what are you Baking? February 2024

Made a half recipe of the classic Hershey’s chocolate cake (the one with cocoa powder and hot water, though I use coffee instead) in an 8" square pan, with the intention of cutting it into two rectangles and layering/frosting with namelaka, a new-to-me type of ganache. Unfortunately, my namelaka didn’t set up as firmly as I planned, so I just served a little puddle of it next to slices of cake.

The cake was perfection, but the namelaka was not only too soft, it was also grainy. Not sure what went wrong - I’m guessing the graininess was overcooked milk/chocolate? The chocolate itself was Ghirardelli 60% (bar). If anyone has experience with this type of ganache I’d love to hear your tips/tricks. The recipe I used called for 2/3 cream and 1/3 milk for the liquid, about 37% chocolate as a % of liquid and less than 1% gelatin.


I’ve only glanced at a few recipes but haven’t made it yet so…do you think the 60% chocolate might not have had enough cocoa butter to set it up? Maybe something in the 70/72% would be something to consider?

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I’ve so far only made white chocolate-based namelaka with one being a mango one and the other mascarpone, but I haven’t experienced any graininess. They’ve been super smooth and creamy. I’m planning on a milk chocolate one soon.
I doubt your chocolate had anything to do with issues. I imagine you did, but just in case, did you enulsify with an emulsion blender?
Your ratios sound about right:

Cake turned out very flavorful, but I think I over-baked it slightly.

Plan was to serve ice cream with it, but my friend’s freezer broke down. So I made a caramel-rum-orange segment sauce to go with, but it proved unnecessary.


As it turns out, the chocolate wasn’t fully melted - I just nuked some of it to see if that was the culprit and it smoothed out immediately. I don’t know why I didn’t suspect that yesterday, especially given the light color. I’m going to let it reset now and see what I end up with - I may need to add some fresh gelatin to get a decent set, but at least the mystery is solved and I don’t have to pitch it!


LOL immersion blender. Can’t post when it’s time for bed.
And I meant the chocolate type wasn’t likely to be the issue so long as it’s real chocolate as you used and not something like chips or coating chocolate.
An immersion blender usually takes care of any chocolate that might not be fully melted.

Yeah, I figured the type/cacao percentage wasn’t the issue (Ghirardelli bars, chopped by hand). I didn’t use an immersion blender, but obviously I should have - either that or just nuked it a bit yesterday!

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Bon Appetit’s sour cream and scallion biscuits. The only time I strayed from the original recipe was to add 1 T. additional buttermilk to bring the dough together, and then chill them for 10 minutes before baking.

Today I used Daisy full fat sour cream. If I were to use that particular variety again, I might lower the butter content by 1 T. and see how it impacts the bake - they were pretty rich as made. Good stuff, however. The onion came through nicely, and I like the salty tops. Will make again.

I see View From Great Island has modified this recipe to incorporate Ranch dressing mix. Not my thing, but perhaps of interest to some.

And again with the toppled biscuits! Maybe I should just roll with it, and not let it bug me. They’ll all be eaten in the end.


Wow, gorgeous biscuits.


the tyranny of ranch, wow.


These look delicious!

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A cake for my school’s cake raffle tomorrow. It’s the fudgy chocolate sheet cake and silky chocolate frosting from Midwest Made. I don’t like sour cream, but the frosting is delicious. I used 300g milk chocolate and 100g bittersweet as I was worried it wouldn’t be sweet enough for the kids. And then I threw a couple of packages of Skittles and some candy melts on because that’s really what the kids go for.


That’s so cute!

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I made 2 mocha almond chocolate cakes (each about 400g/14oz) for the friend I’m staying with and her sister. The batter has both Greek yogurt and cream cheese in it and there’s melted couverture chocolate both in the cakes and on top. Each cake has approximately 50 freshly roasted, unsalted almonds in/on them.

I was going to surprise my friend with the cakes for Valentine’s Day but our schedules didn’t work out so that I could bake them while she was out. She LOVES sweets but doesn’t bake at all…so she was VERY happy that I baked these for her and her sister!


Can you share the recipe? I find most chocolate buttercreams to be way too stodgy/heavy/sweet. I’m planning to try an ermine frosting or German buttercream next time, but I’d love to test a sour cream version as well!

Not Pavlova but here is RLB ‘s formula for sour cream ganache.
I use 1/6th for a six inch round and add a squirt of Lyles Golden Syrup.


@pavlova - how was the cake? I don’t think Ive made that one and wanted to make a chocolate cake for Saturday

I’m not one for sticky buns usually (too sweet), but these look and sound delicious:

For all my indifference for chocolate, I find bread one of the better uses for it.

Though I continue to be annoyed by what nearly everyone keeps claiming is tangzhong, which is far thinner when cooked to 65° C and provides more moisture than when cooked so much that it gets to a thick gel.

Great minds think alike. A giant chocolate cake for Valentine’s Day.

I had originally planned to make Odette Williams’ version, which is a known and loved entity in our house. Instead, I opted to check one off my want-to-bake list, and made Ina Garten’s Beatty’s Chocolate Cake. The differences between the two cakes are not great –Ina’s version uses more sugar, more chocolate, and buttermilk instead of milk.

I made the full recipe and baked it in an 11-cup Nordic Ware heart pan. It did not fit! Later today I’ll be cleaning that extra half-cup of batter which burned on to the floor of my oven. If you make a whole cake out of this recipe, measure your pan capacity carefully.

The cake came out delicious - chocolately, moist, and bouncy with a pleasing crumb.

As a side, this recipe also is very similar to the Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake recipe which @biondanonima recently posted. Again, subtle differences, but if you have a grasp of all three recipes, it allows for a lot of leeway in substituting elements based on desired outcome and/or what you might have in your pantry.