Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chocolate Bull's Eye Cakes

Well - Amazing, but there were no MaryAnn pans among my arsenal. So, since I had admired other little cakes made by some of us in the past using that pan, I went to Amazon and acquired a sweet-looking MaryAnn by Nordic Ware that would produce six baskets. I considered how pretty the little basket-shaped cakes would be for all kinds tarts and short cakes in the future.

Although my finished little cakes showed the hatch-mark design, I thought, in retrospect, that I possibly should have filled the cups with more than 3/4 full of batter. In comparison to the other, plain, MaryAnn pans, these seemed somehow smaller. And then, I figured it out:

Of course, and more to the point, the answer just could be the faulty genoise batter-folding by me, causing them not to rise properly, fully, when filled to the 3/4-point specified. 
Yes, indeed, there was actually a huge problem for me with the genoise this time.


In the first place, I made it in my smaller lift-top KA. Now, I have a problem folding in the flour in this more narrow bowl, and I know that. Also, for some odd reason, I decided to use the slotted spatula instead of the whisk - Wrong decision! I began getting Wondra flour-egg-foam-gunk on the thing, and couldn't get it to fold without accumulating more thick stuff - 
Finally, I took the KA whip to fold with, and things got a little better; and then the beurre noisette and egg foam mixture lightened it up some more. But, I am certain this genoise didn't like that treatment one bit! Why should it do it's lovely job as genoise after being manhandled?!

Fortunately, these delicate little genoises didn't decide to totally punish me for my carelessness, and they managed to come forth with a small basket weave showing. They were very fragile, not plump and tall like those from other MaryAnn pans. Kind of adorable, in their own way, just sitting there, daring me to touch them lest they dissolve.  

When cool, and still hoping for the best, I carefully drenched the little cakes with the Grand Marnier syrup - no apricot eau de vie in the house, or Cognac; I do have some Armagnac, but decided against it. Then I glazed the outside of the cakes with the apricot glaze, also with a little more of the Grand Marnier in it [orange flavor of brandy of Grand Marnier must have some affinity with apricots]. I ran out of glaze; I think it was too thick.
It was only when I saw Marie's post with her beautifully glazed cake interiors, that I realized, sadly, I had entirely forgotten to glaze the interior bottoms of mine at all. I know that glazing would have given them an extra lilt of flavor from under the chocolate filling. Also, I had to make more chocolate filling.

I feel that next time it would only be prudent for me to double the batter recipe and make more cakes. Since I ran out of all apricot glaze, chocolate filling, and drizzle this time, I shall prepare double in case I come up short again. For me, it is too time consuming to make just six little cakes. And - I shall also revert to the Prince whisk, along with my larger KA standing for the folding.

Finally, I would like to acquire another MaryAnn pan. There is one by Chicago Metallic on Amazon with 12 cavities for $35. Hmm - 
After all, this is a marvelous dessert, and I do intend to prepare it again soon; this time can be considered a dress rehearsal, with great revues.


  1. ב''ה

    Looks great! Love the pan and love the mint leaves! :)

  2. Love the raspberry pairing. Super cute pan!!

  3. I love NordicWare pans, they are so intricate and useful. As for your bulls eye cakes, they are works of art. Defnitely could be sold in a bakery :)

  4. Joan, your little cakes are soo pretty!! I have to check the pans out!

  5. Wow! such lovely supportive responses. Makes all the remaking of filling and glaze worthwhile. I haven't seen anyone else so far who ran out of everything. I could be accused of gobbling up all that deliciousness lol.

  6. I love the addition of the raspberries and mint--very elegant! I had JUST enough filling, as they were a little low and not on the brink of overflowing with decadence like the one in the book. Definitely could have used more, if only for personal enjoyment :)

  7. Your little cakes are adorable and I like your presentation with the mint and raspberries. Good job!! I bet they were yummy.

  8. They look delish!!! I like the basket weave texture in the cake too.

  9. these are absolutely darling and beautifully made!

    check out

  10. i'm so glad you did this bc i'm planning to do strawberry shortcakes in exactly this pan! they looked adorable. and you're right: they are smaller than the chicago metallic pans which are 2/3 cup. these are 1/2 cup. if you make it again, i would still only fill 3/4 full because i suspect by the extra working of the batter you didn't get quite as high a rise so the full recipe might be a bit too much (six 2/3 cup pans=4 cups while six 1/2 cup pans only = 3 cups!) anyway--great job!!!

  11. Hi Joan :)

    Oh my, it's been far too long since I've visited your lovely blog.

    I love adding new pans to my arsenal too :). Your bullseye cakes look perfect!!

    Thanks for your lovely comment on my Prince William Chocolate Biscuit Cake. I used dark chocolate inside the cake, but I used bittersweet outside (only because I didn't have enough dark choc. to do the whole thing). You should feel free to use your favorite chocolate - I don't think it matters really. I should mention the biscuits don't soften much in the cake - they stay very cookie like.

    Take care,

  12. I've been looking at this pan since we began this baking adventure. You've convinced me to go buy it! Your cakes turned out lovely.

  13. It gave me great quinces, and the recipe that I am not happy, I am very grabs! thank you in advance
    I board a good recipe already dealt a site like this