We have been doing lots of baking recently, how exciting ^^ Not only does it help to improve our skills as bakers, but it also allows us to bring lots and lots and lots of joy and happiness to everyone around us! Baking and food do indeed make the world go round 🙂
This time, we were given a task of baking a cake for Elisa’s grandmother’s 80th birthday. We wanted to make a layered cake for both aesthetic appeal and flavour. Also, it would be our first time attempting such a cake, so it would definitely be something risky, but exciting and insightful as well. We thought of the possible flavours of layered cakes – Lemon sponge cake with lemon frosting, Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, Vanilla cake with dark chocolate frosting… But Elisa soon remembered that her grandmother’s crazily in love with chocolate – especially dark chocolate! C’mon, who doesn’t like chocolate?! Some of you may think that oh chocolate, so boring, the same old thing. But that’s definitely the beauty of it! It’s such a common lovable flavour that everyone is satisfied with it everytime! Also, since it’s such a common thing, it forces you to think out of the box and make something different and unique! We decided to make a Double Dark Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Glaze and Pitted Cherries.
Also, do you know that dark chocolate has been linked to many health benefits? Check out http://longevity.about.com/od/lifelongnutrition/p/chocolate.htm for more information! *wink* Another reason why it should be a dark chocolate cake 🙂 But anyway, back to the baking…
We browsed through several chocolate cake recipes, such as from Epicurous and Taste and finally came up with our own version of Dark chocolate layered cake with chocolate glaze (not frosting, nor icing) and pitted cherries 🙂
This recipe yields 12 servings.
Double Dark Chocolate Cake:
1 1/2 cup plus 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup Hershey Special Dark Dutch & Natural Cocoa
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cup milk
2 tablespoon vinegar (or you could use 2 tablespoon lemon juice)
1 cup brown sugar
2 large egg, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
butter for greasing pan
6 digestive biscuits, roughly chopped (optional)
Pitted Cherries (optional)
Preheat oven to 175°C. Greese 2 8-inch round cake pans with butter.
Whisk flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add vinegar or lemon juice to milk (this is a substitute for buttermilk), and mix with brown sugar, egg, oil and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. (The batter will be quite thin.) Divide the batter equally into the prepared pans.
Bake the cake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 33 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before assembled and frosted with chocolate glaze.
5oz bittersweet chocolate
2 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 1/2 tablespoon water
Cook all ingredients in a small heavy saucepan over low heat, whisking until smooth.
Cool for 10 minutes.
Ensure that the two layers of cake fit perfectly. Do make any adjustements and cut out some parts if necessary.
Pour the warm glaze over the first layer and coat evenly. Sprinkle the chopped digestive biscuits randomly, so as to give a nice layer of crunch and colour. Stack the other layer of cake on top, and pour the warm chocolate glaze over and coat the entire cake. Add the pitted cherries to the cake and decorate it however you want it 🙂
Let the cake cool in the refridgerator so the chocolate can firm up and set.
We apologize if it's not as neat and professional!
Which great experience would be complete without difficulties that crop up along the way? As amateurs and naive bakers, we expected each cake layer to be as flat as the many layered cakes we have eaten. Little did we expect that the cake would rise unevenly, forcing us to even it out by cutting out some parts of the cake so that the two layers would fit perfectly. Hmmmm, something worth thinking about the next time we attempt to do this again.
Nonetheless, this Dark Chocolate Cake would definitely be something tempting and enticing for all you chocolate lovers out there. It was dense and moist and especially dark. Don’t like dark chocolate? Substitute Hershey Special Dark Dutch & Natural Cocoa with any unsweetened cocoa powder, and substitute the bittersweet chocolate with any chocolate of your choice!
Happy Birthday Grandma!
Chocolate should definitely be considered one of the greatest creations on Earth 🙂