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Showing posts with label chocolate cake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate cake. Show all posts

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chocolate-Honey Cake

This is one of Nigella's heavenly looking cakes that I had been eyeing for sometime. I guess the way she waxes eloquent about them only adds up to ones' expectations. 'So..it is just a modified version of a chocolate cake' most folks would be thinking. But it is tough to conjure up the right words to describe what the honey bit ( well actually a lot of it ) does to this cake. I can only say that its pure unadulterated pleasure . The gooey sauce that is poured over it only makes it more sinful. And the bees just add to its mystique. It has got everything to be that 'made for a special occasion' cake.

Having been out of practice for quite sometime ( around 5 months), I ended up over-filling(more than 2/3rd) the baking tin as I could not find my usual measuring cups. Had to deal with a real mess as it overflowed and was all over the oven floor. Moreover the top got a little too dark as i forgot to cover it with a foil after the cake had done its rising. Finally, as i did not have the honeycomb baking tin, I resorted to cutting off the edges of a round cake to give it the desired shape. Not finding my usual serrated knife, i cut it with a regular one that resulted in some chipping on the sides. Felt really bad when the sides did not look as clean as I had visualized. Moreover, I painted the bees when the sauce was still a bit warm and hence it ended up spreading a bit (Please keep these in mind before trying out the cake). Have to admit that it did dampen my spirits a bit but the first bite itself made me forget everything.

Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 1 hour 30 mins

Ingredients -
For the cake - 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 2/3 cup honey, 1 cup dark chocolate pieces, 3 eggs, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp fruit salt ( i used ENO), 1 tsp cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp coffee, 1/2 - 1 cup boiling water.

For the gooey sauce - 1/2 cup honey, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup dark chocolate pieces, 1/3 cup powdered sugar.

For the honey bees - Marzipan, almond flakes.

Preparation - Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler. Allow it to come down to room temperature.

Beat the sugar and butter till light and fluffy. Add the honey and mix well.

Break the 3 eggs in another bowl and whisk them up till soft peaks can be formed.
Add the eggs to the butter-sugar mixture, a little at a time. Stir in 1-2 tsp of the flour into the batter.
Once all the eggs are incorporated into the batter, add the melted chocolate.

Mix the flour, cocoa powder, coffee, baking powder and fruit salt in a separate bowl.
Sift in the flour mixture into the batter, a little at a time. Do not beat too much, just gently stir it in.

Finally add the boiling water, a few teaspoons at a time. Check that the mixture does not get too runny.

Cooking - Pre-heat a oven to 180 degrees.
Grease a baking tin with butter. Sift in some flour over it.

Pour the batter into the tin and put into the oven. Bake at 175 degrees till the cake is done. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.( Took about 40 mins for mine.)

Remove the cake from the tin while it is still warm. Allow to cool down completely before pouring the sauce over it.

For the sauce - Bring water and honey to boil. Add the dark chocolate pieces and stir in gently. Switch off flame. The heat is sufficient to melt the chocolate. Add the powdered sugar and beat to remove any lumps. One should get a silky texture sauce. Allow it to stand till it is just warm to touch.

Pour the sauce carefully over the cake. It does get a little drippy and messy. (But you are welcone to lick it off...and trust me, you will only be too happy doing it.)

Shape the bees out of the marzipan. Take a toothpick and paint their face and stripes with the remaining chocolate sauce. Stick in the almond flakes to give them wings. Position the over the cake.

Chocolate-Honey cake is now ready to be served. (Anybody fancy eating a fat honeybee????)

[ Note -All ingredients should be at room temperature. A have used a low sugar dark chocolate. If you are using a normal one, do reduce the quantity of sugar added to the batter/sauce. Also keep the consistency of the honey in mind while adding water.]

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Marble Cake

I must confess that i love baking a cake more than eating one. Even the filmy-est excuse sends me scurrying into the kitchen to pick up my mixing bowl and whisk, and bring out the oven from the cupboard.The aroma and warmth that fills up the house when my cake sits prettily in the oven is capable to lifting my spirits out of the deepest dumps. I can only describe the experience as therapeutic.

No fancy baking tins or food processors for me. I try to retain the old world charm associated with baking and get nostalgic every time a bake a cake. Making use of the very basic ingredients with some lime zest/orange rind/cinnamon stick/few strands of saffron/cocoa powder/strawberry slush thrown in for variety, I rely on my hands to recreate the magic every time. I usually skip the decorations as i find that it takes away from the cake. I really admire Rachel Allen for her lovely cakes and the way she makes use of the simplest form of cake dressing/decorations.

Today I am sharing the recipe for 'Marble Cake' which is so named as it is reminiscent of the swirls/patterns found on a marble flooring. It is a delectable mix of plain old Vanilla and Chocolate cake.

Preparation Time - 1 hour

Ingredients- Butter ( 100 gm ), sugar ( 1 cup ), eggs ( 3 nos ), vanilla essence ( 7-8 drops ), self-raising flour ( 2 cups ), baking powder ( 1 tsp ), cocoa powder ( 2-3 tsp ), warm milk ( 4-5 tbs ).

Preparation - Powder the sugar in a food processor.

Take the butter ( at room temperature ) in a mixing bowl and add the powdered sugar. Beat it nicely with a whisk till it turns a few shades lighter in colour. Add the vanilla essence.

Break the eggs in a separate bowl and whisk them till it forms soft peaks. Around the same time, dissolve the cocoa powder in the warm milk and keep aside.

Add the whisked eggs into the mixing bowl and mix them nicely.

Take the self-raising flour in a seive and add to the above batter slowly, a little at a time (This trick incorporates an extra amount of air into the batter which is very important in making the cake very spongy). Add the baking powder to the last quantity of the flour being added to the batter. Mix well. (We need to be quick from this point as the baking powder starts working as soon as it comes in contact with moisture)

Take 1/3rd of the batter into another bowl. Add the cocoa milk mixture to this and mix it well.

Take a baking tray ( 1 litre capacity) and spray it with a non-stick cooking oil/brush with butter. Sprinkle some flour.

Put a dollop of the plain batter followed by a dollop of the chocolate batter in the pattern as shown below. Follow a pattern such that the two batters are alternately placed.

Finally take a toothpick and move it around in gentle swirling movements to mix the two. Do not go overboard as the two might get completely mixed up.

Cooking: Pre-heat an oven to 175 degrees celcius. Put the cake into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes.

Prick the center of the cake with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. Else pop it back into the oven for 5-10 minutes.

Allow to cool down. Cut into generous portions and serve. Store the remaining pieces in an airtight container.

Note: The batter should be so thick that if you overturn the bowl, it should not fall. The butter-sugar and eggs should be beaten separately as it helps in getting more air into the batter.

For best results, use a deep round baking dish.

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