Sunday, September 6, 2009
Le Fabuleux Glorieux
Oh hai. Remember us? We used to have a blog here. It's been a long time, since I've been on vacation and Rebecca's been...I don't know, petulantly refusing to blog until I do. Whatever. There still has been lots of baking happening, and now you get to read about it.
So the first couple of days of our vacation were devoted to a family reunion. Said reunion was in celebration of both my aunt and uncle's 30th anniversary and my grandmother's birthday. (I could be all coy and say "I won't tell you how old she is," but you're going to find out on the next posting anyway because the number of her age is written out with candles. She's 85.) We went to a yummy restaurant that was BYOB, and, in our case, BYOC. In other words, I was drafted as a cake slave.
As avid readers of the blog know, I loved/was inspired by the movie "Julie and Julia," so I decided to make my first-ever attempt at a Julia Child recipe. I went for "Le Glorieux," a chocolate cake with a hint of orange from pg. 495 of Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume 2. She described it as a "very rich, very light chocolate cake" (whatever that means); the secret is the use of cornstarch instead of flour.
The recipe was long and detailed but not very hard to follow. The only consistent problem I had was with thickness; she writes that certain concoctions, like the melted chocolate-butter-orange mixture, should have the consistency of mayonnaise. No matter how much I stirred it over ice (her suggested remedy for thinness), it didn't have the consistency of mayonnaise. Yet although she insisted that the thickness was vital, it didn't seem detrimental to the cake.
In fact, the cake was a big hit. I iced it with the powdered sugar buttercream frosting from pg. 681 of Volume 1, which was pretty much just butter so I had to add some other stuff. I also had to refrigerate it and it didn't really have time to thaw before I took the icing spatula to it. Although the whole process was a little messy it gave it a kind of neat marble effect in the end. Everyone really liked it, although the orange taste was a little strong for me. I prefer my chocolate to be unadulterated. But I figured out what Julia Child meant by "very rich, very light." The taste was indeed rich, but the texture was not overwhelming and didn't fill you up in that uncomfortable way that rich cakes usually do. It was a fun and successful first Julia Child recipe (though I don't think I'm going to pull a Julie Powell any time soon).