Friday, March 19, 2010

Reine De Saba (Chocolate and Almond Cake) with Glacage au Chocolate (Chocolate-butter Icing)

Thursday was hubby's birthday and I had great intentions of cooking a big meal for him but things just didn't pan out. Since he likes to sleep in I decided to take the lil monster and baby monster to the park. I met up with a friend and we walk the trails, then let the kiddos play and have a picnic. Since we ate at the park I decided not to make the quiche, hubby isn't a big fan of them but will eat them. But if left alone for lunch it wouldn't have been what he chose to eat, so instead my plan is to make the quiche and take it to my brother and his girlfriend on Saturday, they're "fru fru" like that. But I digress....
So after spending half the day in the fresh air and walking a mile or more carrying a 13 lb baby and pushing a stroller with a 28 lb 2 year old in it, I was BEAT! I mean I haven't done any real exercise since before getting pregnant so I am sorely out of shape. Hubby had leftover shrimp & grits casserole to eat anyways, so I decided to push the chicken meal to today. But I did make the chocolate cake since it was his birthday and all!

Let me begin by saying that Julia Child has got nothing on me! Let me see her try to "master the art of French cooking" while trying to keep an eager to help 2 1/2 year old toddler from eating the chocolate out of the bowl, touching the oven or stove, or pushing a kitchen chair around the kitchen from counter to counter while she attempts to make a cake. I continually had to keep moving everything out of his reach, and remind him that he could not eat the creamed butter or whipped egg whites. "Please do not stick your fingers in the melted chocolate!" All the while trying to put everything up as I used it, since that's the only way I could make sure he didn't get into something while I was working on the next step. Oh did I forget to mention that my 2 month old was fussing in the background? Yeah you'd have thought I was octomom (no not the 8 babies mom, but had 8 arms) the way I was having to move around my kitchen so I'm going to give myself props for this feat alone.

After I turned the batter into the pan and set it in the oven to bake I felt pretty good about it. Not too time consuming really, would have gone MUCH faster without the toddler underfoot. The smell waifting through the air as it baked was great and when I pulled it from the oven it looked perfect. I was a little upset that when it had puffed up and the top was a little cracked but I figured I'd just flip it and serve it bottom up. Waiting for it to cool was nearly impossible, the lil monster kept asking to eat it every 5 minutes. When it was finally cool enough to ice I was disappointed, the great puff was gone and it looked like the cake had sunk, not sunk like had a pit in it but sunk like was flat and compressed. Was it supposed to do this? There were no instructions as to if the puff was supposed to stay. Anyways I quickly iced the cake with the chocolate butter icing (which was so simple and pretty plain it's not worth discussing) and pushed the leftover crushed almonds around the edges to make it "fancy". Then I pressed a design of almonds over the icing, really just a simple flower with whole almonds in the center. It looked good, now would it taste good? After the essential singing of happy birthday, I sliced it up and served us all a piece. It was still slightly warm, not enough to melt the icing though! It was great, warm and rich while the icing was light and fluffy. It was good on it's own but I really think it would have tasted even better with a single scoop of vanilla ice cream too.

It wasn't until after the lil monster had gone to bed and things settled down for the night that I had a chance to read and realized that I was supposed to have added a tbsp of sugar to my almonds as I crushed them, supposedly to keep them from clumping together. Oh well they didn't seem to clump on me in the first place. No harm no foul I guess since that was the only thing that I missed in my madness.

Please excuse my horrible photography skills!

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