Adventures in Baking the Entire Athenian Acropolis, part 2

Well, I promised updates, and here’s a short one on the first stage of this ludicrous project. If you follow me on Twitter you’ll already have some inkling of how my style of baking works – you lurch from one disaster to another until enough of them cancel each other out and produce something wondrous. But here’s the more detailed report:

I have a perfectly good chocolate cake recipe that incorporates canola oil and yoghurt to create a heavy, moist, decadent cake, and I’m using some nice Dutch-process cocoa that I bought the last time I was home in New Zealand (America: you do many things right, and I generally have great respect for your baking, but you do not understand chocolate). It’s fantastic, I’ve used it before for all kinds of things, it’s tried-and-true, etc. The trouble is I need a lot of it, and I only have a fairly small stand mixer.

DO NOT DO THIS

NEVER DO THIS

If you fill up a stand mixer more than about 3/4 full, odds are good it is not going to mix properly and create a homogenous batter. I mean, I’m doing it anyway because I’m insane, but you don’t want to be like me. Also this picture is before I even added the flour; this is just the butter, sugar, eggs, cocoa, yoghurt and oil.

Eventually separated it out into three, because I had decided to make three slabs of cake. Had to spend a bit of time tipping the mixture between bowls because the butter and sugar hadn’t fully mixed with the other ingredients (again, I am doing EVERYTHING WRONG HERE because I am ludicrously overambitious and this is a project I clearly do not have the right equipment for; DO NOT BE LIKE ME)

Seriously do not be like me; my poor spatula is broken and now I need a new one

BUT, miraculously, the final result is pretty much what I was aiming for! Three nice slabs of chocolate cake in a very roughly Acropolis-like shape. These are going to be cut into something that more closely approximates the rough diamond shape of the Acropolis citadel, and then covered in white chocolate ganache so you can’t see the joins. Not sure whether that will be tonight or tomorrow though – since tonight I need to make the masses of gingerbread I’ll be using to build all the monuments!

Part 3

4 thoughts on “Adventures in Baking the Entire Athenian Acropolis, part 2

  1. It’s cool to see the process. I’ve rarely done much more than boxed brownie mix (which I’ve only done a few times, I feel like if I became decent at baking I would eat way too many sweets… which I do anyways). So I’m not one to judge on you cutting a few corners here (which I fully understand isn’t a good idea, but you gotta make do with what you have).

    And I agree fully that America doesn’t “get” chocolate. And I’d call myself a bit of a chocolate connoisseur. Generally, if I want good chocolate, I buy imported stuff… but I’m really into dark chocolate especially.

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    1. I realize that message was ambiguous… I am indeed American, I’m just claiming that our county does not handle chocolate well (at least for the most part, there are always exceptions).

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        1. I can believe that. I mean, the upper class probably pushes for importing of decadent items like chocolate, but most aren’t baking. And they just… maybe it’s a capitalist thing, not wanting to invest in quality ingredients as much. Or maybe I’m overthinking it.

          Either way, when people get used to crap like Hershey’s, most things homemade will taste better even with low quality cocoa powder.

          I wonder what New Zealand’s desserts are like now…

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