Thursday, 5 May 2011

Willie's Cloud Forest Chocolate Cake & Goose Eggs

After writing my post on duck eggs nearly two years ago and seeing the picture of a goose egg there, I've been yearning to get my hands on one ever since. Goose eggs are meant to be even better than duck eggs for baking. Well, I couldn't quite believe it when I went to get my duck eggs from our local weekly produce market the other week. Right next to the duck eggs was a basket of three goose eggs. I bought one immediately. I'd only been gone about a minute when I turned around and raced back again to buy the other two. Who knew how long it might be before I'd be able to get my hands on another one? I'd been told goose eggs make particularly good fried eggs and scrambled eggs. Well it seemed a shame to scramble my first ever eggs, so we had one each, fried for breakfast that Saturday. They were enormous (see above comparison with duck egg) and virtually covered the whole plate. They also kept us going down at the plot for a good many hours.

So what was I going to use my remaining egg for? I'd been wanting to make Willie's famous cloud forest chocolate cake ever since I first saw it, but was waiting for the right occasion. Well really, what could be more special than baking with a goose egg? Willie's Chocolate Factory Cookbook was thus unearthed and I proceeded to melt his Venezuelan Black 100% cocoa. As the egg, although large wasn't quite worth 6 chicken eggs and as I only had 160g of the cocoa, I made a smaller cake than the stated one and had to estimate the quantities. This is what I did:
  • Grated 10g off the block of 100% cocoa.
  • Melted the remaining 150g over a pan of hot water with 210g unsalted butter and left to cool a little.
  • Whisked  1 goose egg (about 4 duck eggs or 5 hens eggs) with 40g light muscovado and 120g vanilla sugar (granulated) until thick and doubled in volume.
  • Poured the chocolate down the side of the bowl so as not to knock the air out of the egg mixture then proceeded to fold in as gently as I could.
  • Folded in 80g ground almonds.
  • Poured into a 22cm cake mould and baked at 170C for 30 mins.
  • Left to cool, then turned out onto a wire rack to cool further.
  • Placed onto a cake stand and scattered over the grated cocoa (which then proceeded to melt as I hadn't left the cake quite long enough to cool).
This had such a powerful chocolate smell whilst cooking, it made my stomach rumble even though I'd only just had lunch. Although the cake was meant to be iced, I thought it would be quite rich enough as it was - and it was! It was rich, dense, truffley and gorgeous. CT reckoned it was an adult only experience. The taste and aroma of chocolate was very strong. The texture was mousse like and more like a brownie than a cake. It wasn't in the least bit sweet and had a robust underlying bitterness that was a bit like beer.

28 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness it sounds fantastic. That goose egg is huge! I must try one but I don't think I have ever seen one for sale. But I did see a lovely goose at an English Heritage site over easter and I am working on Mr OC...

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  2. I had no idea you could buy goose eggs!! I've not tried duck eggs yet! Another on my long list of things to get round to then! Thanks for the inspiration :)

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  3. good lordy look at them eggs!... my good friend and neighbour down the road has a few ducks and when I was doing my mega bake off for the Gunby Hall tea room I used a couple of duck eggs and they did make amazing cakes but I preferred the scrambled eggs we got from them... bright yellow!... your cake also looks stunning, I love the way you describe that smell... I am now salivating!

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  4. yummm..chocolate cake... I agree those eggs are absolutely ginormous! I love the picture of the egg dwarfing the toast! It must have been well tasty. I'll have to keep an eye out for goose eggs!

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  5. I am actually quite sad that I really do not like duck eggs. They are just too ducky and rich for me.

    The cakes looks lovely.

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  6. Wow, those eggs are huuuuuuuge! Would like to slice into that cake right now. You do know how to tempt!

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  7. Gosh those eggs are SO huge never tried but would like to try!

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  8. Wow that is big! That's compared to a duck egg, are duck eggs much bigger than a hen egg? Either way that's still huge!

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  9. Oh my, I really can't imagine how those geese lay their ginormous eggs! It mystery be incredible having them for breakfast, they're the size of a small plate... One look at your perfect chocolate cake has MY tummy rumbling!

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  10. Mystery be incredible? Yes, that's some new lingo for 'must be incredible'... automatic dictionary's too efficient, you know!

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  11. Kath - well I guess that's one way to get your hands on a goose egg! I've always been a little scared of geese, but I hugely rate their eggs.

    Maggie - I don't think we'll ever run out of things to try - my list just keeps getting longer.

    Dom - Shouldn't the hall have a few geese wondering around their orchard? Then it would be really cool baking with really local eggs.

    Kate - goose eggs are not desperately common, but if you do come across one, get it.

    Helen - I'm a bit funny about duck eggs. They are brilliant for baking but I wouldn't want to eat one on it's own. Goose eggs are a lot milder.

    Jac - I think one of my stated aims should be as a temptress - I'd like to think that anyway ;-)

    Ananda - just cracking the shells was a bit of a feat.

    CityHippy - duck eggs vary in size, but an average one is about the size of a large hen's egg.

    Foodiva - one egg fitted my small frying pan perfectly.

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  12. I've never seen goose eggs for sale. Love the giant fried egg, what a treat!

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  13. I have never seen a goose egg before! When I saw your pic, I thought you'd found ostrich eggs!! Thanks for the feedback on the cloud cake - haven't tried it yet, but keep thinking I must, especially since I have 100% cacao in the pantry!

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  14. I'm really pleased that more people are getting to hear about goose eggs. I've been eating them for years, but finding them can be difficult. (Incidentally, I've also noticed that they tend to get a lot cheaper as you get farther away from London). My favourite way of eating them is still scrambled but omelettes taste great too, although with a different texture to hen egg omelettes. Oh and a great sounding cake too.

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  15. Good lord that egg is HUGE! I too have always wanted to make this cake but always thought it needs the right occasion. Fab ;0)

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  16. Yikes those are some huge eggs! I've never had duck or goose eggs, I'll be on the look out for them! Thanks for all the great information. BTW, the cake looks delicious! Have a wonderful weekend!

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  17. No wonder geese are so bad-tempered, trying to lay those! The cake sounds perfect though.

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  18. Janice - they are not very easy to come by, so snap them up when you can.

    Celia - these were the first goose eggs I'd seen other than in pictures. Do make that cloud cake - it is so rich and delicious.

    Phil - scrambled eggs is on the list for next time I get hold of some. I gave away a few as Easter eggs and the reports I heard back were that they made great scrambled eggs.

    Chele - find the right occasion - I put it off far too long.

    Ocean Breezes - Thanks for your good wishes. Do keep a look out for duck or goose eggs - they are so good for baking.

    Foodycat - yes, I find geese rather intimidating.

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  19. Yum - the size of that yolk is amazing!

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  20. How wonderful - Ma used to struggle to find uses for these when we were children and the geese were laying. After we revolted about another huge omelette or frittata we had a spell of her making a lot of brioche which I adore. Freshly baked it's even better than you expect

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  21. I need to stop by more often! Fabulous cake...and what an incredible egg. What fun :)

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  22. I've made the cake before - was really nervous as Willies choc is expensive and I didn't want to muck it up. Admittedly used chicken's eggs but the result was an incredibly rich, intense (and yes, I agree, 'adult' cake, although my kids tucked in) and felt quite special. Also love the name 'cloud forest chocolate'

    I've not got enough time to blog and read blogs at the moment - it's been lovely as been on holiday for a while, but hopefully back with a vengeance this week!

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  23. those eggs look gigantic - must be fun - never seen such a thing before but there are heaps of geese by the lake near us - wonder if they leave any eggs about :-) cake sounds lovely

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  24. Goose eggs? Fantastic. Will have to check this out. Your cake sounded incredible: dark and truffly, not too sweet? Wow. No wonder you didn't need to top it with anything!

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  25. Corina - yes indeed, a good ration of yolk to white.

    Oxslip - oh you grew up with geese. Were they all right? Our next door neighbours had some and I was terrified of them. Fresh brioche sounds wonderful, never had it, but it sounds a mighty fine use of these excellent eggs.

    Lizzy - thank you, it was good fun. I shall be on the look our for more of these.

    Grazing Kate - glad you had a good holiday. I'll be checking your blog to see where you went. Yes, this is indeed an expensive cake, but it is a good one. You've obviously instilled good your kids with good taste.

    Johanna - keep giggling now with a picture of you trying to steal eggs from some irate geese - they can be pretty fierce.

    Jill - Not sure how easy goose eggs would be to find in Paris, but you never know. The cake really didn't need anything extra, but one day I might just have to try it with it's topping - just to see ;-)

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  26. Wow I've never seen goose eggs for sale. I want a fried goose egg too! The cake looks fabulous. I love chocolatey, truffley tasting cake.

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  27. So many wishes. Looks like many of us are after a new kitchen. i didn't think of that one when I was making a wish. A large kitchen with lots of workspace,cupboard space, windows with sills and a kitchen table would make me a very happy woman.

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  28. We have goose eggs when we go to my uncles house as they keep geese I'd never have thought about baking cakes with them though.. looks great!!

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