Thursday, March 29, 2012

Decadent Chocolate Cake

My husband turned 30 a few days ago, so to make it special, I threw him a surprise party and a surprise dinner with his family at a nearby restaurant. Afterwards, the family came over for the promising birthday cake and coffee.

Now I take birthday cakes very seriously, since I've had disappointments in the past. So, a week before the birthday, I started to test recipes. I found the perfect chocolate cake recipe from TriBeca Treats on youtube. For the frosting, I went with truly high quality fair trade chocolate with heavy cream = ganache, because it's got the essence of chocolate.

My aunt is a successful caterer in Bombay and the biggest trick she taught me was to apply sugar syrup over the cake before icing it. That makes all the difference to achieve a moist cake.

The truth is that this chocolate cake recipe is on the healthier side because it uses canola oil instead of butter (which I appreciate) and I like using a coffee sugar syrup to add extra moistness.

And my dreamiest of dreams was to set candied rose petals atop a dark chocolate cake. I found them at the Harvest Market, which is sadly only once a year in Stockholm, I think in September at Stockholms Stadmuseet. Local gardeners sell their produce and some make baked goods and some make candied rose petals! What a find! And what a difference pastel petals make on chocolate decadence!

I'm providing a recipe for the smallest batch, which feeds 4 - 6, but this recipe is easily doubled or tripled.

Decadent Chocolate Cake
Serves 4 - 6
Cake adapted from TriBeCa Treats and ganache from Joy of Baking

Dry ingredients:
3/4 cup + 2 tbs cake flour, sifted, then measured
1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup high quality fair trade cocoa

Wet ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk OR 1/2 cup milk + 1/2 tsp vinegar
1/4 cup + 1 1/2 tbs canola oil
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp instant coffee

Sugar syrup:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp instant coffee

150g 50 - 60% dark chocolate, chopped finely
1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 180C or 350F. Grease and flour a 5-6inch round cake pan.

2. Sift the dry ingredients together.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk egg, oil, sugar, vanilla, instant coffee and buttermilk until nicely beaten.  Add half of the dry ingredients and mix gingerly until almost combined, then add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour into prepared cake pan and bake for 15 - 22 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

4. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.

5. Meanwhile, make the sugar syrup: boil the sugar, water and instant coffee until slightly thickened.

6. Make the ganache: In a microwave-safe bowl, add cream, instant coffee and chopped chocolate. Heat for 30 seconds, stir, and then heat for another 30 seconds and stir. If not melted, heat for 20 seconds longer. (It's better to work in 20-30 second intervals when dealing with a microwave because too much heat can burn the chocolate.) Once all melted, allow to sit, cool and thicken.

7. Once the cake has cooled completely, cut in half horizontally. Using a pastry brush, apply the sugar syrup over the cake bottom generously, so that it is uniformly dampened. Then spread a third of the ganache evenly. Take the other cake bottom and generously apply the sugar syrup over the top and bottom of the cake, and set over the ganached layer. Spread a thin layer of ganache over the whole cake first, then apply all of the ganache and spread evenly. Allow the ganache to set before serving. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. The cake can also be frozen in individual servings.


1 comment:

  1. liked the recipe and your website too bad i cant eat one over the internet but i will try to bake these with my niece. what kind of camera did you use for the beautifu pictures?

    best wishes



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