Sunday, June 26, 2011

26/99: Chocolate Feather Bed

I've been looking forward to this cake for quite a long time. The picture in Rose's book looks absolutely divine. 

Note to the taste tester or the interested baker: this cake can give you a heart attack. Oh my goodness. Here's the chocolate that was just in the ganache:

That same amount was put in the cake itself. That's 16 oz of chocolate. Needless to say, this cake was definitely one of the more pricey ones because of it's chocolate requirements.

First I made the ganache since it had to sit for two hours.  You make a typical ganache with heavy cream, chocolate (lots of chocolate) and vanilla. Then you stick it in the fridge or put it in an ice bath if you aren't patient.  I went for the ice bath option.

After it gets to the right temperature, you just whip it up and it turns into fluffy heaven.

Then for the génoise (sponge cake) itself.  If you've been reading along, you've probably noticed that I've gotten pretty confident with my génoises.  Once I figured out the egg thing, I felt like I had it down.

So onward I went.  You have to make two of these cakes to have the right serving amount so I mixed up the first batch first and stuck it in the oven.  Each batch calls for 6 eggs. SIX eggs. That's a dozen eggs in the whole cake.

So first, I mixed the yolks and sugar and then added the chocolate.


Then it's time for egg white bliss. 6 egg whites along with some cream of tartar and sugar rise a whole lot in the mixer.

Next you fold your two mixtures together...

Then you're done. Stick it in the oven in a nice 17 1/4 by 12 1/4 half-sheet pan and a few minutes later you have a delicious smelling chocolate génoise.

So then I started on batch two.  I separated my eggs as before and gawked at how many eggs I was using. Check it out:

There goes my breakfast protein. So as I weighed them out, I was supposed to have 180 grams of egg whites (not a problem because I'm using extra large eggs now) and 112 grams of yolks. 

That's when I almost had a heart attack:

9 grams short. That's about half of an egg yolk. Seriously, if a large egg is supposed to have 20 grams per yolk then why on earth don't extra large eggs have AT LEAST 20 grams?!?

What to do? Flash backs of the night of 4 génoises ran through my mind as all three cakes were entirely ruined because of the amount of egg yolks. But in this case, it's only 9 grams right? How much could it hurt? Do I really want to become that obsessive over these cakes?


The oven was quickly turned off and I threw on shoes and drove to the store. All of that worry for 9 freaking grams of egg yolk. I have become insane.

The cake turned out great though so I'm not complaining.  And now I have some eggs for breakfast.

Once it's finally done and completely cool, you cut both cakes in half and then stack them on top of each other with the ganache in between.  It gives you four layers of chocolate génoise accompanied by 4 layers of chocolate ganache.

I am definitely a fan of the chocolate feather bed.  If you don't like chocolate though, stay far away.  As one of my friends said, "I feel like I'm eating a giant chocolate bar with a fork."
On the whole it got great reviews.  Two friends said it was delicious and another said that she would definitely pay money for it at a restaurant or bakery.  All the plates got cleaned.

So success for the chocolate feather bed.  It kind of reminds me of a fancy version of a  flour-less chocolate cake that my family has often in the holiday season.  It is very intense chocolate and must be taken in small portions.  Personally, I think that's the best kind of cake.

Rose's Heavenly Cakes
batter- page 273
Light whipped ganache filling and topping- page 276


  1. Jane, that first photo is gorgeous! Love the angle and the greenery in the background. Oh and I like that you take photo of the empty egg shells!

    Your cake turned out so pretty. I didn't like this cake when I made it, too dense, too much chocolate flavor - so I fell into the same category as your friend :).

  2. We've been wrestling with the yolk weight question forever! It's a mystery. Your cake turned out perfectly. Great photos, too.

  3. It turned out beautiful! It is very heavy on the chocolate and that's why it's nice that a small piece goes a long way (that way you can enjoy it for several days). I made this cake into a Buche de Noel for a friend last Xmas. Everybody loved it! :o)

  4. Thanks! Jenn you have become my inspiration with my photos after all of the lovely things that you post. I'm trying to get better at my photography.

    Thanks for your encouragement everyone!

  5. I'm up in Oxford for a few days...I moved Ansley into the dorm for "summer college" (a program for high school students) and helped Blaise settle into his new townhouse. So if you need any taste testers...we are here for you! Ha! Seriously, your cakes look fabulous! You are inspiring me to get back into the kitchen and bake! Maybe I'll just wait till you are teaching at Viking and take you class! Love your blog!