Madeira Cake w/ Strawberry Chocolate Ganache

As part of expanding our (her) cake repetoire, Lauren and I have sort of committed to abandoning boxed cake mixes and using straight from scratch recipes. With the assistance of a cake decorating book that Rachel got for us, we took our first step in that direction last night. I don't have recipes for this entry because I don't have the book in front of me, and on top of that I didn't actually do any of the baking last night because I was busy doing the cooking (chicken salad and potato salad) and the dish washing so we didn't get in each other's way.What Lauren made was a Madeira cake filled with strawberries and chocolate ganache and covered with buttercream icing. No fondant this time around. The results were mixed. First off our biggest problem is that we aren't cooking by weight. So next on our list of ways to expand our culinary arsenal is a digital weight scale. Its way too much of a hassle to try to figure how many cups or tablespoons 310 grams of butter is, and if that number of cups/tbsp is the same for 310 grams of sugar (which it isn't).

The second problem was the icing. We added some almond extract for flavoring, but it easily overpowered the icing and made it way too sweet. Not only that but the recipe we used gave us a very dry consistency. We should have stuck with the recipe we used for the Dr. Seuss cake.

As for the Madeira cake, it was okay. Nothing too special. From what I remember of the recipe it didn't call for any lemon, vanilla or any other type of flavoring. It was simply various amounts of self rising flour, butter, sugar and eggs. So it turned out to be essentially a pound cake. Good for carving, stacking and building, but nothing to really talk about.

The ganache was fantastic. Lauren has a block of expensive chocolate that she uses for these sorts of desserts, and it never ceases to amaze me how different that stuff tastes than candy bar/milk chocolate.

The three flavors together (icing, cake, ganache) didn't really complement each other either. That was more of a result of mad science than it was a mistake. We wanted to try a few new recipes/methods and just sort of Frankensteined them together rather than plan it out and make a true presentation out of it. In fact the icing was supposed to be white, but it didn't spread very well while she was trying to cover the sides and ended up turning brownish as the ganache oozed out the sides. So Lauren fixed that.


Rach said...

it's hard to imagine that it didn't taste delicious...because that picture tells a different story.