Cake of the week is "Miette's Tomboy", a small (6") chocolate cake with raspberry mousseline (I went with the raspberry variation instead of vanilla). It all came together pretty quickly--good, because I was out of town last week on a mini-vacation, touring the Biltmore Estate with 3 friends.
The cake is an oil cake with buttermilk, and uses both some 70% cacao chocolate and cocoa powder. My only note is that the recipe says the batter will be thick, but mine was not--not as thin as the batter for the Chocolate Almond-Butter Cake, but far thinner than the usual butter cake. "Smoothing the top" with a spatula mostly managed to pop some of the bubbles in the batter instead of removing any surface irregularities, as the batter was too thin to have held any peaks. The cake baked up well, filling the odd 6"x3" cake pan and ending up with a rather gnarled looking top. Once turned out, the cake sat with a little plastic-wrap hat to keep the crust soft--I guess it helped to some degree, but I still had a fairly firm top crust.
The more complicated part was the mousseline, which involved my nemesis: beating sugar syrup into egg whites. How many of the short list of remaining cakes are going to include this step which I still find so challenging? (Answer: 2 out of 5, I think.) And the additional challenge of my Southern kitchen in the warmer parts of the year is back--with a high yesterday in the upper 80's, I had to turn on the A/C and move the thermostat down to keep my mousseline components from quickly warming past the critical 70 degree point. However, despite all that I managed an extremely fluffy mousseline--a texture it's supposed to get on standing but that seems to be the natural state of mine, not reducible to the "silky" texture that might have been easier to apply to the cake. Never mind, I opted out of trying to replicate the very elegant ruffled-edge presentation shown in RHC and slathered my fluffy raspberry-pink mousseline on my dome-topped cake with a spatula (no piping bag for me this week) until it was sort of smooth on top and peeking out between the layers on the sides. A purchased red rose and a couple of leaves for the top, and it was done.
Tasting results: the cake is a big hit--lovely chocolate flavor, very moist, no criticisms there. The mousseline was less popular. The raspberry flavor was good and (of course) nicely accented the chocolate cake, but the marshmallow-like fluffiness got thumbs down.