My dear friend, Julie, and I were working on a project this last winter. The project was divided into two. She had completed her part and I had completed mine. We had talked about getting together to finish the last bit up as a team. It was a day that was kinda thrown together. A bit of a spur of the moment. It stemmed from a quick phone call several days ahead of time...and was basically going to be a glorified show and tell. It went a bit like this. "Okay, Julie, I will make the focaccia loaves and you can bring the Creamboats, I will take care of the props and I will see if Kim still wants to take some pictures. Fine. I am so excited, too. See you Thursday!"
My friend Kim had offered to help with pictures...bless her heart, and Julie and I have a one track mind ...FOOD. Anything to do with food. This includes food presentation, organic substitutions, vintage dishes, kitchen appliances and it filters down to old tablecloths, cute aprons, theme dinners and...you get the idea. We are just a bit obsessed. To say the least.
Julie arrived at my house with a pastry box of CHOCOLATE CREAMBOATS and a BIG SMILE. We experimented with the props, snacked on the bread and talked, talked,talked. I felt like a little girl who had just invited her best friends over to play dolls for the morning. We had so much fun. We were literally giddy by the time we were done.
We had made a mess with bowls, kitchen scales, napkins, straws, votive holders, yogurt glasses, milk and everything else one might need for a "photo shoot" and recipe testing.
After the girls left, the only thing I could think about was when we might be able to squeeze it into our busy schedules AGAIN...That was one big mess I did NOT mind cleaning up!
Preheat oven to 350°F
Demarle Éclair tray
Makes 6 Creamboats
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup brewed coffee
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Cakes: In a small bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sugar and oil until well mixed. Add vanilla and almond extracts. Add flour mixture alternately with coffee, whisking just until smooth. Add vinegar, mixing briefly.
3. Place silicone tray on top of perforated tray. Scoop batter into Éclair tray, filling them almost to the top. Bake in preheated oven for 22 to 25 minutes, or until top springs back slightly when lightly touched. Cool cakes in pan on a rack for 10 minutes, before carefully removing from tray to a rack to cool completely.
4. Filling: In a large bowl using a hand mixer, add the powdered sugar and shortening, beating until mixed. Add the soymilk and vanilla, beating well. Turn the mixer up to high and whip for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until very light and fluffy.
5. Spread or pipe filling on the top half of 6 of the cakes. Place the 6 remaining cakes over the filling, topside down.
Copyright 2009 Julie Hasson http://www.everydaydish.tv/
Vanilla Creamboats: Substitute your favorite vanilla or yellow cake or cupcake recipe for the chocolate.
For a healthier dessert, use 3/4 whole wheat pastry flour and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour in the recipe. Use organic sugars and flours.