Awfully Chocolately

It’s chocolate baking day today! 🙂

ok..I have to confess that i’m not a chocolate person, yet wanting to make a chocolate cake. So I have no idea how a chocolate cake should taste like. but coincidentally, my dear carole wanted to make one today. So i grabbed a few chocolate cake recipes from Happy Home Baking and off we went to phoon huat. Here’s the end result.

Frankly we thought it will turn out quite badly as there were some small hiccups and debates during the process. 😉 But it came out really yummy! High five to Carole! 🙂

Carole’s bf likes the taste.. well since he is a chocolate person, we should trust his comments. The tasting notes were.. “the texture is moist and melts in the mouth with crunchy bananas which made the overall tasting light and not too creamy. however the amount of almond powder is rather overwhelming and needs to be adjusted”. anyway, the empty plates tell all….

Really enjoyed today’s session with Carole. It’s always fun to bake with a friend, especially we can exchange cake ideas on the spot. Shall look forward for more sessions like today. And I’m so glad there’s a blog like Happy Home Baking. It certainly brings out the baking inspiration out of me.  🙂

Ingredients: (15cm Round)

75g dark chocolate, broken up
40g golden caster sugar (I used light brown sugar)
80g unsalted butter, diced
1 tablespoon runny honey
2 large eggs, separated
100g ground almonds (almond powder)
40ml milk (I used low fat fresh milk)

chocolate ganache:
75g dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream

chocolate whipping cream for layering (Optional)
30g dark chocolate, chopped
75ml non-dairy whipping cream
2 bananas chopped in big chunks

Method:

  • Line the base of a 15cm cake pan (with removable base) with parchment paper, grease the sides with butter and set aside.
  • Separate egg yolks from whites when the eggs are still cold. Set aside to bring to room temperature.
  • Place chocolate, sugar, butter, honey in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir frequently till the ingredients melted. Let cool.
  • Transfer to a large bowl. With a manual whisk beat in egg yolks and ground almonds, then stir in the milk. (Just a few stir should get everything incorporated. The mixture will be rather thick at this stage.)
  • In a clean, dry, grease free mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, whisk egg whites until stiff. With a spatula, Fold In the beaten egg whites in 3 separate additions, into the cake mixture. (Ensure all the whites are fully incorporate into the cake mixture after every addition.)
  • Pour batter into prepared cake pan (the final batter will be less thick). Give the pan several sharp taps on a work top to bring up any air bubbles that may be trapped in the batter.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170 degC for 35-40mins, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven, let cool in the pan for about 1omins. Run a thin-bladed knife along the sides of the pan, unmold and cool right-side up.
  • Dust with cocoa powder before serving. Alternatively, if desired, spread with chocolate ganache. To make chocolate ganache: bring the heavy cream to a boil, remove from heat and add in chopped chocolate. Stir till chocolate is melted. Let cool for a few mins and spread over the cake.

Recipe source: http://happyhomebaking.blogspot.com/2008/05/chocolate-gateau.html

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Mother’s Day 2008 Special

i’ve decided to do something special for Mother’s Day this year.. bake a cake for mum! but why special? 1st.. i’ve never bake a sponge cake before .. 2nd.. this is first time i’m going to attempt frosting.. and lastly i celebrating with 3 mummies together on Vesak Day.. 🙂

i was thinking of strawberry sponge cake and off i went to surf the net. Found this perfect recipe @ Happy Home Baking. This mommy has so many ideas and receipes. She also provides tips on techniques. Great blog i would say. 

i had my first trial run today… here’s the outcome…   

and instead of one cake.. i made two.. haha.. that’s because i’ve used a 15″ round pan instead of 20″. so i gave one to my mum-in-law and the second to my hubby’s aunty living nearby.

the problems i encountered was during frosting. 1st .. i overwhipped the cream and it became watery… no choice got to get more from the supermarket.. 2nd.. i underwhipped the cream for the second cake and it’s not as stiff… 3rd.. i took an hour just to frost 2 cakes!!!! gosh.. by the end of the process.. i’m dead tired… with aching back and legs.. but looking at the results.. it’s worth the effort… 🙂

my mil thought i got it from a cake shop and was surprised that i did it myself alone… 😉 she liked the cake as it’s not too sweet and taste just right… she only commented that it needed to be a little bit softer and with more moist to be perfect.. (that’s probably due to over-baking of the cake)  😛

my hubby didn’t seemed to be interested with my cake though… well luckily it’s not for him… if not i’ll be extremely disappointed, especially on my first baking trial since secondary school.

aunty commented it looked very good for a first timer… well hope it will taste good for her too.. 😉

so i shall keep my finger crossed on Vesak Day.. and try my best to make it better than today..

 

Strawberry Sponge Cake I (Makes 2 15″ or 1 20″ round cake/s)

Ingredients:

4 eggs, bring to room temperature
150g caster sugar
4g salt
140g cake flour
30g olive oil
30g fresh milk

filling & frosting:
400ml whipping cream
250g strawberries
1 pack of slice almonds (roasted on pan)

Method:

  • Sift cake flour, set aside. Grease and line a 20cm round pan, set aside. Pre-heat oven to 180degC. Position rack at the lower bottom of the oven.
  • With an electric mixer, whisk eggs and sugar & salt on HIGH speed for about 5 to 7mins, until the batter double in volume and is ribbon-like (the beater should leave a ribbon-like texture when the batter is lifted up). Turn to LOW speed and whisk for another 1 to 2 mins. Whisking at low speed helps to stabilise the air bubbles in the batter.
  • Add sifted cake flour into the batter. With a spatula, gently fold in the flour until well blended.
  • With a spatula, mix about 1/3 of the batter with the salad oil in a separate bowl. Fold in this mixture into the remaining batter. This method will help to ensure the oil will be fully blended and at the same time will not deflate the batter.
  • Add in fresh milk and fold in gently with spatula.
  • Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 35 mins, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Unmold and cool completely.

Assemble the cake

  • With an electric mixer, whip the whipping cream still stiff.
  • Slice the cake horizontally into 2 layers. Place one of the cake layers cut-side down on a cake plate. Spread the whipped cream over the layer.
  • Arrange rings of strawberries to cover the whole layer.
  • Fill with some more whipped cream. Top with the other cake layer, cut-side up.
  • Spread the whipped cream over the top and side of the cake. Decorate as desired.

 

original recipe taken from Happy Home Baking > Strawberry Sponge Cake

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