For this week's TWD challenge, I decided on the Chocolate Caramel Chestnut Cake chosen by Kayta of Second Dinner. (Remember, for November we can bake the four recipes in any order we choose!) I was at my parents' house this weekend, and decided it was a good time to bake a cake - and to have three other people to help me eat it!
This is not the kind of cake you throw together on a whim. If company shows up unexpectedly, you do NOT whip up the chocolate caramel concoction. It's elaborate. And expensive. And time consuming. There are 20 ounces of chocolate and more than four sticks of butter in this baby! It's definitely a special occasion kind of cake.
Unfortunately, I wasn't too thrilled with the results. The overall consensus was that it was way too rich and buttery for our liking. Now I did make several substitutions, which probably didn't help matters. And I was also rushed for time. But I'm not sure I'll be making this cake again anytime soon!
For starters, I couldn't find chestnut spread and I wasn't about to order it online. So I used peanut butter and peanuts in place of the chesnut spread and chestnuts. In the P&Q some of the other bakers mentioned that chestnut spread has a high fat content (more so than pb?)... which might be why my cake dried out a bit, despite the 2 1/4 sticks of butter! The middle was pretty good, but the edges were a little crispy. I also didn't make the brandy syrup, which probably would have helped.
My favorite part of the cake was the ganache that went between the layers of cake. It started with a stovetop caramel, then cream, chocolate and (of course) butter. The chocolate-caramel combination was delicious, but it was a little too buttery for me. I don't like to actually taste the butter. It would be fantastic combined with powdered sugar to make a frosting though!
The glaze was also pretty tasty on its own... but the whole things together was just too much. I also didn't cool the cake long enough, so when I assembled it the ganache started to melt and it turned into a little bit of a mess.
I'm thinking of making the holiday bundt cake for Thanksgiving... so next week will be cranberry-apple crisps. I've never made a crisp before, so wish me luck!