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Those damn molten cakes, again...


tan319
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In the newest issue of Food Arts, there is a recipe for Bill Yosses Vanilla cake, which is really a vanilla cake with white chocolate in the batter as well as an flowing white choc center.

I tried making this cake today, as laid out in the mag as well as with variations ( using a white chocolate ganache 'plug') as well as using the 1/2 inch-ish piece of white choc as in the recipe.

The recipe seems to follow the rules of the molten chocolate cake.

White chocolate and butter melted together over a bain.

Sifted flour, yolks and vanilla seed are stirred into that mixture and reserved.

Meanwhile, a meringue is prepared using the same amount of whites as yolks.

Folded into the white chocolate mixture and rested for 24 hours.

24 hours later, in a 325 degree oven, as specified, after buttering 4 oz. aluminum utility cups and filling them with the batter, with the white chocolate set in the center , on a baking sheet, the cake is baked until risen and golden.

Onto the problems I had.

Btw, the baking part of the recipe was given for a convection oven, which is what I used.

At 325, the cake took a long time to get color. At 8 minutes, it had some color but the top felt very fragile, like it would collapse upon cooling. Like a souffle. Not that it rose that hig or anything.

I let it cool a bit and tried to unmold it.

It stuck at first. I let it cool longer. It never came out clean and there was no liquid center.

Next, I raised the oven temp by 50 degrees, baked less time ( but still had to go for a bit of a firmer top). still no liquidish center, still stuck to the top of the mold as well as the side, and I greased well.

Next, I buttered AND floured the mold, as well as used the white chocolate ganache I had prepared, that on the advice of a pastry chef friend of mine, I added an ounce of cocoa butter to

to stabilize the ganache a bit ( I was worried about it breaking and going greasy at temps in the 300+ range) It was a 400 gram choc to 200 gram heavy cream recipe, that I think someone gave me here on the 'gullet, thank you!

Anyways, this unmolded the best but still carried over to bake whole.

I think the meringue in the batter makes it so light that it's a hard guess as to when it is done.

I know Yosses is a great chef, I'm sure the recipe is solid but where do yoy ( if interested) think I'm going wrong?

I've always felt that the altitude I'm at screws this particular recipe up, I have to admit I've tried the regular chocolate cakes and have never had an optimal result yet. Even though I haven't tried the ganache load in a bittersweet one yet.

So I'm open to any advice, etc. anyone has to offer.

Thanks in advance!

2317/5000

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Does a photo show it golden brown?

I think you need to get over your discomfort with the fact that the cakes are acting "uncooked" in the center at the recommended cooking time, and try it once. You've got a liquid pocket in there, it's not going to act solid.

Hit it with a torch afterwards to brown it slightly on top.

I've had trouble removing small molten cakes, so I cut a small piece of baking parchment to line the bottom, with a tag to pull it out by. Then, when the cakes are baked and completely chilled (in the fridge) I run a butter knife around the edge to loosen and pull each out, still cold and shapely. Refrigerate til you need them, then put on a plate, 15 seconds in the microwave, and it's all liquidy again.

If the cakes are really rich (mine are) their butterfat may be cementing them to the walls and bottoms of the baking pan. I put the foil-covered cold pan back in a hot oven for about 3 minutes, which melts any surface butter without warming up the cakes.

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I made those cakes for a dinner party I had (all chefs and pastry chefs) from the New York Times recipe they ran last year. Everyone thought it was seriously icky.

I have seen a chef here in Montreal who does something quite smart with the white chocolate "moelleux," he serves three small ones, make that very small ones, next to a regualr dark chocolate molten cake.

On it's own, I find the white version of this cake far too cloying. So the smaller, the better

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Bill Yosses gave me the recipe for that cake last year and it came out ok (everyone loved it), but not the same as the way it does in the restaurant. When he makes it, its really great. I recall his being a lot firmer than what I ended up with when I tried. I had problems with unmolding it and it collapsing too, but it was definetly molten.

Mike

The Dairy Show

Special Edition 3-In The Kitchen at Momofuku Milk Bar

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The type of white chocolate used will probably matter. They all melt so differently.

I'm with Lesley though, a serving of hot and molten white chocolate would be too much for me.

I was using Cocoa Noel, 30%, white pistoles.

The cake is actually nice, lot's of vanilla flavour.

I was thinking of serving it as a 'Black 'n' White' plate, with white chocolate mousse on the chocolate cake, and a deep chocolate creme on the vanilla white choc cake, with a nice acidic sauce, maybe passion fruit, to cut through.

2317/5000

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Having picked myself up and dusted such self off after the above posters' ruminations. I feel that I may contribute something to the thread.

"all found the cake seriously icky" was obviously a misspelling of "seriously tricky" so I will now try to illuminate the "trick"

The adaptation from professional recipe to home recipe is fraught with peril. I proposed the easiest solution which was the aluminum ramekin and I obviously underestimated the readership.

At the restaurant, the mold I use is a stainless ring 2"h x 3"d which is baked at 325F for 10 minutes, removed to the plate, and then cut away with a paring knife allowing minimal handling of the cake and we can cook it just until the walls coagulate; the ideal solution.

I notice in the Food Arts recipe the baking time was deleted, too bad.

But, as the above posters rightfully recognize, we are looking for golden brown and, more importantly, resistance to the touch to indicate that the cake is ready. Too soft, the cake will fully collapse and be too liquid/molten, too firm, and it will be, ahem, "dense" or "soggy".

Capturing the cake at its moment of perfection is the trick.

I recommend greasing well the base of the aluminum mold or cutting a parchment paper circle to cover the bottom and ease the delivery, tapping it gently upside down onto the plate.

Failing that, the ring mold is still the best solution, they are available from most kitchen supply places such as Bridge or J.B. Prince.

I doubt that altitude affected this cake. I have made it in Denver and it came out well.

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Firstly, let me thank you for taking the time to address the situation, very, very kind of you.

So, 325 for 10 minutes, that helps a bunch.

And I wasn't wrong about wanting to feel the top being done, correct?

As I said before, it felt a bit soft at first.

The altitude thing was a bit of a cop out, I will readily admit.

It's just that I'm a pretty good cook, and this ( and other ) molten cake recipes have seriously kicked my ass a few times and left me wondering...

Anyways, will be trying your advice soon.

And again, can't thank you enough for your help, advice and consideration!

All the best to you, sir!

Edited by tan319 (log)

2317/5000

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Hi Bill,

I see this is your first post. Welcome to eGullet. :smile:

Actually I am a pastry chef and I made it in a a stainless steel ring, the same way I make my regular molten cake. The results were perfect light golden brown with a firm wall and molten center.

The hot oozing white chocolate was what turned everyone off (I used Valrhona). White hot chocolate is another tough one for me.

I really do admire the way you adapted this recipe for white chocolate. That's why I tried it in the first place. And I love white chocolate. Heat just seems to bring out its richness. I ate two of them, but I don't think one of my guests ate a whole one (then again, they were all French, and the French aren't wild about anything too sweet).

Sorry to start you off on a negative note. I'm sure you have a million more recipes that I would adore. And again, BRAVO for developing such a fun variation on the mi-cuit. :smile:

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Welcome to egullet Bill.

Thanks for the tips, I used ring molds too, but I don't think that I baked the cakes to the right color/firmness. I'll definetly try again soon.

Lesley, check out the archives of the times and try Bill's lemon cake.

Mike

The Dairy Show

Special Edition 3-In The Kitchen at Momofuku Milk Bar

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I'm very excited to see Chef Yosses posting and clearing things up! Welcome!!!

I can't wait to give this a try. Any chance I could talk you into posting the lemon cake mentioned or someone into providing a link? I've had problems accessing the Times site before.

Just out of curiosity-what do you reccomend as an accompaniment to the white molten cake? Also, can you handle them the same way as dark-freezing and re-heating?

Thank-you.

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hi bill!

hope all is well!

one of my cooks ate dinner at your place last night and had the cake in question.

she and her friend loved it and thought it was the best part of meal, they also really, really liked the 12 bean ice cream that went with.

nkaplan@delposto.com
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Lemon pound Cake

3 lemons

2 3/4 cups AP flour

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream

6 large eggs

11 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, still warm.

FOR THE GLAZE

6 lemons

2 cups confectioner's sugar

-preheat oven to 350f. grease a 9x 4 loaf pan or two 6x3 loaf pans with non stick vegetable spray , line with parchment. spray paper. grate zest of 3 lemons , supreme them.

-into a bowl of a mixer, sift flour, sugar, baking powder and begin mixing at low speed, add zest, creme fraiche, lemon segments, their juice and beat in eggs 1 x 1 , then warm butter added slowly while the mixer is running (be sure the batter is emulsifying; opaque at this point). Pour into the prepared loaf pan(s). Bake at 350f for one houror until a paring knife comes out clean.

- for the glaze, juice the six lemons, bring to a boil and add confectioner's sugar and stir well then transfer into a pan wide enough to accept the loaf.

When the pound cake is done, let it cool and then remove from loaf pan and set into the lemon soak, and squeeze gently to make the cake absorb the juice. Turn cake over and repeat all around. Return the cake to a greased baking sheet or cooling rack over a pan and return to oven for 5 minutes to "set the glaze. Be careful handling it, it is very easy to break.

yield 12 servings.

Vanilla Cake gets vanilla ice cream here

it can not be reheated.

Thank you for your welcome greetings, I am a big fan of the site.

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Thank you for your  welcome greetings, I am a big fan of the site.

Thank you for the lemon pound cake recipe. :cool:

<rolling out the big red carpet>

Welcome Chef Yosses!

edit: this post needed a bit of dressing up with some colouring :raz:

Edited by beans (log)
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Bill-Very happy to see you're a fan of E-Gullet!!!

I still remember your desserts from my visit more than a year ago ( at the chocolate show...) I tasted everything on your menu then and, I can say that I'm a fan of your desserts :rolleyes:

Patrice Demers

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This whole exchange encapsulates why I love eGullet. Such constructive feedback, and from the creator himself!

Where else would this happen?

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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Warm Vanilla Cake with 12-Vanilla Bean Ice Cream - photo from the Citarella website - beautiful.

Welcome Chef. What is plated under the ice cream please? Is the online menu current? Also, how often do you change your menu?

Thank you.

And I'm going to be spending some time at Rungis this week.

Edited by loufood (log)
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Warm Vanilla Cake with 12-Vanilla Bean Ice Cream - photo from the Citarella website - beautiful.

Welcome Chef. What is plated under the ice cream please? Is the online menu current? Also, how often do you change your menu?

Thank you.

And I'm going to be spending some time at Rungis this week.

Thanks for posting the link to that site, loufood.

Chef Yosses menu reads beautifully. Really interesting items.

That's a vanilla gelee under and around the cake with the 12 bean ice cream.

Man, I miss NYC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2317/5000

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Thank-you so much for sharing your recipes Chef Yosses. After I asked you what you served this with- my issue of Food Arts arrived, clearing things up for me.

Your lemon cake sounds great. I'm thinking they'd make nice mini cakes for my petit four trays. I can't wait to try your recipes.

Any future plans or highlights happening that you'd consider sharing with us? Do you see a book in your future?

Thanks for the link Loufood!

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[ .

.

That's a vanilla gelee under and around the cake with the 12 bean ice cream.

I was wondering what makes the vanilla gelee ORANGE in color :wacko:

Jason

P.S. - Chef Yosses, I hear that they are changing the name of the restaurant and was wondering if you would indulge us on what you think it should be called.

Thanks

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[ .

.

That's a vanilla gelee under and around the cake with the 12 bean ice cream.

I was wondering what makes the vanilla gelee ORANGE in color :wacko:

Jason

P.S. - Chef Yosses, I hear that they are changing the name of the restaurant and was wondering if you would indulge us on what you think it should be called.

Thanks

Jason, don't know if you noticed in the gelee recipe, but it has orange zest in it :wink:

2317/5000

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Jason, don't know if you noticed in the gelee recipe, but it has orange zest in it :wink:

Ted, No, I did not see that. I wrote the question after looking at the dessert on the Citarella website, not having the Food Arts issue in front of me. Went home and took another look and saw that there was orange zest in it, my bad.

Although :unsure: , I would unfortunately be a little weary with that dessert presented in front of me if I was told there was a vanilla gelee and all I saw was a gelee that was orange in color. I would expect a vanilla gelee to be pretty clear with black specks, but then again, that's just me.

Thanks again,

Jason

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