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Friday, July 20, 2012

Start with the Basics

I've been in the casting process this week for the next play I'm directing, On Golden Pond.  Do you know the movie?  It had Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda as a couple in their late 70s who return to the same rural cabin in Maine every summer that they bought when they were newly married.  That's really about it for the plot, except for a subplot concerning their adult daughter and her difficult relationship with her father.
The movie came out when I was nine or ten, and I loved it.  What nine-year-old loves On Golden Pond?  I think mostly it was because I was obsessed with Katharine Hepburn.  As an aside, do you know if you type the name "Katharine" into Google, the first entry is for Katharine McPhee, who was on American Idol, and not Katharine Hepburn?  That just seems wrong.

Most people are nervous when they come audition.  The thing they don't know is that I'm nervous, too, because I really want to find the right people. 
It's a little like having the right ingredients--if the basics are solid, it's much harder to screw up the end product.
This month's Cake Slice pick didn't initially interest me--a loaf cake of frozen mousse sandwiched with chocolate wafers.  However, the mousse is simple and delicious.  I made a few adaptations to use coffee rather than espresso beans, and Kahlua rather than Frangelico because I don't think I've ever had Frangelico in the house.
We served it for the Bastille Day dinner, and it was delicious.  Better yet, I was able to make it a day ahead of time and didn't have to worry about it the day of the dinner party.
Frozen White Chocolate-Espresso Loaf Cake
Adapted from The Cake Book  by Tish Boyle
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp. powdered gelatin
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup ground coffee
9 oz. good-quality white chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. Kahlua liqueur
Nabisco chocolate wafers
Line a large loaf pan with plastic wrap, ensuring that the ends of the wrap hang out of the pan.
To make the mousse, pour the water in a small coffee cup and sprinkle the powdered gelatin over it.  Let it sit for five minutes.  In the interim, make a small sachet out of cheesecloth (I used an old linen tea towel) and put the ground coffee in it.  Place the sachet and 1/2 cup of the cream in a small saucepan.  Bring the cream to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat and set it aside for at least fifteen minutes.
Place the coffee cup in the bottom of another small saucepan or skillet and add water until it comes halfway up the side of the cup.  Bring the water to the boil and stir the gelatin until it is totally dissolved.  Then turn off the heat and set the pan aside.
Remove the coffee sachet from the cream, squeezing it to release excess liquid.  Put the saucepan back on the heat and let it come to a boil.  Put the chocolate in a medium bowl, then pour the hot cream and gelatin over it.  Whisk the hot liquid into the chocolate until it is completely melted, then whisk in the vanilla and Kahlua. 
Let the chocolate mixture cool.  Then pour the remainder of the cream in a medium bowl and whip it to the soft peak stage using a hand mixer on medium speed.  Fold in the white chocolate mixture in three installments.
To make the cake, pour about one and a half cups of the mousse over the bottom of the loaf pan and smooth it.  Spread one of the chocolate wafers with a dollop of the mousse and press it against the long side of the pan.  Continue placing the chocolate wafers in rows in this same manner--you may need to break wafers in half to get to the end of the pan. 
When you put the second row in, make sure the wafers are sandwiched against the first row.  Continue until you have put it as many rows as possible, then carefully pour the remaining mousse in and spread it evenly.  Cover the pan with plastic wrap, ensuring that it is touching the mousse.  Freeze for at least four hours, or overnight.

To unmold, lift the edges of the plastic wrap.  Cut into 3/4 inch slices and allow them to stand a few minutes at room temperature before serving.
Makes approximately ten slices.

55 comments:

  1. i've not even heard of that play / film!
    Your cake looks great :)

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    1. Ooh, you need see it. It's such great film about a couple growing old together.

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  2. I remember that one! I also remember waking up and it was all over ... hey, I was pretty young then too! and not too obsessed with either stars :)
    I'd like to audition for the part of the person who gets to eat this cake please. Yum!

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  3. Looks great!!! :) I am glad you liked it! using Kahlua sounds like a great choice!

    Paloma.

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  4. Wow! What an amazing cake! I love that it's a chilled dessert because it is a million degrees outside!

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    1. It's definitely one of the benefits of this cake, plus it's pretty easy once you get the hang of the sandwiching technique with the wafers!

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  5. that looks delicious. never get wrong to combine chocolate and coffee, and good luck for your next play, the story sounds interesting for me :)

    Cheers

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  6. I always admire Katherine Hepburn's dressing style and she not only looks good in her own ways but amazing clothes to suit her.

    Looking at the cake, I don't think I can make the same, nice and you sure can bake very well.

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    1. Yes! Katharine Hepburn had such amazing style. She wasn't the most gorgeous actress, but she had a wonderful face and a distinct way of wearing clothes.

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  7. I have gooot to see this movie!

    What a gorgeous cake! I'm salivating over here ;)
    Twitter: @aSquishyMonster

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  8. I haven't heard or seen the movie!But your cake looks stunning!I love the addition of Kahlua in there!Lovely chocolate and coffee flavors and absolutely perfect for this hot summer :)

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  9. Saw the movie. Saw the play. Love Katharine Hepburn. But I'm old. That said - I do like the simplicity of the dessert - just the right touch of summer sweetness and a little coffee flavoring always makes me sing. Best of luck with the casting. I hated having to choose - and I worked with young people and just saw their yearnings.

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    1. I had a bunch of boys audition for the part of the 13-year-old. They were all good in their own ways, and it's so hard to let the others down.

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  10. Oh, yeah, this is a winner! Perfect for company. Perfect for summer. I'm old, too...I remember that movie!

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  11. That looks so great! Good luck with the auditions!

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  12. I used Kahlua as well. My loaf is still in the freezer hopefully mine turns out as good as yours :)

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  13. First of all let me say that this cake would be quite dangerous in this house! I would definitely be fighting Bobby over it, of course that is if I even let him see it. :) I do remember On Golden Pond. I personally enjoyed the movie, but I do remember when it came out a lot of reviews and people at the church were very upset with Audrey Hepburn's language. Of course I was living in the bible belt at the time, so I guess that response was expected. Good luck on your play!

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  14. This looks wonderful. On Golden Pond was a good movie. Good luck!

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  15. I love ON GOLDEN POND. I have seen the movie several times!! I was 11 when it came out... but I love it still today. It's such a great movie about relationships! Katherine Hepburn rules.. certainly not Ms. McPhee. What a great dessert! I'm sure it made great ending to the meal. :)

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    1. I have watched "Smash" a couple of times, and while Katharine McPhee isn't a bad singer, she's definitely NOT an actress.

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  16. I've not seen the film but I've been to the lake location - beeeeeautiful. What a gorgeous summery cake - I can't act to save my life but would sneak into the auditions for a slice of this !

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    1. It's a real place? I had no idea! Now I must spend too much time Googling it.

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  17. I've never seen or heard of On Golden Pond, sorry. But good luck finding the right cast :)

    And your cake looks amazing! I'm sorry it's taken me this long to look at it, but I was up in the Mountains for the weekend.

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  18. L.O.V.E On Golden Pond, saw it numerous times! Good luck with the casting.

    Your dessert came out a winner!

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  19. I like that movie and many other movies Katharine Hepburn played, esp. with Spencer Tracy.
    The cake looks marvelous!

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    1. Ooh, the Hepburn-Tracy movies are awesome. I can't quite pick my favorite, but it might be "Desk Set."

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  20. I've never seen anything like this before, it looks great! You're right too; if the ingredients are good the end product will be too. Best of luck with the play!

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  21. oooo.. that looks sooo good to me.

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  22. Your cake looks fantastic my friend :D - And I like the analogy, you are so right about needing a strong base!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  23. I love Katharine Hepburn too! She had something unconventional and rebellious in her figure that I adored! Trying to find the right people is always a very hard task. I always believed that if you find the right person to do the job, then you have walked more than half the way towards the end. The cake look terrific!

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  24. that looks like one delicious cake! i'll take a slice please!

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  25. I never saw On Golden Pond. I shy away from any movie that even HINTS at making me cry.
    Love that cake. Mmmmmmm :)

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  26. I commend you; I don't think I could ever handle directing a play! And I don't think this frozen treat looks boring. I think it looks delicious!

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  27. I know the movie but not sure if I saw it. OMG, rofl, that is almost a classic family dessert we have on my mom's side. We do a lot more wafers and just whip cream and sugar, stacked horizontally. We call it a crispack, its been a family thing for at least 50 years yet no one knows the origins.

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    1. I love knowing that there is a variation on it, since I have a bunch of leftover chocolate wafers to be used.

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  28. This is amazing! I have never seen such a thing.

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  29. White chocolate and Kahlua, awesome flavor combo! And I remember On Golden Pond, great film. Good luck on your play, I'm sure it will be great!

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  30. What a cool effect! This looks perfect! Subscribed so that even without Buzz, I won't miss a post! I would love it if you would follow me too!

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  31. Thi looks like a fabuloius dessert to have on a hot summer day. i love the flavor combinations.

    I do remember "On Golden Pond." Was it Hepburn's last film. She was also one of my favorite actresses. Good luck with casting the play!

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    1. It was not her last film, but it was one of her last lead roles. I think her last film was that Warren Beatty remake of "An Affair to Remember." And with that, I have officially exposed myself as a film geek.

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  32. White chocolate and espresso is a great combination and this cake looks incredibly delicious. Good luck with your play. :)

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  33. I loved that movie and it was great to see it win so many awards. It didn't occur to me that it's also a play. I imagine the play was written first and the movie is an adaptation? I remember all the hype of the Fondas being in the same film. Good luck casting your play and directing it - that's a huge challenge. I hope you'll share some photos xx

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  34. Interesting. I never thought that the judges can be nervous when someone comes in for audition. That's a good point. I hope you will find a good candidate for your next play and I do love to see backstage photos!! :D

    I love dessert that has espresso and your cake sounds fabulous!

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    1. There should be lots of photos ahead, and I'll make sure to post some here.

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  35. Good luck with your play.
    This cake sounds and looks fantastic!

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  36. What a fun cake! Good luck with the play!

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  37. Good luck with your play! For the record, I would DEVOUR this! =]

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  38. Krista! I'd love to talk to you about featuring your blog! ... I don't have your e-mail address but if you are interested please send me an e-mail to: love.for.coffee@gmail.com

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  39. I love on Golden Pond, just watched it the other night along with The African Queen. Good luck with the play!!! This cake looks so incredible, perfect for a hot Florida summer day!

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    1. Wow, what a great movie marathon. You can never go wrong with a Kate movie.

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  40. Mmmm!!! This looks absolutely perfect for a cool summer treat. I know it'd be a huge hit in my household. Anything with chocolate and coffee are perfect in my book. Good luck with the casting!

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  41. mousse cake? Where do I sign up?

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  42. I love that movie!! We watched it in psych or sociology in high school... can't remember why... but it became one of my favorites!

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  43. Good luck with the casting. I remember liking the movie too, and your play sounds terrific!

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  44. I will have to look up On Golden Pond. I've never heard of it. Great job on this cake!

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