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Chocolate Cake

In Cake, Recipe on
December 7, 2012

Chocolate Bavarian Cake

Having taken a break from any cooking for the past few months, I didn’t hesitate to volunteer to take over the role of making lunch on Saturday, when my mum started complaining how difficult it was to cater to our tastes everyday. With all these saved links of delicious food ideas/inspirations I’d compiled during the exam weeks, you would have thought that it’d be a breeze, right?

We ended up eating instant noodles for lunch.

And I wasn’t even the one who made them! Read more

In Cake, Recipe on
April 16, 2012

Chocolate Sponge Cakes

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Lately, I’ve been having a slight huge chocolate addiction.

It’s not surprising really, since Easter has just passed…..and I managed to buy a couple of boxes half priced Easter eggs last Monday. But I do find it rather alarming that I’m pulling chocolate goodies out of my oven every couple of days, and adding more chocolate desserts on my ‘to make’ list too!

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Add to that, my terrible dietary habits or eating Chinese takeaway at least 3 nights a week, thanks to work, and constant snacking on chips, chocolate and whatever else is on special at the supermarket this week (I need something to fuel my late night studying right?)- I don’t think I’ve ever been this unhealthy!

My reasoning for making so many sweet cake and cookies at home is that I think they’re a little less bad for you than store-bought ones. These chocolate sponge cakes for example, aren’t actually too unhealthy, as they only contain a small amount of oil, not too much sugar and are only ices with a little bit of chocolate whipped cream. Read more

In Cake, Cute Food, Recipe on
February 28, 2012

Domo Cake

Domo Cake
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I finally got around to cleaning my room yesterday, which is probably a bigger task than you might imagine. To be honest, the reason I dislike cleaning up is not because it’s tiresome, but because cleaning always inevitably leads to me parting with many once loved items which I know will never come to use again. In my drawer (which I only open once ever couple of months), I found my stash of wallets, phone bags and lanyards- each and every one I’ve owned since the beginning of high school.  Stuffed in the corner was my pile of tween magazines, which my parents would only buy for me on the odd occasion. In the next drawer, I found a money box full of ‘special coins’ which I’d collected over the years, underneath that, a pile of old cartoon calendars, so cute and pretty I couldn’t bear to throw away eventhough I know the year 2003 won’t come by anymore.

And don’t get me started on what I found under my bed. Read more

In Cake, Cute Food, Recipe on
November 26, 2011

Bear Cake



Sometimes I’m just too good at putting things off…..

….and completely forgetting about them.

Replying texts, facebook messages or emails is the first thing which comes to mind, closely followed by  chores which I promise my mum I’d do (sorry mum!). And it’s not just things I don’t particularly like doing- this bear cake is a rather embarrassing example of this, as I’d promised my sister I’d make this cake for birthday…………..2 birthdays ago!

Woops?

I’ve been thinking of the reasons why it’s taken me so long to finally get around to making this cake and I still can’t completely explain why. It’s not because I didn’t want to make this cake, or that I had better things to make………….. it just never ended up happening

I’m thinking that it may have partly been because of the effort I know it would require- though the design is quite simple, it’s still more complex than just baking a cake and eating it as is (hence the lack of iced and decorated cakes on this blog). I’ve been quite lazy this year, and have often found myself ambitiously planning to bake some time consuming things over the weekend, only to give up from lack of motivation when the weekend comes rolling around.

I guess it’s sort of like the reason I don’t blog that often- though I love it, it takes a lot of effort for me  to write up a post. I was never any good at writing anything, and it takes a lot of deleting, writing and deleting before I can come up with something I wouldn’t mind sharing with others.

Sometimes I think of how much easier it would be if I just posted pictures and a recipe. I’d certainly have a lot more posts on my blog right now.

But that wouldn’t’ be as fun, would it?

Despite my slow progress, I have finally reached the milestone of 100 posts today. Ok, so maybe I may have cheated a little bit and also included my first ever ‘hello’ post (which consists of 3 sentences) in the count. And, it may come after 2 years and 3 months of blogging (yes, I’m well aware that most people reach this milestone before, or within close proximity of their 1st blogiversary). But hey, I got there 😉

And like my second blogiversary, I’m celebrating with chocolate cake. From the exact same recipe, to be exact. This delicious beetroot chocolate cake has become my go-to recipe for chocolate cake- it’s moist and chocolatey like mudcake, but with the subtle, underlying natural sweetness of beetroot. I know everyone already has their favourite chocolate cake recipe, but if you’re ever looking for a new one to try, I’d strongly recommend this one.

The design for this cake is taken from the ‘naughty bear’ cake at 85 degrees cake shop. It caught my attention, not because I thought it was particularly interesting design (when compared to the other beautiful cakes the bakery produces), but because of its simplicity- I was pretty sure I could pull off something like this at home.And so I showed it to my sister, who liked it as well and promised her I’d make it for her birthday………

The original cake was sponge cake and was covered in chocolate shavings but I thought my sister would like this cake better. I couldn’t be bothered making chocolate shavings to cover this cake, so I covered it with cake crumbs instead- an idea I got from  Zoe’s blog (my cake looks quite similar to hers….don’t you think?). I personally think it looks better than the chocolate shavings because it makes the bear look more ‘furry’…..or is that just my imagination?

 

Well, it’s still months from my sister’s next birthday (I guess I’ll
have to try harder to be on time next time!!), but I think all was
forgiven once this cake was made- my family thought it looked and tasted
great! I immediately received requests to make it again, since the 15cm
cake was quickly devoured, and my sister even wanted me to teach her
how to make it 🙂

And in case you were wondering, we couldn’t bear to cut its face into pieces…..

So we took its facial features off first!!  😉

‘Naughty Bear’ Chocolate Cake Recipe

For the cake
adapted from Veggie Belly
Original Recipe from Ross Burden

makes a 15cm cake

60g dark chocolate
2 medium eggs
200g sugar
100ml sunflower or vegetable oil
60ml milk
200g cooked and pureed beets
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
20g cocoa powder
130g flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Pre heat oven to 350 f.

2. Melt the chocolate (for the cake) over a double boiler. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and oil. Slowly add the cooked milk, beet puree , the melted chocolate and vanilla into the egg mixture. Beat just untill combined.

3. Sift the cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt. Add this to the beet batter. Fold just untill everything is combined. Dont over work or over mix the batter.

4. Spread a teaspoon of butter or oil over the surface of a 15cm cake pan. Sprinkle some flour all over, and tap out the excess. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin. Bake for about 45 minutes, or till a tooth pick or skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Baking time may vary depending on the pan and oven you are using. (mine took around 1.5 hours)

5. When the cake is done, cool it on a wire rack.

For the chocolate ganache
150g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
150ml heavy cream

1. Place the chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream in a sauce pan, just till
it starts to barely boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and
whisk till it forms a smooth sauce. Chill in the fridge until spreadable.

Assembly
 
1. Slice off the top of the cake using a knife, to create a flat surface
2. Using the cake scraps, process them in a blender to create fine crumbs.
3. Place the base layer on a plate and cover with ganache. Cover with the second layer and spread the remaining ganache over the top and sides of the cake.
4. Sprinkle the cake crumbs of the top and sides of the cake to completely cover the icing
5. Place chocolate decorations (eyes, mouth etc) onto the cake 😛

Note: For the eyes, I used chocolate buttons and spread some (melted) white chocolate onto them.
For the nose/mouth, I used an egg ring to mould a white chocolate disc, a chocolate button for the nose and piped the mouth onto it.

In Cake, Recipe on
August 25, 2011

A journey through Chocolate Cake

This particular story begins on an ordinary day when a young girl walked into her first Year 8 food technology practical class which, like the rest of the class, she was looking forward to. They were baking chocolate cake today, using a simple melt and mix recipe, and since the lesson was only 50 minutes, the ingredients were already measured and prepared. It couldn’t have been any easier or fool-proof.

By the end of the lesson, the whole room smelt of sugar and chocolate as everyone pulled a beautiful (it a little ordinary) chocolate cake out of their ovens. It was soft, it was chocolatey- it was delicious!

The girl was simply amazed.

What? Wasn’t cake making supposed involve many years of practice and learning? Wasn’t there supposed to be some sort of skill involved? How could she have just made such a delicious cake using such simple ingredients?

So amazed was this little girl that the first thing she did when she went home, was to fumble through her pantry to find the ingredients required for this magical cake and give it a go herself. If she could replicate the recipe at home, it would be perfect as it was her mother’s birthday- it would be the first birthday cake she had ever made for her mother!

After carefully measuring out each ingredient, and following the recipe precisely (and making much of a mess in her kitchen), she eventually managed to prepare the batter and put it in the oven where she waited optimistically for her cake to finish baking. Unfortunately, it did not turn out quite as well as expected…..

(try not to laugh!)

What the girl didn’t realise, was that her (seemingly clever) substitution of Nesquik milk chocolate powder for cocoa powder was not the best idea, contributing to only the slightest chocolate flavour in the cake. That, and perhaps some over mixing of the batter, resulted in a strange looking cake with an even stranger texture and flavour which was barely edible.

Oh well…it’s the thought that counts right? 😉

Not completely disheartened at her unexpected failure, she bought a box of cocoa powder on her next supermarket trip and attempt number 2 and 3 followed a few weeks later. But still no successes. The cake was never sweet, nor chocolaty enough (perhaps the fault of the recipe) and of course, the girl was not quite daring enough to change the amount of sugar or cocoa powder in the recipe.

Taking the easy way out, she decided to start with box mixes instead, and not surprisingly managed to create a few, tasty cake-looking cakes out of them.

Convinced she had gained some experience, knowledge and perhaps skill in the kitchen, she decided to tackle the chocolate cake again- this time with a new recipe, from the back of the cocoa box. The recipe itself was simple- another melt and mix recipe quite similar to the one she had been using from school. Expecting a failure once again, you could imagine her surprise when out of the oven popped a beautiful looking chocolate cake!

one of the later attempts at this recipe (the first one wasn’t that pretty…)

It was from that moment that she was hooked onto baking. There was something indescribably satisfying about successfully creating a cake from scratch that lured her back into the kitchen time and time again. She started to find herself flicking through cookbooks, as this interest slowly spread from cakes, to cookies, to desserts, and eventually to food in general.

One day, she started a food blog….and the rest is history 😉

* * * *

It’s my blog’s 2nd birthday (two days ago actually), and I thought it would be a little fitting to look back to where it all started and see how far I’ve come. I started this blog when things were sort of going downhill- I’d been met with countless failures and decided that it would be nice to begin documenting everything, hoping that it would also force me to put more effort into ensuring successes- or at least try to make my bakes look a little better.

Whilst that goal has pretty much been achieved, what I hadn’t quite considered was that this blog would, in turn, motivate me to bake more, try out new recipes/techniques and fuel my interest in food in general. Nor did I think that I would love blogging so much (afterall, I’ve always hated writing!) and spend so much time reading many other inspirational food blogs.

A celebration cannot pass without cake, and whilst this chocolate beetroot cake I present you with today may not be quite as exciting as perhaps some complicated dessert I could have made, it does go to show much I’ve changed since I first set foot in the kitchen, when you compare this cake, with the ones I made when I first started baking.

Oh, and it tastes absolutely amazing.

The recipe comes from Sala at Veggie belly. She says on her blog, that after she tried this recipe, she threw out all her other chocolate cake recipes!! If that’s not enough to get you wanting to try this recipe, I don’t know what is! The combination of chocolate and beetroot is quite interesting- I love that the chocolate flavour in cakes is so strong and tasty that it can cover up almost anything, like mistakes (which is probably why the first thing we baked in food tech class was chocolate cake) or, in this case, most of the beetroot flavour. The beetroot is completely unnoticeable- it sort of melts into the cake, giving the most amazing moist texture, and gives it a slight hint of its own unique sweetness.

Now, I’m not usually a beetroot fan. Infact, I’m usually one of those who scream ‘yuk!’ at the sight of beetroot, perhaps because of the fact that no-one in my family likes it and as such, this was the first time we’ve had beetroot in our kitchen. I would have liked to surprise my family with the fact that there was beetroot in the cake, the way you’re supposed to with these kind of cakes, but that wasn’t the easiest job, considering I had red stained hands after peeling the beetroot and a whole pot of beetroot left over after baking the cake.

Nevertheless, they received their surprise- it was definitely a lot tastier than anyone expected and had me planning on making a second one almost instantly. It’s one of the most exciting recipes I’ve come across for a while!

Beetroot Chocolate Cake Recipe

from Veggie Belly
Original Recipe from Ross Burden
serves about 8

for the cake
85g dark chocolate
3 medium eggs
300g sugar
240ml sunflower or vegetable oil
300g cooked and pureed beets
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
30g cocoa powder
200g flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

for the chocolate ganache
250g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
250ml heavy cream

1. Pre heat oven to 350 f.
2. Melt the chocolate (for the cake) over a double boiler. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and oil. Slowly add the cooked beet puree , the melted chocolate and vanilla into the egg mixture. Beat just untill combined.
3. Sift the cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt. Add this to the beet batter. Fold just untill everything is combined. Dont over work or over mix the batter.
4. Spread a teaspoon of butter or oil over the surface of a 10 inch cake pan. Sprinkle some flour all over, and tap out the excess. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin. Bake for about 30 minutes, or till a tooth pick or skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Baking time may vary depending on the pan and oven you are using.
5. While the cake is baking, work on the ganache frosting. Place the chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream in a sauce pan, just till it starts to barely boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk till it forms a smooth sauce.
6. When the cake is done, cool it on a wire rack. Then pour the chocolate ganache over while the ganache is still warm. Let the ganache topping cool and set a little before serving.