Sunday, 14 February 2016

Death by Chocolate- My Birthday Cake

This is, in fact, a Birthday Cake post. 
I’ve lived in the UK for 4 years now, and most of my Birthdays have included a Tesco Birthday Cake—mainly because I couldn’t be bothered to make my own cake. I should mention that the first year I moved here, my friends made me chocolate cake with vanilla frosting—it was wonderful.  This year I decided to bake my own cake. 

Back when I lived in NY, my best friend V would bake my Birthday Cake—a delicious chocolate sponge with cannoli cream filling. It might sound like an odd combination, but I urge you to try it.

aren't they beautiful?

I initially wanted to reproduce V’s creations, but since I couldn’t find ricotta cheese anywhere (for the cannoli cream), I nixed that idea and went for a decadent and rich chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream. Since I still didn’t have full use of my hand, I enlisted M to help.

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream (Take 2)

300g Flour (sifted)
450g Brown Muscovado Sugar
1 tbsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
80g Cocoa Powder
115g Unsalted Butter (softened)
115g Vegetable Oil
3 large Eggs
200ml Instant coffee (I used 2 tsp Nescafe diluted in 200ml hot water)
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
80 ml Greek full fat yoghurt
Pinch of salt

Buttercream Filling
149g Cocoa Powder, sifted
170g Icing Sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon Nescafe
227g Whipping Cream
227g Unsalted Butter, softened
Pinch of salt
227g Icing Sugar, sifted
2 tsp Vanilla

**Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature, especially the instant coffee
1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350ºF. Grease 1 tall cake tin with butter, and then coat the sides and bottom with cocoa powder. (I used a springform because it was the largest tin I had).
2. Combine and sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, and salt. Leave aside.
3. In a bowl, combine and cream the butter, oil, and sugar. When your mixture is nice and fluffy, add your eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla essence.
4. Add half of your yoghurt, and half of your sifted dry ingredients. Mix and add the remaining ingredients in that order. Lastly, add your coffee and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until just combined. Do not overmix.
5. Bake your cake for 55-60 minutes, or until your tester comes out clean. Cakes are really sensitive to temperature change, so try not to open your oven door until your cake is baked, or else it will deflate. Also, if you find your cake catching some colour, just cover the top with a bit of aluminium foil.
6. When your cake is ready, remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. Remove from baking tin and place on a wire rack to finish cooling. (I let it sit overnight to ensure it was cooled completely)
Buttercream Filling:
1. Combine the sifted cocoa, icing sugar (170g) and Nescafe.
2. Pour the whipping cream in a bowl and microwave it until simmering. When ready, whisk it into the dry ingredients until nice and smooth. Set aside to cool. [Bowl 1]
3. Combine butter, (227g) Icing Sugar, and vanilla. Beat until everything is combined and nice and fluffy. [Bowl 2]
step 1/ step 2
4. With your mixer on low speed, add your Cocoa mixture [Bowl 1] to [Bowl 2], a spoonful at a time. Continue until everything is incorporated.
end result
Assembling the Cake:
1. Once your cake has cooled, use a sharp knife to cut a thin layer off the top of your cake—to ensure the sponge is level. Then take the same knife and evenly cut your sponge in half. (For instructions on how to do this, check out this post coffee & walnut cake)
2. With an offset spatula, spread about half of your Buttercream on the bottom layer of your cake. Smooth it out evenly. Place the top layer of sponge over that, and pat down lightly to ensure it sticks to your filling.
3. Begin by Crumb Coating your cake: spread a thin layer of frosting on the top and sides of your cake and then place in the fridge for about 30-40 minutes. Take your cake out of the fridge and then spread another, thicker, layer of frosting all over your cake. By the way, your cake doesn't have to be perfectly covered with the buttercream- I actually prefer it to look rustic.
crumb coat
 (I always like cake to be eaten cold, so I place it in the fridge until its ready to be eaten- you don’t have to do this and the cake is fine if left in room temp.)
yes, I turned 30 :)

I made this cake recently for a dinner party, so I thought I would include some pictures:

Enjoy and don't forget to SHARE/LIKE

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful article, thanks for putting this together! This is obviously one great post. Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided here.
    online cake