I cannot believe that its already December and the year is almost over! With December comes a lot of birthdays in my family and a lot of baking for me. Its the most busy time of the year for me. Still when Valli pinged about Bakeathon 2017, an yearly baking event that goes live every Monday, Wednesday and Friday of December, I didn’t want to miss.
I am the unofficial cake maker of my family and my extended family here. They are my willing guinea pigs, but for most part I have started sticking to only tried and tested recipes. This cake was baked for my friend’s sister, who also taught us the art of Reiki. She bakes a lot and uses whole grains over plain ones. So I appealed to my Blogging Marathon friends for a tried and tested recipe. I ended up using Priya’s oft repeated whole wheat cake recipe. The only change I made to her recipe was to incorporate an additional step from my regular cake. I added the baking powder and soda to the sugar-buttermilk mix until it bubbles up.
To say that this cake was stunning, would be an understatement. It was served for a group of fifteen and every single one raved about it. I really didn’t expect such a reaction for a cake as simple as this, and that too made of whole wheat flour. Since it was a big group, I needed three layers. I don’t know whether the recipe scales well (not all recipes do) and didn’t want to take a risk. So instead of tripling the recipe, I ended up baking it three times. The recipe below is however for a single layer cake.
The simple syrup is very important for the cake. In fact I add it to all the cakes that I bake and frost. Simple syrup is water and sugar mixed in 1:1 proportion. But you can reduce the sugar to even half that quantity and still get away with it. But for this cake, I used 1:1 proportion.
Read on for the recipe and tutorial.
- 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup sugar*
- 1/3 cup oil (odorless like sunflower or canola)
* Use 1 cup if you want it sweeter or if are planning to serve it plain. With frosting and the simple syrup 3/4 cup turned out okay for us.
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
Frosting and filling:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- Heat the oven to 170 C/330 F. Grease a nine inch pan and line with parchment paper.
- In a big bowl, add the buttermilk and sugar and oil. Using a wire whisk, mix until the sugar dissolves. Add the baking powder and baking soda. Let it sit aside for 5 minutes to bubble.
- Sift the flour 2-3 times. Add this in 3 batches to the wet ingredients, folding carefully after each addition.
- Pour batter into a greased and lined 9″ pan. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes free of crumbs when inserted in the middle of the cake. Take out of the oven and let the cake cool in the pan itself for 10-15 minutes.
- After that, carefully take the cake out of the pan and cover it in 2 rounds of cling wrap. Return it to the pan and leave until ready to assemble.
- Check the pictorial on how to frost and assemble the cake.
Heat the oven to 170 C/330 F. Grease and line an 9″ pan with parchment paper. In a big bowl, add the buttermilk and sugar and oil. Using a wire whisk, mix until the sugar dissolves.
Add the baking powder and baking soda. Let it sit aside for 5 minutes to bubble. Sift the flour 2-3 times. Add this in 3 batches to the wet ingredients, folding carefully after each addition.
Once the flour is incorporated fully, pour batter into a greased and lined pan. I have used a 9″ pan here. An 8″ pan would give you a little more height. Bake for about 35-40 minutes until a skewer comes free of crumbs when inserted in the middle of the cake. Take out of the oven and let the cake cool in the pan itself for about 15 minutes.
Once the cake is cool, carefully take the cake out of the pan, peel off the parchment paper and cover it in 2 rounds of cling wrap. Return it to the pan and leave until ready to assemble. I usually do this 2-3 days before the event and leave the cake this way until I fill and frost it. Prepare the sugar syrup and once its cool, refrigerate till the time of assembling.
For frosting and filling the cake, beat fresh cream with sugar until it holds peaks. I have used 3 cups of fresh cream here since I am frosting three cakes.
To anchor the cake to the cardboard base, use a little jam or fresh cream. I have used Nutella here, since I was sure that there are no nut allergies. Cut each cake into two layers. Keep the first layer and sprinkle it with sugar syrup liberally. I use about 3-4 tablespoons of syrup per layer and I just use my hands to sprinkle it.
Using an offset spatula or a butter knife, fill the cake with whipped cream. Build the layers, sprinkling each layer with the simple syrup and then filling with fresh cream.
Cover the entire cake roughly with fresh cream for a crumb coat. Refrigerate for at least half an hour. Cover with another round of fresh cream for the final finish. You will need an offset spatula and a turn table for a smooth finish.
For the glaze, add 3/4 cup chocolate chips to a microwave safe bowl with 1 tablespoon honey and 2 tablespoons each of milk and butter. Microwave in short bursts (15 seconds each) mixing well with a silicon spatula after each burst until the chocolate completely melts.
Add the glaze to the sides of the cake and let it drip slowly down. Fill in the center and carefully smooth it out.
Run the offset spatula under hot water, wipe the water off with a kitchen towel. Carefully smooth the top of the chocolate layer for a clean finish. Repeat a couple of times until the top is smooth. Using piping bag fitted with piping nozzles, decorate the cake as you wish with whipped cream and strawberries. Refrigerate until the time of serving.
This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017