Sunday, January 11, 2009

Almond Roca Ring

For the past few months that I have been searching for glossy chocolate frosting around food blogs, I finally found it in my drawer, from my 1980s cook book.
I made this last week. It was a the first in my wish-to-bake list. There are actually a few goodies that I baked during Christmas left unblogged. I will try my best to get them up here.
Almond Roca Cake( From the Joy of Chocolate 1982)
6 eggs plus 2 yolks
1/4 C granulated sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C ground toasted almond
1/4 tsp of almond extract
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 C sifted all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp unsalted butter , melted and lightly brown
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch tube or bundt pan
Beat eggs , yolks and sugar over simmering water until the mixture becomes warm and sugar crystals dissolve. Then off the heat, beat until egg mixture form heavy ribbon trail.
I got nervous every time I made sponge cake. For me, it is one of the most easy-to-go wrong cake. Seemed like, if I happened to pick up a 1-minute phone call while folding the batter, I would make myself belive the cake would be dense and ugly, and I would be screaming to whom ever called me at that moment "I'm making my baby, I'll call back asap"......ohhh, am I being exaggerate. Well, I belive it just a matter of repetition, and pratricing. Maybe I need to bake it frequently to get some confidence. Okay, where are we ?
Gently add almonds , vanilla and almond extracted and zest, beat briefly. By hand, fold in the flour and salt in 3 portions with whisk (or you may do so with spatula, if you like, but every time I used spatula I ended up with lumps of flour). Work rapidly and gently so as not to deflate the egg volume. Then incorporate the melted butter. My trick is to beat melted butter with about 1 cup of fluffy egg mixture in a separate bowl (I used fork, don't worry that you deflate this 1 cup of mixture , you have the whole bowl to lift the cake) ... then pour it back to the batch and fold gently with spatula (now I switch to spatula). By doing this, melted butter tend not to sink to the bottom.
Pour batter in prepared bundt pan. Bake for 35 minute or until cake shrinks slightly from the side. Let cool for 10 minutes. Then unmold cake on the rack. Let cool completely before you apply chocolate frosting.
The recipe calls for syrup (which I skipped). The ingredients are simply 1/3 cups of sugar and 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a simmer for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool briefly. Stir in amaretto or liqueur of your choice.
If you choose to make syrup, cut the cake by half, drizzle hot syrup over the cut side. Let cool, then spread on chocolate glaze. Here is the recipe for chocolate glaze.
4 oz. semi sweet chocolate glaze
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/4 C light corn syrup
1/4 C hot water
5 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
4-5 tbsp confectioners' sugar
Put everything except butter and confectioners' sugar in the saucepan. Cook over medium low heat. Stir constantly. I have to confess....I was screaming when I saw lumps in my sauce pan. I doubted if I did not stir constantly. After trying fix it by stiring heavily, I ended up having bubbles in the glaze and all the lumps were still there. Well, it was okay to have some bits to chew after that was a silly way to comfort meself (yes "mee-self" as in Jamaican accent) when thing goes wrong.
Let the mixture cook at low heat for 3 minutes. Off the heat. With spoon (as mentioned earlier, do not use whisk as it traps bubbles in the glaze) stir in butter 1 table spoon at a time then add vanilla and confectioners sugar. Stir until glaze cool slightly and is a nice spreading consistency.
I used spatula to pour glaze on the cake. Remember to let the cake cool completely otherwise the glaze will be runny. I also put some toasted nuts and crushed caramel candies around the edge to
dress up a bit