Thursday, September 21, 2006

Inside-Out German Chocolate Cake (Page 747)

  • Date: Monday, September 18. 2006
  • Location: Newton, MA -- Haynes' House
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Fellow Chef: Soren
  • Dining Companions: Haynes, Juli, Vero, Philippe, John, Peter, Ricky, Matt, Lars, Ismar, Jenny, Nick, Jacob, etc...
  • Recipe Rating: B+
Haynes had his annual topology group party on Monday and I made this cake to bring. There was a wide range of opinions on the cake, but I thought it was pretty good. Some of the positive comments: it was very attractive, with a good chocolate flavor and moist layers. Negative comments: It was too rich, too sweet, too full of coconut, etc... Most people gave it an A-range grade, but Jacob gave it a solid C and Philippe gave it a 5 out of 10 (apparently not a fan of the letter grade scale -- or my cake)! It's always risky to make something with coconut for a crowd, since a lot of people don't love coconut (which I will never understand!). My thoughts on the cake: It was really lovely looking, both inside and out, and the flavors were excellent. It was a tad too heavy for my taste, and the filling was extremely sweet. I think the filling would have been better had it been made with unsweetened coconut. The chocolate ganache was very nice and easy to work with. I thought the cake was very moist, although someone commented that it was borderline too dry, which I found confusing?!? Overall it was a nice cake, and would make a great special occasion cake to honor someone who really likes coconut!

Last night Ana, Craig, Peter, Marco, and Matt came over and we made a big project dinner together. It was a lot of fun. A couple days ago Matt very gently asked me how I was going to get through more than a thousand recipes when I eat macaroni and cheese for dinner every night! So, I was especially glad that he could come last night and both see that I do cook other things, and experience some of the food from The Book. (Just for the record: I don't eat macaroni and cheese _every_ night, but I do really like it!).

Someone (I think Peter) suggested last night that I should grade the people who help me cook in addition to grading the recipes. That may actually be the worst idea I have ever heard! It got me thinking though about how great everyone is when we are all working together in the kitchen. People have been so wonderful about trying new things and executing the recipes even when they seem unnecessarily complicated! I try very hard not to alter anyone's cooking technique unless they ask me for help, but it is so fun for me when people want to learn new stuff. In a way I feel guilty after we have these big dinners, that I didn't do my part. Last night for instance, I took care of the timing of the recipes, helped out where I could, and gave people instructions when they wanted/needed them, but everyone else did the hard work!

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