Sunday, February 14, 2010

HCB Double Chocolate Valentine

Prep Work
Finding raspberries proved challenging but we finally hunted some down. The snow has really wiped our supermarkets supplies out. My mother and I went to the store and just laughed. So many people preparing for the "big snow". Shelves emptied and still, now, trucks not delivering the normal fare. My life for cilantro!!
Meet me in my kitchen
I always wear an apron. They are one of my favorite things. I am very messy in the kitchen and need lots of help keeping clean.
We love having food challenges! Here we are smelling our choices for baking chocolate. Nestle vs. gourmet dutch that I had shipped from Utah. The Dutch processed was darker and had the most wonderful aroma. This picture was right before my sous chef breathed and spread cocoa all over the table! What fun..she said, "I hope you got that!"
In my kitchen, I make do. I use what I have or go without. Here, I am perfecting the art of making my own cake strips.
First you need three strips of tin foil.
Then place folded wet paper towel in the center and fold!
Wrap around your pan.
And there you have cake strips. Or you could purchase them..but why?

I can not express the amazing difference this little bit of insulation makes. My cakes are no longer funky looking or bulbous. Cake Strips!!!
In my kitchen, the baby monitor calls the shots. If it speaks to kitchen playtime is over! Luckily, it usually says the most wonderful things-like mommy, mommy, I need some hugs....mommy.
After baking the cake I spread the runny chocolate over the top and then flip it onto a flat plate. It comes out beautifully! Then I cover the other side with holes that are not as large! And do the same thing. More chocolate.
Oops, in my kitchen I always have at least one mishap and here it is. I forgot to cover my plate with Saran wrap and it stuck!!! Well, I am going to cover it with berries anyhow.
I glazed with red raspberry preserves because I didn't have the red current jam. I heated the jam and then pushed it through a fine mess sieve. I had so much fun painting those wonderful berries.
Look at all that snow!!! The raspberries were excellent. Not so the cake- dry and crumbly! So disappointing. I will add that I did use Saran Wrap to cover the chocolate while waiting.
In my kitchen, everything becomes an after school snack! Yummy. I made little mini muffins with some of the extra batter..they didn't come out of the pans soooo we had mini muffin tops!!

Happy Valentines Day, Friends.


Amber Walker said...

So funny about your hunt for the berries. It's true they are out of some of the strangest things. I was looking for maple syrup. Who knew pancakes were a survival food!

faithy, the baker said...

the raspberries are sold in the exact same packaging here in our supermarkets too! :) your cake looks great!

Virginia Taylors said...

Amber- the best was no light bulbs!! You know you really have to stock up on those when there is going to be a power outage..and of course not a Dorito in site.

Faithy- The package claimed to be the best! I think they were.

Jen said...

I love the snowmen, so funny!

ButterYum said...

1 - light bulbs are becoming more and more difficult to find.

2 - Driscoll's are the best fresh berries I can get this time of year.

3 - I'm a messy cook, but I NEVER wear an apron. Actually, I've gotten into the nasty habit of keeping old stained shirts to wear while I'm cooking.


Hanaâ said...

Very creative to make your own cake strips. Too bad the cake turned out dry. Mine was a tad dry too but it wasn't too crumbly. I responded to your tutorial question on my blog.

Jenn said...

Great write up. Beautiful cake! I always wear apron when baking because somehow I always end up with flour on my shirt!
Love the snowmen picture.

Mendy said...


Looks great! Thanks for the cake strip idea!

Virginia Taylors said...

Mendy- The cake strip idea was one of Rose's off of her blog. I wouldn't want to take credit but I do love making them.

Jenn- Thanks..I was trying something different.

Hanna- Thanks for the websites!

ButterYum- I don't know you but I love you!

Jill @ Jillicious Discoveries said...

Hi Virgina! Thank you so much for your kind comment on my blog last week--I really appreciated it. :)

Your cake looks DELICIOUS and BEAUTIFUL--just like the picture in the book! I love all the step-by-step pictures and commentary with the baking experience. I look forward to following your blog and enjoying your posts. :)

Nicola said...

Great post and superb photos. Love the one of your pinnies hanging from the wall.

I used to make do, and then figured that Rose's silicon cake strips were probably better for the environment than metres of tin foil each time!

Great that you make baking an adventure for the whole family.

A bummer that the cake was dry and crumbly - I think mine was on the verge.

Virginia Taylors said...

Jill-Thanks for visiting Big Hips, you are welcome anytime!

Nicola- I have never heard them called "pinnies". I love it!! And one day I will invest...hopefully soon.

Bungalow Barbara said...

Love your pictures -- especially the cake against the snow and the talking snowmen!

Vicki said...

Oh my gosh, this was such a fun post to read! I love your snowmen comics. Trademark and market those guys! As far as I can tell, only two cakes this week didn't come out dry. I baked it twice and increased the water like Mendy suggested and it still wasn't terribly moist. Your children are so beautiful.

Nancy B said...

Count me in the dry cake club--not so much crumbly, but definitely dry. Your presentation was pretty, though! :)

Virginia Taylors said...

Barbara- Thanks for the compliment!

Vicki- Sadly my snowmen people are not stick people and puddle people! Thank you for saying my children are beautiful-moms love to hear stuff like that.

Nancy- How sad that so many people had dry cakes. It is disappointing.

doughadear said...

Just wanted to let you know that I made your homemade cake strip today for a cake I baked and it worked like a charm.
Thank you.