Ahh, three-day weekend. While I am still sulky that I couldn’t get tickets to New York Comic Con, I figure it’s the best time to finish my Paragon playthrough of Mass Effect 3 and fangirl over it. Or bake an N7 cake for my sister’s birthday, which pretty much meshes Mass Effect and baking in one go. Now that. That is sublime.
I fangirl over Bioware’s Mass Effect series a lot. It happens to be one of my favorite games, and one of my favorite science fiction universes to date. The fact that my sister adores it almost as much as I do (or probably in equal amounts) means that we both want to be N7 initiates and aspire to follow in the footsteps of FemShep. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. My fangirlness even goes so far as to knitted projects like scarves and fingerless gloves.
Now it’s gone to cake.
The thing about flourless chocolate cake is that I’m not used to baking things that don’t have flour in it. It’s just weird, and I always expect weird results from it. Take the recipe I used, for example. Flourless and gluten-free, apparently (not that I followed the whole gluten-free vanilla thing…I just used plain ole’ vanilla). And the chocolate? Well, I decided I’d use something different and went chocolate shopping at Jacques Torres after work. Not too difficult a journey, but I did get a kick out of their 2-pound, 22-dollar baking chocolate bars. I tried the milk chocolate persuasion at a friend’s, and it was delicious. But since I’m more of a dark chocolate person, I went for the dark chocolate bars.
It took a bit of time to figure out how much 12 ounces of chocolate was in a 2-pound bar (ugh, conversions), but I managed! I might have been off a few pieces of chocolate, though, but I blame my mother for stealing chocolate off my glaze measurements and my cake measurements.
And while I waited for baking to finish, I re-watched a bit of Avatar: The Last Airbender! I wonder if I should make Avatar-related baked goods at some point in time…
Bam, glaze. You know, for a flourless cake, the health-factor doesn’t seem very good. I must have used quite a bit of butter on the recipe alone, and then we add some more on the chocolate. Mmm…butter.
To be honest, the baking wasn’t the hardest part. It’s always the decorating portion that kind of takes longer to set up and execute. Take piping chocolate, for instance. Chocolate has to be tempered, and then there’s the fact that I really didn’t want to have to wait to harden the chocolate enough for me to cut out. Which I suppose would have worked better if I wanted smoother chocolate tops, but I could have also inverted the letters too. Whatever.
Random note: Trying to put food coloring on white chocolate is NOT a good idea. I ruined a few chocolate chips doing that, which is a shame, ’cause I hate wasting chocolate. I eventually decided just to pipe the white chocolate out, wait for it to harden, and then paint over the colored bits (like the Paragon, Renegade, and the red symbol thingy after the 7).
And voila! Not the most perfect chocolate piping work, but I never did say I was a professional. Just a fan and a nerd. Yep.