Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Chocolate Birthday Cake

Calling all chocolate lovers!!

For my boyfriend's birthday two weeks ago, I wanted to make something a little different than the regular cocoa-sponge and cocoa-buttercream (he loves chocolate almost as much as I do!)

When I was in Harvard back in 2011, I purchased the 'flour' cookbook by Joanne Chang. Joanne was a Harvard business grad turned pastry chef who has three neighbourhood cafe-bakeries in Boston (which I am ashamed to say I have not visited...yet!) 

This book would be a great Christmas present as it is innovative, indulgent and takes the fear out of more complicated projects such as homemade pastries (watch this space!) It's a beautifully laid out book, with a practical gloss-hardback cover and really is a foodie's dream!

Due to lack of certain ingredients, and wanting to bake a cake and not cupcakes, I made numerous adjustments to the recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes with Crispy Magic Frosting.

*Note that the book requires Dutch-processed cocoa (or alkalized unsweetened cocoa poweder); this is treated with an alkali so that its natural acidity is neutralized and it has a stronger flavour. It does not react with baking soda- which is why it must always be used with baking soda and is not interchangeable.
Not a huge fan of red... :P

This recipe is also known as 'dump cake' because it's so easy, you just dump everything into the one bowl! :) However it does need to sit for at least an hour in order to thicken the batter. This is not a cake to be made in a hurry- you've been warned!

The air bubbles will also disperse once the batter sits.

56g good quality chocolate (I used Lidl's 76%), chopped
30g Bourneville cocoa
200g ganulated sugar
114g unsalted butter
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 egg yolk (keep the egg white as it can be used for another recipe within the next day)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
140g self-raising flour

  1. Grease two 6-inch cake pans.
  2. In a Pyrex bowl, combine the chocolate and cocoa powder.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat the sugar, butter and water over medium high heat, whisking occasionally for 3-4 minutes, until butter is melted and sugar is totally dissolved.
  4. Pour hot mixture into the chocolate and cocoa bowl and whisk (using a handheld mixer) until chocolate is completely melted and the ingredients are fully mixed.
  5. Whisk milk, egg, egg yolk and vanilla into the mixture until thoroughly combined.
  6. Dump the flour into the bowl and mix until combined.
  7. Let batter sit for at least one hour to allow the batter to thicken. It can sit in an airtight container for up to three days in a fridge.
  8. 20 mins before baking, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  9. Bake for about thirty minutes or until the top of the cake is springy to touch.
  10.  I used ordinary buttercream icing, as you've seen on the blog before. As per usual, ice when cool.
  11. To decorate I used miniature chocolate chips, I think these reflected the intense chocolate flavour of the cake. Of course you could also pipe a sentiment if time allows.

This cake is guaranteed to make the birthday boy or girl smile!

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