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Monday, August 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Timothy

today is my friend Tim's 30th Birthday. He celebrated on Saturday. this year he asked me to make him a cake. some random conversation we had a few weeks ago resulted in me finding out about the Tim Cake.

When Tim was 5, his grandmother asked him what kind of cake he wanted her to bake. He listed some ingrediants and she baked him a cake with those items. and hence, the Tim Cake was created. i forget how long it's been since his grandmother made him this cake but i decided to attempt to re-create it for him.


the ingredients are as follows:
all four must be in the cake, specifically the batter. Big K and i brainstormed for about a week and come Friday, i had decided on what i was going to do.
warning, gripe coming up so i will be slightly sidetracked. i've tried, unsuccessfully, to join the Daring Bakers' blogroll. i've given up. gripe over. but i enjoy reading other people's/baker's entries every month. it's always educational. having said that, the most recent challenge was the Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream from Great Cakes by Carole Walter. i decided to make a ganache to coat the cake, as well as incorporate some of the assembling methods from this challenge. i used Use Real Butter's ganach glaze recipe/tips. her stuff always looks so tight and her instructions crystal clear. next, i used Vanilla Basil's Pecan Pralines recipe, in the hopes of using it as decorations and to munch on. i assumed it was going to be like brittle but i guess my place was slightly on the warm side and it didn't turn out right. that's ok, it reminded me of caramel and it tasted good, which was fine with me. for the cake itself, i chose François Payard's Charlie's Afternoon Chocolate Cake from his Chocolate Epiphany cookbook. naturally, i altered it to include the necessary ingredients.

Recipe modified from Francois Payard
Makes one 9-inch cake
Serves 8 to 10
  • Vegetable cooking spray, for the pan
  • All-purpose flour, for the pan
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 oz 60 percent chocolate, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray the sides and bottom of a round 9-inch cake pan with vegetable cooking spray. Dust it with flour, shaking off the excess, and set aside.

2. Bring the butter to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir a couple of times to prevent it from burning. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate to the pan. Stir the mixture until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

3. Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until well combined. Add the flour mixture and mix well.

4. Add the chocolate to the batter and stir until the mixture is just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.

5. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 300°F and bake for an additional 8 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely in the pan. Unmold, and serve.

**My notes:
i used 1/2 cup of cocoa. i also took out 2tbls of sugar to add in the cinnamon. i folded in a cup of coconut flakes and 1/4 cup of chopped pecans in the end before baking. buttermilk was added to the batter because i wanted the cake to be nice and moist. i ix-nayed the fifth step, i'm not structured enough to pay attention to the time and temperature. i baked the cake for about 40 minutes, till a wooden skewer came out clean and the sides pulled away from the pan.

after the cake's cooled off, cut in half. try to be as even as possible. i made a simple concoction of rum and sugar water to spray the two layers, nothing crazy tho. i also made a filling of coconut, cinnamon and crushed pecans. just a touch of cream and sugar, mix well. spread evenly on bottom layer. the filling wasn't too wet but just to be on the safe side, i let it rest for 30 minutes and had a fan blowing on it to dry up any excess liquid (i would've been mortified if the bottom cake was soggy!). in the meantime, i made the ganache. when it was ready, i put the top layer cake on. then, with a baking sheet below and the cake itself on a rack, i poured the ganache over the cake. for some reason, that was really exciting to me. i don't know why.

just watching the glaze ooze over the sides and then with minimal help with my spreader, it all evened out. in the fridge it went for two hours while i started the cleaning process. prior to leaving the house, i added some toasted coconut flakes to the side and cut up the pecan pralines on top. fin.
the cake came out well. very well. Tim loved it, which was the whole point of making it. his friends liked it and thankfully, there was some leftover for him to enjoy today.

what i've learned:
baking takes forever, in my case, most of my saturday. decorating is not my forte.


Happy Birthday Timothy!


  1. I must admit I did not really read the story, but the picture is beautiful!

  2. ok, i think i'm jealous that you have a candy thermometer.