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Monday, April 11, 2011

HCB: Miette Tomboy

This is the very pink Miette Tomboy from RHC, baked in 2 6 inch pans. I have been looking forward to this cake since we started the bake off. It looks so pretty in the book and I love the name!

I opted to make the alternative raspberry version as vanilla mousseline tasted too plain to me. Instead of using raspberry jam, I thought of making my own sauce with recipe from TCB. I poured a bag (10 oz) of frozen raspberries in a strainer over a saucepan - and left it on the countertop to thaw overnight. By morning the raspberries is completely thawed, and I got only 1/4 of liquid, so I didn't bother reducing it. Don't own a food mill so I strained the raspberries with a fine mesh and got about 1/3 of cup of raspberry puree. The puree was flavorful enough so I used only the puree for the mousseline.

I was very nervous about the mousseline. The last time I made it was back in July, it curdled and looked horrible. It tasted good but looked funny. And I remembered that once before that, I made it and it was a complete failure - and had to toss it. I blame both failure on hot weather, but this weekend it was pretty warm here, about 66 degrees at 8 AM. I read the recipe 4 times during the week, and read it again on Sunday morning before I started.

I had placed the frozen egg whites and butter on the counter overnight to thaw and soften. My plan was to start bright and early. So 8 AM I was in the kitchen and started the sugar syrup. Everything when smoothy until I added the egg whites into the butter. It curdled. I checked the temperature and it’s 66 degrees, so it should be ok, but it was a bit watery. Since this is within the 65-70 degrees range that Rose said, I didn’t know what to do. So I put it over simmering water while mixing it and it started watering even more. I placed it in an ice bath until it’s about 65, whisk again and it still curdled. I was so frustrated and wanted to give up. Sad images of chucking it into the trash came through my head. But if I trash it, what do I frost the cake with? I can’t imagine starting over, don’t feel like it, plus I have no time. I thought, I could frost the cake with whipped cream, but I don’t have any. And I don’t want to run to the store. Yes I know I was in a sour mood!

So I decided, let’s try to save it.
I tried chilling it faster. I put it in the fridge until the temperature was 63. Then I tried to whisk it (on high with the hand mixer) and it came back together. PHEW!!! I added the raspberry sauce, it curdled again!!

$*%&^ $&#*%&!

Checked the temperature and it’s 61 degrees. So it’s too cold. The oven was preheating for the cake so I placed it on top of the stove (heat from the oven). I mix it a few times to even out the temperature. When it’s 63 degrees I whisked it again with the hand mixer and it came back together. I immediately put it away from the stove.

Felt really good to have a successful mousseline. I’ve tried the RHC recipe once before and it curdled. And I threw it out! Felt so silly now for giving up that fast back then. But I felt I learned a valuable lesson this time - of trying to save it and and succeeding - it’s a good feeling to have :).

The cake itself is pretty straight forward. It calls for melting some chocolate by pouring boiling water over it. I had my doubts for a second because the amount of chocolate is so little compared to the water that the mixture is very watery. Unlike the usual method of combining boiling water with cocoa that produced a thicker mixture. I kept looking back to the weight measurement to make sure that I had the correct amount.

The next step is to combine all the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and leavening. This cake used quite a bit of cocoa powder. I was excited about that, knowing that it will be a pretty chocolate-y cake, :).

Then mix the single egg in the mixer on high speed until it's pale, add in the canola oil and buttermilk and mix. I don't have buttermilk and don't want to buy a whole bottle for one time use. Plus Rose said to use non-low fat ones, and I haven't seen those in the store. So I took whole milk, added 1 tsp of lemon juice, and let it sit for a few minutes. Once it's mixed, add in the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.

I wonder why we don't have to add the dry ingredients in 2 additions like some other recipes. I'm not complaining though, it's faster like this but just curious as to why.

I love that Rose said how much the batter should weigh for each pan, it makes it easier to split it.

Decorating the cake is really easy. It looks so fancy in the book but it’s super easy. I love that I don’t have to do crumb coat and smooth out the sides - since that usually takes the longest.


Tasting impressions:
So good! The chocolate cake is so moist and chocolate-y. This chocolate cake is now one of my favorite in the book. I love the texture so much more than the DFC’s chocolate cake. Tastewise, I don’t remember how it would compare. I think I need to make DFC soon LOL. The mousseline is very good, love the raspberry flavor.

Now this makes me crave for lemon curd mousseline...


  1. Nice cake, Jenn! It sounded like quite the lab experiment just reading your writeup; wonderful results too. Using raspberries was a great idea.

  2. Jenn!!! So, very pretty! I will be making this for my free choice, I had every intention of making it, instead I got caught up with the Food Blog Forum Conference in Orlando, and they gave us tickets to the Pie Festival and I ended up there in Sunday, instead of at home baking this. Oh Oh.. and congratulations on showing that mousseline who is boss!

  3. I love the pink raspberry icing! I wanted to try that too, but thought I'd do the vanilla the first time. I'm with you on this cake--love it! So glad you rescued the mousseline!

  4. This is absolutely beautiful!!!

  5. Gorgeous!!! LOVE, love, love the raspberry mousseline. So glad you stuck with your frosting; what a great sense of accomplishment you must have had. We loved the chocolatey flavor and super-moist texture too!

  6. i love your frilly swirls of rasp mousseline, and congrats for sticking with it! i had the opposite problem, i had to warm it up from 65 to 67 before it would come back together.

  7. Soo pretty!!! I love your rasp. mousseline cream! I laughed when you typed those funny symbols..i know..sometimes i feel that way too..LOL!

  8. I'm glad to hear your raspberry puree worked in place of the jam--I was going to try that, but my leftover puree had developed blue fuzzy spots. :). You got beautiful ruffles on your mousseline, after all the trouble it gave you!


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