Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chocolate Chocolate Cake...

I've always been a snob for good chocolate cake-which is probably the reason why I have never really tried to make one of my own..

Growing up, my mom was always cooking, and baking (mostly baking)- and the one big thing to request for during birthdays and big celebrations was her Famous Chocolate Cake.

Now I wish I could say I have the recipe on hand, but the dear mother refuses to share it with me, and thus I am in the dark. I haven't had in it oh, say 8 years already.. but I can still remember that smell of chocolate cake baking in the oven..and it's oh so deliciousness..


Sweet, but not too sweet..

Moist on the inside, yet perfectly chewy on the sides...

Yes, the sides.. mmm my favourite parts :D

And the thing is, compared to alot of chocolate cakes that I've seen, my mom's cake doesn't have that overbearing pile of frosting.. I'm not a fan of frosting only because her cakes never really had that.. although I think there was a very thin dark chocolate glaze that covered the entire cake..
Oh My! I'm drooling now thinking about it!

So aniways, last Friday was Gaya's birthday, and her hubby decided to throw her a surprise bday party (dinner+dancing+the works)!! :)

Prabu, her husband whisked her off to the salon in the afternoon (accompanied by Bel), while the rest of us came prepared to help cut, chop, and cook curry, rice, chapati, and veggies!

I decided to bake a cake for Gaya, and after discussing it with Prabu, I scrapped the Strawberry Shortcake Cake idea (which btw, I found the best looking recipe! <--I say that because I haven't exactly made it, but it looks like a winner so far ;)), and decided to go with Barefoot Contessa's Choc. Cake recipe...

It was a little two sweet, but overall I think people liked it..
-And thanks to Nishan who was a good sport and helped me bake the cake.. and even though we ran into some problems (springform pans leaking, cake too flat, cake stuck to bottom of pan, spatula dillema (tee hee!), frosting shortage..- you get the idea), I think we managed to do pretty well for first timers! :D
C'est Voila!
Barefoot Contessa's Beatty's Chocolate Cake
For the cake batter:

Butter (to grease the pans)

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good dutch cocoa powder (I used Ghiradelli)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup veggie oil
2 extra-large eggs (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Butter 2 9in round pans - line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
3. Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl and mix on low speed (or by hand) until combined.
4. In bowl #2, combine buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla.
5. With mixer on low speed, slowly add in the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Add the coffee and stir just to combine.
6. Pour batter into both pans, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, til the toothpick test comes out clean :)
7. Cool the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

For Chocolate Frosting:

6oz semi-sweet chocolate
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 extra-large egg, (room temperature)
1 1/4 cup sifted confectioners/powdered sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

1. Chop chocolate (or use chocolate chips) and melt in a double boiler. Turn of heat and let cool to room temperature.

2. In a bowl, beat butter on medium speed (or by hand) til light and fluffy (3 mins), add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating (2 mins).
3. Turn mixer on low, and gradually add in the confectioners sugar, then beat on medium speed til lsmooth and creamy.
4. Dissolve coffee powder in 2 tablespoon of hot water. On low speed, add in the coffee and melted chocolate to the butter mixture and mix til blended. (Do Not Whip!) <--Spread immediately on cooled cake.

Assembling your cake:
1. Place your cake, 1st layer flat side up on a pedestal or plate. With a knife, spread the top with frosting (don't be afraid to be generous!).
2. Place the 2nd layer, rounded side up on top of the 1st layer, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

----> (And to decorate):
Garnish with chocolate covered strawberries or fresh fruits! :D

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