Learning 2 Bake from Scratch – XXXVII

Chocolate Baguette with Lemon

“Why on Earth?” is a fair question. I’ve been experimenting with baguettes. Brian Lagerstrom is my inspiration for that:

I’ve not had good luck. I don’t get much rise in the oven. I believe this is due to the last rise and slicing the top. I will probably never find out because it’s just too much bother. I like homemade bread, but sandwich bread takes about three hours with two interruptions and about 30 minutes of my time. This takes six hours with many interruptions and hours of my time. I just don’t care that much about bread. That said, I did get the malt powder. Between that and a poolish, the taste is great.

I also saw a great chocolate cake recipe from Erin McDowell:

The Laird has been asking for Lemon bars. So, I asked, “which do you want?” He polled the group and the answer was, “a chocolate baguette with lemon frosting.” So be it.

As for why it looks more like a log than a baguette: Those branch-stumps are supposed to be the slits in the bread that opened up in the oven. I can barely bake; don’t expect frosting art.

It’s basically half the chocolate cake recipe with lemon extract in the frosting instead of vanilla. I made the top and bottom in an Italian bread pan (with much aluminum foil to make it batter-compatible). I did the ganache ring with pudding filling and slapped them together. The dark “frosting” is some of the pudding filling.

There was much group surprise that I actually did it. They liked it. I never tasted the whole thing at once. All of the pieces were yummy, but I must say that I don’t really care for lemon with chocolate. The cake is perfect: Chocolatey, moist, holds together, sprang in the oven, etc… The pudding filling is amazing. I can’t remember the last time I made pudding (it’s annoying), but wow. As for the ganache, well…

What did I learn? I wanted a lemon glaze-ish thing, so I tried to make the ganache with white chocolate. Yes, I know white chocolate isn’t really chocolate, but it seemed worth a try. It doesn’t work. So, I added regular chocolate chips for more ganache-ness and a LOT of powdered sugar until it had a frosting consistency.

I also learned that chocolate chips from Fleet Farm don’t dissolve very well in milk. They get very grainy.

I need a dish for a pot luck on Friday. I’m thinking of making the actual cake recipe, but it creates a YUGE mess. I’m not sure I want to do another one. I need more chocolate, but the grocery store is only three blocks away, so I don’t have that as an excuse.

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