Sunday, August 8, 2010

Shattercake and Asian Food

Last night we joined some very good friends for an incredible night of Asian food. The last time they came to our house for dinner, Elizabeth made the mistake of telling us that James made a pretty mean Moo Shu Pork. We begged them to invite us for dinner and yes, the Moo Shu Pork was mean.

We had pork dumplings that were to die for...

IMG_5042

And while James was slaving over a hot wok, Elizabeth, Dave and I rolled some California rolls.

IMG_5034

IMG_5035

They were big and lumpy and....delicious!

IMG_5044

We saw very little of the children, but once Anna Jane realized that the adults had different food than the kids, she had to try everything. She popped dumplings in her mouth until they were all gone.

She tried to eat her third piece of sushi with chopsticks...

IMG_5049

IMG_5052

IMG_5059

IMG_5060

Oh, forget it!

IMG_5048

We love having friends with adventurous appetites, so I tried out a new dessert. It's from Stirring Performances, the Junior League of Winston-Salem's beautiful book. Everything I've tried out of this book has been super-yummy. Buy one here!

The title of the recipe is Chocolate Torte Caramela, but James renamed it "Shattercake" for a soon-to-be obvious reason.

Shattercake
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 c butter, soft
1/2 c powdered sugar
2 egg yokes
1 tsp vanilla
1 loaf pound cake, frozen
1/3 c granulated sugar
1/2 c whipping cream

(Before I start the how-to, let me address a few things before you start. The egg yokes incorporated into the ganache are not cooked. They will be raw in the final product, so do not eat this if you are pregnant or elderly, or in any other population that should not eat uncooked eggs. We never eat uncooked eggs. Dave is over-the-top wary of food-bourne illnesses. However, while I was building the cake, Dave was eating the chocolate mixture with a spoon. Apparently it was worth the risk. We've eaten it and we are still alive.
I used a large pound cake and ended up making another batch of icing to cover it. If you use a small cake, one batch of icing should do.)


Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Let cool to room temperature.
Cream butter until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar. Add egg yolks one at a time. Beat until smooth. Beat in vanilla and cooled chocolate.
Slice the top crust from a lightly frozen pound cake and discard (or eat). The pound cake doesn't have to be frozen, it just makes it (a lot) easier to slice.

IMG_5025

Slice remaining loaf horizontally into six or seven thin layers. (My biggest obstacle in the kitchen is cutting cakes into layers, yet I continue to make layer cakes. My theory, which has been proven countless times, is that as long as it tastes good and you cover it with enough icing, you can hide any aesthetic mistakes.)

IMG_5027

If you saved the top of the cake instead of letting your husband eat it, then you can patch up any mistakes.

IMG_5028

Reserve one layer and set aside. Spread chocolate icing between cake layers and restack into a loaf. Reserve 1/2 to 3/4 cup of icing for sides of cake. (It was at this time that I wished I had more icing. I would have put more in between the layers, and I didn't have enough to cover the sides.)

IMG_5029

Place reserved cake layer on a piece of aluminum foil. Heat sugar in a heavy saucepan until melted and amber, not too dark. Pour sugar quickly over reserved cake layer to coat evenly. This cools so fast, that you have to spread the sugar as soon as you can. You really need three hands for this. Place this layer on top of the cake.

IMG_5032

Ice the sides of the cake with reserved frosting.

IMG_5063

Whip cream and use as garnish.

IMG_5064

I chose to plop the cream rather than piping. I prefer more of a rustic look because then my messiness doesn't matter. If you have a steady hand, cut your layers evenly and pipe the whipped cream. Very elegant.

The original recipe instructed you to heat a knife on a burner and use it to slice through the caramel on top. Had we stuck with that, we would still be there, 24 hours later, trying to melt through the caramel.

Instead, Elizabeth cracked shattered the top with a spoon, which gave it a pretty look and made it easier to slice.

IMG_5068



IMG_5069

Beautiful? Yes. Perfect? Nope. Delicious? OHMYGOODNESS.

I may or may not have had some for breakfast this morning, straight out of the fridge. And if I did, I will tell you to serve it cold. It's actually more delicious that way. No joke.

After an evening full of food and fun, I waddled upstairs to Elizabeth's craft room where I snuck something out of her stash.

IMG_5071

Really, she gave me this ring and she had a bedspread covered in beautiful jewelry. Please visit her shop and see all of the beautiful things she makes!

IMG_5073

Meatless Monday tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. Love the pics of Anna Jane eating with chopsticks! I once saw a sushi waitress teaching a customer's child how to use them by folding up a piece of paper (many times) as a fulcrum?? and rubber banding them together. Did I just say fulcrum on your lovely blog? Oh PS - I had seen Marissa's blog before. SHe must live somewhere warm b/c winter refashions scare me. Inspiring!

    ReplyDelete