Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Baking Gene and Rose Levy Beranbaum's Chocolate Velvet Fudge Cake

My Mom is a self taught, home style baker. She makes the kinds of cookies, loaves, and bars people drool over just thinking about. I like to think I was lucky enough to get at least a slice of her baking gene. I hadn't really dabbled in cakes though. So as a young adult, out on my own for the first time, I decided I should start making some fancy and delicous cakes. Of course, my first purchase was The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. The information and science behind her cakes was amazing, the directions so specific and the pictures were  mouth watering. How could I not become a master cake baker??

Well, I am no Rose. The cakes I tried were flat and no matter how I tried to fix them, I could not (often) get my cake to look like Rose's. I still believe The Cake Bible is one of the best cake books out there. I am still trying to create a Rose worthy cake from it. But I did question how big of a baking gene I inherited.

I found out a few days ago that Rose has a new book, Rose's Heavenly Cakes. Hmmm, I think to myself, could this be a book from which I could finally recreate a Rose perfect recipe??? I have chosen Rose's Chocolate Velvet Fudge Cake thanks to a contest and sprucetv.

The recipe, of course, was pretty exact.... 2 cups + 2 tb flour were the instructions that were down to the second. Yikes... will my 35 vs 30 seconds of mixing screw up this recipe? I'm already worried! A bead of sweat is forming on my perfectly shaped (I just got them waxed) brow but I perservere. The measuring, mixing, timing, and pouring is done. I open the oven door and place the fluted pan in the oven with just a slight bit of trepidation. Now, I have to wait at least 50 minutes...tick tock tick tock...sigh this is taking waaay too long but finally all 50 minutes pass by. I pull out the pan and ... well... it looks great. I put in a toothpick to see if it's's not! It's still pretty goopy. I quickly pop it back in the oven. I should have known this would not be simple :) As I close the oven my husband asks if he can heat up some tortillas on the rack above my cake???? Seriously?? Has he not seen the sweat? The look of concern on my face all night?? He soon realizes the error of his ways and looks towards the microwave. Ding! Ten minutes are up. The cake still looks better than any other Rose cake I have attempted. The height is right and the smell is devine.

I wait the required 15 minutes before I turn over the pan, say a little prayer for it to come out in one piece and try to separate the pan from the cake....success! The cake is in one piece! It cools...slowly. Rose suggests dusting it with sugar or cocoa. I opt for the sugar and then drizzle it with a bit of chocolate icing.

IT LOOKS ROSE WORTHY!! I am impressed with not only myself but also Rose and her new Heavenly Cakes!

The final piece of the pie (or cake) is the taste test. I brought in my husband for this in order to make up for his microwaved dinner. He gives it his "yum" of approval. It is light, yet fudgy, sophisticated yet fun to eat, it is a truly beautiful cake. In fact, this cake has made me believe I really have inherited my Mom's baking gene. Thanks Rose.


  1. i was holding my breath all the way through this posting! i'm so happy for you and for me too!

  2. I love Rose's books -- the recipes really do work -- and your cake looks PERFECT! Definitely makes up for a micro'd dinner.

  3. Beautiful presentation. I love it...

  4. What a great story! The cake looks and sounds amazing!

  5. I love your story. The cake looks divine. I feel the need for some chocolate after seeing it.

  6. Awesome job!!! Your cakes looks "heavenly." Everyone in the office is now very hungry after checking out your pics!

  7. Contratulations! It looks beautiful!