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Monday, June 14, 2010

HCB: Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake

This is a story of failed frosting. Ok, you might look at the picture of the slice and thought that it look good. But wait until you see the picture of the cake.

The cake started off well enough. The cake batter came together easily. I even remembered to increase the milk for high altitude adjustment. For once the cake baked flat on top, and it looked oh so pretty.

I've made mousseline several times but this is the 1st time I use the RHC recipe. There are differences between the recipe in TCB and RHC. For one thing, the quantity of sugar and water is higher in TCB. Another difference is the method. In TCB, Rose tells you to add the creamed butter 1 Tbsp at a time to the meringue. In RHC, you actually add all the meringue into the butter.

While cooking the sugar in the water, I noticed something's wrong when the mixture starts boiling but the sugar never really dissolve. Is this because I split the recipe in half, so the already 3 Tbps of water is now 1 1/2 Tbp. Not a lot especially once you boil it, wouldn't some of those water evaporated?

Anyway, I made the meringue. And the started heating up the syrup again. When it reached the 240 degrees, it turned into this grainy, crystalized consistency. I continued anyway, and added it to the meringue.

By the time I added the whole batch of meringue into the butter and started whipped, it turned watery. Following Rose's instruction, I placed my bowl in the water bath. After a few minutes, checked the temperature, it said 66 degrees. And there's a puddle of water inside the bowl - of what used to be meringue.

Frustrated, I contemplated calling it quits for the day. My cake would just be bare and frosting-less.

But I really really want to make this cake. Plus I already have the blendered butter and strawberry mixture that taste so yummy (thanks Raymond).

Okay so I grab my copy of TCB. And started over with the mousseline. This time, it worked!

I put the cake together, with a nice layer of strawberry mousseline in between. The cake was so tender that some layers almost split in the middle. The good thing about making 1/2 recipe is that the layers are smaller and easier to handle.

Now onto chocolate frosting. I re-read the recipe and realized that I had forgotten to buy the unsweetened chocolate. Rummaging in the pantry, I found dark chocolate (not sure of the %), and I do have the 60% chocolate. I melted them together with the butter. Then added the light corn syrup. The mixture is not as flowing as I thought it should be. I pour it onto the cake, it dropped down one side, and it stopped there. I tried to use the spatula to spread it, but then it took the mousseline with it. Okay, I may be overzealous in that I put mousseline everywhere on the cake, but I thought it would be okay.

Frustrated and pissed. Not pissed at Rose but at myself. This is what happened when you don't follow Rose's instruction - I told myself.

So here's the sad looking cake. Hubby said that it looks cute with the chocolate glaze dripping on one side. I thought it was very sweet of him to say that, but I was still sad.

We shared the 1 cupcake with a generous dollop of strawberry mousseline, and it was really really good. That cheered me up a bit, :). I will say that I still want to make this recipe again and get the chocolate frosting right. Though I think I will stick with the mousseline recipe from TCB.


  1. I had a problem (although a different one) with the frosting as well. I always prefer doing a half batch for the first go around. It's easier to handle and not too bad when you have to start over. In any case your cake looks great and I am sure tastes divine!

  2. I'm with hubby! It looks stunning! I would probably prefer having less chocolate and more mousseline.

  3. I think it looks absolutely French with its little flourish down the side! It appears delicious.

  4. I'm glad you stuck with it! I've had those really frustrating days...sometimes you just want something from the quick and easy section:)

  5. It looks artsy imo..with the chocolate frosting falling over like that! :) and i love your new blog look!

  6. ב''ה

    Sorry you had such trouble. Looks delicious though.

    Nice new background!

  7. I quite like the look of your icing on the cake! Looks like a cute haircut.

    I feel your pain with this cake... but so worth it in the end.


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