I didn’t do anything outrageous to it. Chocolate cake, layers brushed with kirsch dessert syrup, fresh cherry halves (macerated in kirschwasser for a few hours) on each layer, filled and iced with whipped cream, coated with chocolate shavings.

black forest cake whole 1

Unfortunately, I removed all the stems up front, I bet it would’ve looked better with them sticking up. It’s just as well, though, as I wouldn’t be able to close the box.

black forest cake whole 3

Layering was fine, as far as I can tell:

black forest cake section 1

That’s whipped cream for you. I suppose if I want it even messier, I could do devil’s food. I thought about, but was missing an ingredient or two.

It’s always a good time for laundry shots:

more laundry 1


more laundry 2


more laundry 3


Chocolate cake, caramel buttercream, poured in ganache

In delicious on Thursday, 5 September, 2013 at 12:15

chocolate cake caramel bc ganache whole

Also known as, trying to get rid of ingredients and product that I’ve had a while. I think I made this two weeks ago. Ganache didn’t set up firm enough for my liking, which was strange because it shouldn’t have been a bitch to pour. Also, I was in a rush, so that was my fault. But, despite the messy piping and pouring, it’s shiny like it’s supposed to be, so it still looks kinda classy, maybe a little fancy, even. And my layering is getting better, no drastic difference in icing thickness:

chocolate cake caramel bc ganache section 1

A better photo, plus it shows off the hazelnut raspberry pavé in the back:

chocolate cake caramel bc ganache section 2

I didn’t bring milk, though.

chocolate cake caramel bc ganache slice 1

chocolate cake caramel bc ganache slice 2