Monday, February 25, 2013

Better Than Nintendo Cake (for the kiddies)

It's the week 6 challenge.  And this one kicked my ass.  But more about that later.  The challenge this week was to update something your grandma would have cooked.  So let's start there.

I don't really remember my Grandma's cooking. I think that at our family gatherings it was usually my mom or Aunt that cooked. Back when I was about 10 or 12 though, everyone was at my Grandma's for Christmas or Thanksgiving or some such holiday. My cousins, brothers and I were sitting around when Grandma came into the room and announced she had made dessert. She went on to proclaim that it was called Better Than Sex Cake, laughed, then looked around at all the kids in the room and said "Well, it's Better than Nintendo Cake for you kiddies." And I think that at every family gathering since, the Better than Nintendo cake made an appearance. If you're not familiar with it, basically you cook a boxed chocolate cake, poke holes in the top and pour over a can of sweetened condensed milk, and a jar of caramel. Then spread cool whip (*shudder* cool whip) over the whole thing and sprinkle Heath bits over the top.

So, with this challenge, the first thing that came to mind was Better than Nintendo Cake.

I've been wanting to make cajeta (goat's milk caramel), so I placed equal parts evaporated goat's milk and piloncillo in a mason jar with a vanilla bean and placed in the sous vide bath at 80 C. I left it there for, let's say, about 32 hours give or take. It caramellized pretty well, but didn't thicken up the way I would have liked. I added about 0.2% Xanthan, which helped, but it was still pretty thin. It tastes really good though, so I can deal with the viscosity. I've got enough for a while too.

I made a straightforward English toffee with roasted almonds, and whipped some heavy cream and mascarpone to stiff peaks.

And, in modern cooking 1987 style, I whipped up some molten chocolate cake batter (Vongerichten style, not Bras) with 70% dark chocolate, ceylon and cayenne (no ancho to be found in my spice rack tonight, so had to make due with cayenne).

So I mentioned an ass-kicking? Well, the plating went horribly awry. I don't really have an explanation, but suffice it to say, I couldn't picture how I wanted it to look, and it somehow ended up much worse than I could have imagined.

Not my best dish by any means, but the flavors were good, though really sweet. I tried to cut back some of the sweetness with the spices and bittersweet chocolate, and a little Maldon on top with the caramel. But, yeah, it was still pretty sweet. Or as we said in the 80's Suh-weet! 

Better Than Sex Nintendo Cake - Updated?

Better Than Sex Nintendo Cake

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