Did I tell you about the 2-fold baking disaster I endured while attempting to create the Pirate's birthday cake? No? Well let me tell you about it now. I would love to know if any of you have experienced similar problems, because I am completely flummoxed by what went wrong, and I really want to try this recipe again.
The recipe was for an orange cake with white chocolate frosting. Sounds tasty, yes? I thought so too.
It was an odd recipe. There were no leaveners in the batter. Rather, the butter and suger were creamed together, then egg yolks, flour, and fresh squeezed orange juice added. The loftiness off the sponge was meant to come from the egg whites, which were beaten in to a meraingue and then folded in to the batter.
At least, that was how it was supposed to work. Here's the odd bit: I could't get the egg whites to beat stiff. I've made meraingue dozens of times before, but for some reason on this occasion I could not get those little puppies stiff. They just got all foamy, but stayed very wet and soupy. That was the strangest thing I'd ever seen... until I tried to make the frosting.
The frosting called for melting some white chocolate and folding it in to some creme fraiche. Except the chocolate wouldn't melt. I kid you not. I was using Green & Black's white chocolate, and I put it in a double-boiler so as not to over-heat it, but it wouldn't melt! It got all pasty, like mashed potatoes. I thought maybe there was some wierd additive in the chocolate, so I tried again with another brand, Nestle Milky Bar. Same result. I mean dude, WTF???
I wound up beating the creme fraiche stiff with some powdered sugar and a touch of nutmeg and just using that for the frosting. And actually, it was marvelous. So good, in fact, I'm going to do the same for my wedding cake. But I still want to know why my white chocolate wouldn't melt. Damndest this I ever saw.
Has anyone else ever had these problems? I'm baffled.