Saturday, November 15, 2008

Viscosity and Patience

It started as a winking boast to friends--"I'm a really good cook, don't waste me by assigning me to bring the chips or the drinks." Oh yes, I was going to bring the best cake to the holiday party. The cake that would make knees weak and ladies faint.

As usual, pride goeth before the fall.

I started with the meringue layers. Look how perfect they are:

The cake stand was selected to compliment and shined to deserve it.

I sliced and caramelized the local pears in butter and sugar.

I cooked the cranberries into a glossy red sweet-tart filling with marmalade accents.
The plan was to layer the crispy meringue with whipped white chocolate ganache and fill with the caramelized pears and cranberries. The layers would be alternated and ooze just slightly--rustic and delicious.

Time for the ganache. You heat the cream and add in the chopped chocolate. Stir until melted. You can pour it over a cake as a glossy coat, or cool the ganache until it's thick but pourable (a couple hours in the fridge.) When it's at the right viscosity you can whip it, like cream, and it makes a thicker, more flavorful whipped cream. It's insanely delicious.

The trick is the correct viscosity. I've waited too long before and had the ganache break into into pieces, like chips in cream. Eep. You have to melt and start over.

Tonight I went the opposite way...I didn't wait long enough.

The ganache, usually a thick and glossy affair turned into this...

Curds. Broken. Disaster.

I consult Internet. I add more warm cream to try to re-emulsify it. No dice. I melt the whole sucker again. It breaks. I add more cream. I whip extra cream and re-add the ganache in batches. It just gets worse. Nothing works. I have added THREE PINTS of cream to the Titanic.

We bring a Costco pie to the party.

I eat crow and deserve it.


Reluctant Nomad said...

I wish I could have eaten the Costco pie. With you. And hubby. And the other ladies. Sigh. Humph.

Jenny said...

I am glad your mojo was was still happening Thursday. This sounds like an amazing recipe.

jennie w. said...

I HATE when that happens. Anytime I've bragged about something I bake, it's turned out poorly. You'd think I'd get the message.

Fig said...

Oooh, sorry about that.

Story of my freaking life.

Justine said...

I've ruined ganache before. What a terrible, terrible waste of expensive chocolate. I feel for you (and I would NEVER make you eat crow -- far too chewy).

the MomBabe said...

Hmm, that's too bad. I think you should try again and I guess I could, you know, have a slice for a taste test.

Michelle said...

Goodness. You had me at the meringue layers. Please tell me you salvaged the ingredients and had a delish breakfast today.

so fun to see you and your cute hubby!

Brooke said...

wow. that looks amazing and i'm with michelle-- i hope you ate it for breakfast.

AzĂșcar said...

I did not eat it for breakfast. I did try to remelt it this afternoon and then wait. It broke again. I'm pretty sure the ratio of chocolate to cream is wrong. I'm going to try tomorrow. Anyone up for a success party?

Hannah said...

Holy cow! That SOUNDS amazing...even if it didn't turn out the way you planned.

M said...

Will you make it for the retreat? Now that I know what ganache is, I would love to try some.

It sounds heavenly.

ClistyB said...

I see you are a Kitchen Aid gal, like myself. Those Bosch snobs can be so mean.

Thinking of you bringing a Costco pie to the event reminded me of the time I had to allow my son to wear light-up character shoes from Wal-Mart.