Gravey and Rice

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Birthday Cake...

It occured to me Monday evening that perhaps an Orange Sponge Cake, while looking heavenly, was not really a traditional candles and ice cream type of birthday cake. And since my Vegan SIL wasn't coming to the party after all, I could scrap the vegan chocolate cake, that frankly, looked like to much work for this particular mother of three with a house that desperatley needed to be cleaned before cake making could commence.

I needed something simple. After a disastrous attempt at making a chocolate cake 4 years ago, in which the recipe called only for cocoa and the cake came out awful, I have shied away completley from making chocolate cakes. It was only, a few years later, after tasting a bakery bought choc. cake and bakery bought swiss roll thast tasted exactly the same as that first ill fated cake of mine- that I realized it hadn't been my fault! So, I gathered up the courage to try again. This recipe looked like just the right one to try my hand at. (From: cacaoweb )

8 oz (225 g) dark semisweet chocolate (40-50% cocoa)
2/3 cup (140 g) butter
1 cup (210 g) sugar
4 eggs
4 heaped tablespoons (1 dl) all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ teaspoon baking powder or 1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons sour cream

Ingredients for frosting

2/3 cup (1.6 dl) heavy cream or whipping cream

9 oz (260 g) semisweet chocolate (40-50% cocoa)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F (Gas mark 4 or 180 deg C).
  2. Line a circular 10 inch (25 cm) cake tin (3 inches tall) with greaseproof or other non-stick paper and grease the tin. (Please note that the cake will rise to 3 inches and collapse somewhat when cooled. If your cake tin is less than 10 inches wide and 3 inches tall we recommend that you use two cake tins.)
  3. Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt it with butter over hot water.
  4. Beat the eggs with sugar, mix with flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and vanilla extract.
  5. Slowly fold in the melted butter and chocolate and the sour cream.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 50 minutes.
  7. Cool the cake. Remove the crusted surface on the top of the cake, and cut in half, horizontally.
  8. Frosting
  1. Heat 2/3 cup (1.6 dl) of heavy cream or whipping cream in a sauce pan.
  2. Remove from heat, add 9 oz (260 g) of finely chopped dark semisweet chocolate, stir until smooth, and let it cool until in thickens.
  3. Use one 1/3 of the frosting between the two layers, 1/3 on top, and the rest around the cake. Put the cake into the fridge for one hour or more to harden the frosting.
  4. This cake should have room temperature when served.

It was so easy to make this cake, I was able to wrap presents and make tortilla dough at the same time. I used two 9inch cake pans and baked them for about 25 minutes. What I didn't like was that when I checked the cakes, while the knife came out clean, the middle of the cakes looked very dark and wet. So, I decided they just needed a few more minutes. It was only later, I realized they looked that way because they had burned! Hard to tell with chocolate cake isn't it? *sigh*

I cut off the burnt edges and manged to peel off the burnt bits on the tops. The frosting was still a bit liquidy, and while it worried me at first, it turned out to make it easier to frost the layers, after I doctored them. The sides were harder to frost but I managed, and after putting the cake in the fridge for half an hour the frosting hardened nicely, and made refrosting the sides a breeze!

This cake was moist and delicious, and even my MIL ( who I think sometimes just eats my baking out of politeness-too different from English baking-) even my MIL had two slices. I was so happy. Everyone loved it and there is only one piece left... and trust me- it is taking every ounce of will power to save that last piece for my husband!

Try it- it's delicious!


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