God's Word for Today

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Chocolate Cake Extravaganza…

A long time ago in a land far far away, which really means when we went for a visit to my MIL, she had an extra copy of the much loved and treasured Southern Living magazine.

Now to give you some brief background on this chocolate adventure I was at my local grocery store standing in the check out lane. My cart was loaded to the brim with all the fixing's for my thanksgiving dinner. As I patiently waited for my turn to empty my checkbook the magazine vendor was there diligently refreshing the racks at all the check out stations. All of us ohh’d and ahh’ed as we saw her depot the December edition into the rack with this amazing cake on the cover.


Seeing as I was still basking in the warmth of my success from my spectacular German Chocolate Tower of Amazing-ness at Thanksgiving. I decided to throw caution to the wind and whip up something equally spectacular for our Christmas Celebration.

I again asked the age old “Be Still and Know” question “How Hard Could it Be??”

Should you decide to undertake this perilous chocolate adventure for yourself I have provided the link to the recipe below.

I warn you it is not for the faint of heart.

Southern Living’s Chocolate Citrus Cake

If your counting there are 21 separate things listed in the ingredient for this cake.

Yes 21!!!

Hands on Time: 1 Hour (that means one hour in the Southern living test kitchens with a full staff of experienced pastry chefs with assistants and a fully stocked pastry kitchen) in the normal world it probably took about twice that long.

Total Time: 6 Hours and 40 minutes (plus 45 minutes in Hell) giving us a grand total of 7 hours and 25 minutes.

Now I should have know there was going to be trouble when I ran across one of my pet peeves' where recipes are concerned.

In my humble opinion I feel that all recipes should be written from the perspective of what needs to be done first. This is a small matter but if I am going to nit-pick then I feel that the Whipped Ganache Filling needs to be listed first since it needs to chill for 2 hours in the refrigerator. It is a good thing the DD and I read through the recipe  before getting started.

But I digress.

The Ganache was simple enough. Heavy cream chocolate chips and a splash of orange liquor melted in the microwave and stir until smooth. Easy peazy!

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Waiting for two hours for it to chill was an exercise in patience. But it did give us plenty of time to get the cakes underway.

Here is all you need to do.

Completely empty your pantry of every ingredient you have and then begin.

Cake flour


Brown Sugar



Sour Cream

Baking Soda

Baking Powder

Parchment Paper


Chocolate Chips


Baking Pans


We melted more chocolate, we brewed espresso, we alternately added dry and wet ingredients…

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Things were moving along rather smoothly if I do say so myself. The DD and I were patting ourselves on the back and anticipating the afterglow of our chocolate success.


Out of the oven and they are looking very good and smelling even better!

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The chilled Ganache was ready for whipping.

The chocolate was set perfectly, it was wonderfully flavorful and exactly right.


We heaped it on and stacked our cake!


All that was left was the frosting.

“How hard could it be???”

The 7 Minute Frosting, well I have affectionately re-named it “45 Minutes in Hell Frosting” as I poured the first batch down the disposal and then had to completely start over.

Let’s just say that if I ever attempt to make this cake ever again I will be making a substitution in the frosting. Finally after a few course words and a few moments of wishing that my dear departed grandma was still with us (she would have totally know what to do), I also considered downing a few shots of the orange liquor that was sitting on the counter to dull the pain of my frosting failure. However not wanting to allow our first failure to deter us we forged ahead.

I consulted…who else, my Paula.

Thankfully her directions were a but clearer and after reading them through few times we managed to make something that appeared to be somewhat similar to the pictured frosting.


At least the DD had a good time making swirly designs in the frosting. Teenagers are so resilient in recovering from major baking trauma. I however may have nightmares for months to come from my “45 Minutes in Hell Frosting” experience.


Needless to say…my cake pictured above did not come out resembling the perfection of the one pictured below on the cover of Southern Living.


It did however end up tasting very good, all trauma aside. I would recommend cutting the slices on the small side as this is a very rich dark chocolate. If you were to consume a slice the size of the one pictures above I feel certain you would fall into a complete chocolate coma for a very long time.



Next up I’ll give you a glimpse into our snowy adventures in North Carolina and The Biltmore Estate.


Kim said...

I love to read about your cooking "adventures"! Makes me happy that I'm not the only one who has them :-)

The cake sounds fabulous. Pretty sure I'm going to have Ivan move the toaster oven out to the patio so I an do some baking this week :-)

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Oh Robin sweetie...
My gosh your cake looks exquisite. I would love a piece of that beautiful cake.

Why is it though the recipes always appear so easy in steps, and sometimes turn into the worse nightmare ever? You just want to chunk the whole thing.

Your cooking lesson was so much fun sweetie. I can just see you and DD baking away. I love it.

Thanks for sharing this morning. What fun this has been. Have a Happy New Year as it sure is coming. 2009 has been so fun getting to know all of you blogger friends. Thanks for the memories.

Country hugs sweetie...Sherry

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Robin, this post cracked me up.

"anticipating the afterglow of our chocolate success"...priceless!

Despite the trip to hell, the cake did look beautiful and delicious. I am almost tempted to try it.


Merry Christmas!

Sassy Granny ... said...

Oh my ... now I'm starving for chocolate! I'm content to be hungry, though, if I have to travel the same route to get some.


sonja said...

Southern Living is about my favorite magazine too! But, the cake... you are hilarious! Your adventures in the kitchen are so much fun!

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