Chocolate Chip Cake

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 BM #105: Week 2, Day 2
Theme : One country, One category

A chocolate cake with a good dose of chocolate chips in it and topped with a chocolate glaze – That could be the definition for dessert! The one here is even more sweeter than the rest, because my son baked it for our friend’s anniversary. He insisted on baking and I decided that’s a great thing. The problem with him baking is that he looses interest half way through and then it would be up to me to take care of the rest. That’s the reason why I chose a simple cake, one with not much of decorations. That way he can do most of the work and truly claim to his work of art :-).

I am a big fan of Hershey’s baking books. I have never had a dud from any of their books. What I like about most of their recipes is the simplicity. This cake was easy to put together and it is from Hershey’s Recipe Collection.

Read on for the recipe.

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 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2sticks, ~220 gms)melted butter
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cups cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Melted white chocolate for decoration

 

 Heat oven to 350F/180C. Grease and line a 9″ cake pan. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup melted butter, 1.5 cups sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat well. Now add 3 egg yolks, one at a time and beat after each addition.

 

 Add 2/3 cups cocoa powder, 1/2 cup plain flour and 3 tablespoons of water. Beat well. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips.

In another clean mixing bowl, Beat 3 egg whites with 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar and 1/8 teaspoon salt until stiff peaks form. Fold this carefully into the chocolate mixture.

Pour this into the prepared pan. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the top begins to crack slightly. Take off the oven and let it Cool for an hour. Carefully take it out of the pan and cover with cling wrap and return to pan until you are ready to serve.

For the glaze, combine 1 cup chocolate chips(semisweet or dark) and 1/4 cup milk in a small saucepan. Cook over very low heat, stirring continuously until the mixture is smooth. It shouldn’t boil. Remove from heat, let it cool until it thickens a bit – 10 to 15 minutes or so. Pour this glaze on top of the cake and spread with a spatula. You can cover the sides as well. Decorate as you wish, here its a few lines with melted white chocolate.

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Sending this entry to Kid’s Delight – Anniversary party.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this Week

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Nutella cake with Nutella frosting

BM #105: Week 2, Day 1
Theme : One country, One category

For this week’s theme, I have chosen three dessert recipes from USA. I am beginning the series with a Nutella cake. The recipe is from the book Erin Bakes Cake, which I borrowed from the library. It’s one of the best baking books I have come across. The book gives base recipes for cakes, but with numerous options to try different flavors. The recipe I am sharing is a base recipe for any “butter” cake (Nut based butter). The version here is for Nutella, but say if you want a peanut butter cake, make the substitution. You will also need to increase the sugar by one more cup as Nutella has sugar and peanut butter doesn’t.

I had made this cake last summer for a friend’s birthday. Between the cake and the frosting, there is some serious amount of Nutella here :-). The flavor was amazing and I decided to go for a very simple decoration with a chocolate drip and some cherries on top.

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source: Erin Bakes Cake

Makes two 8″x3″ cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups butter (~340 gms) , at room temp
  • 1.5 cups Nutella
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 9 eggs
  • 1.5 cups flour

Method:

  1. Pre Heat oven to 350F/ 180C. Grease and line two 8″ x 3″ pans.
  2. Beat the butter, Nutella, sugar, vanilla, baking powder and salt using a stand mixer or hand mixer. Beat until it’s a smooth and fluffy mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl in between to make sure everything mixes well.
  3. Add eggs one at a time and beat it in.
  4. Stop the mixer and add the flour in. Fold the flour in, using a rubber spatula. This prevents the flour from going all over the place.
  5. Divide the batter between the two greased pans. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, the cake is done when a skewer inserted to the middle comes free of crumbs.
  6. Take off the oven, let it rest in the pan for ten minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
  7. Once the cake is completely cooled down, prepare the frosting and decorate the cake as you wish.

Sending this entry to Kid’s Delight – Anniversary party.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this Week

Slutty Brownie cake

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BM # 82: Week 2, Day 3
Theme : USA
Recipe: Brownie cake

Brownies and cakes are part of USA food and sometimes they come together as a single treat. Brownie cakes are actually brownies that are then decorated as cakes, that’s not the case here. While browsing I came across something called ‘Slutty brownies‘ which is a decadent treat. It has three layers – a cookie layer, oreo layer and then a final brownie layer. When made with ready made cookie dough, crushed oreos and a box mix for brownies, its an easy to make treat and every bit decadent as you can imagine.

The recipe here is a cake version of the same. It is a layer cake with three 9″ layers – each corresponding to the slutty brownie layer. So a base cake batter is prepared and divided into three portions – one each for the cookie layer, brownie layer and oreo layer. This is a delicious treat by itself, it is definitely a cake recipe and no means resembles brownies or cookies in any way. I followed the recipe from What’s Gabby Cooking without any change.

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The best part of this recipe for me was it gave a single recipe for a three 9″ layer cake. Else I was using a double batch of a two layer cake which would always leave me with an addition fourth (and unnecessary) cake. I have tried the same base recipe and made a Neapolitan cake instead of brownie layers.

I have to start making videos to explain the cake assembling better, but until I figure that out, you guys can scroll down and read the recipe.

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Recipe source: Whats Gabby Cooking

Ingredients:

Base cake:

  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour*
  • 1/2 cup corn flour*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk

*Use 4 cups cake flour instead of a mix of flour and corn flour

Oreo Cookie layer:

  • 10 oreos crumbled

Cookie dough layer:

  • 1 tablespoon molasses (didn’t have any)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Brownie layer:

  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder

Filling, frosting and toppings:

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and line three 9″ pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, corn flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer, beat the butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time and continue beating at medium speed. Once the four eggs are combined well, add the vanilla essence and beat it in.
  4. We have to add the flour in three batches, alternating it with the buttermilk. That means, we have to first add 1/3rd of the flour mix into the butter mix. Beat at a lower speed to avoid spilling of the flour all over. Once the flour is mixed in without streaks, add one cup of buttermilk and continue beating. Now add half of the leftover flour mix. Once that’s mixed well, add in the rest of buttermilk. Once that’s combined well, add the remaining flour. At any point, you can stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to help combine the batter better.
  5. Divide the batter into three bowls. Add 1/3 cup cocoa powder into one batch, crushed oreo cookies into another and 1 tablespoons of molasses and chocolate chips to the last batch.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 35-45 minutes until a skewer comes free of cake crumbs when inserted into the middle of the cake.
  7. Take off the oven, let it cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Then take off the pan, cling wrap it two times and return to the same pan until its time to decorate.
  8. For decorating, prepare the butter cream. Fill and frost the cake only after its completely cool. Prepare a glaze and top with assorted chocolates.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#82

Cricket Cake – Birthday

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My son’s birthday is two days after Christmas. All these years we have celebrated it with our family as we travel home for our holidays. He was fine with this arrangement for 6 years. 

But this year, he wanted a birthday party (“all my friends have one, Mommy!”) and the two of us have been planning from June for that. My worry wasn’t the food, the cake or the games.

It was about managing 10 plus kids in a closed area!!

But then, the kids were nice and thank fully, everything went out smooth. birthday_cake1

After a lot of coaxing, my son agreed to have the party a week ahead. 

I made the birthday banner 2 weeks before, made the cake bunting 10 days before, decided the menu a week before, started cooking 3 days before, decorated the house a day before and left only minimal work for the day of the party.

It was a tea time party and the menu was

birthday_cakebunting

For the cake bunting, I followed the instructions the net. I am not able to find the exact site from where I did this, but it’s more or less the same as here. I added a stitch like pattern to the flags for an extra nice effect.

The cake banner/bunting saved me from having to pipe on the cake and ruin the whole thing!

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My son wanted the cake to be ‘cricket related’. He didn’t want the cricket bat cake I had made earlier. He then wanted me to make all the tools players use. His list was long and I had no idea how half of them look like. More than that, the ready made fondant that my brother got for me was almost over. I had only a tiny bit left.

So I made a cricket bat, ball, pads and a cap. Then I had just enough for a pair of shoes and there it is….the basic things that a player would need.

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For the birthday banner in the first picture, my husband took colour print out of the letters (“Happy Birthday Shreyas” in big bold letters placed in a colourful circle). Cut out the circles with letters.

I used scrap-book paper of different colours for cutting out the flag pattern for the base layer. I cut out flag patterns from white thick papers for a second flag on top of the base one. This one was slightly bigger than the circular print out with the letters.

Using a double-sided stick tape, stick the circular print out into the white flags and then using the same stick tape, stick the white flags to the base flag. Do it for all the letters and you have a beautiful banner ready!

Coming to the cake recipe, this has become my go-to cake for all occasions.I made two batches of the dough and baked the cake as well as 2 batches of cupcakes.

Recipe Source: America’s Test Kitchen – Family Baking Book

Ingredients:

Ingredients:

  • Flour                                  :        2 1/2 cups**
  • Corn Flour                      :        1/4 cup**
  • Baking Powder              :        2 tsp
  • Salt                                     :        1/2 tsp
  • Butter                                :        200 gm (2 sticks), softened
  • Sugar                                 :        1 3/4 cups
  • Eggs                                   :         4
  • Vanilla Essence             :        1 tsp
  • Milk                                    :        1 1/2 cups, at room temp

**Cake flour : 2 3/4, approx substitution for that.

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease two 9″ pans.
  2. In a big bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar. Once light and fluffy, add the eggs (one by one) and beat with the hand mixer. Add the vanilla essence and beat it in.
  3. In a separate bowl, add the flour, corn flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk thoroughly.
  4. Add one-third of the flour mix to the creamed butter and beat in with the mixer. Add half of the milk and beat again.
  5. Add half of the remaining flour mix and beat in again. Tip in all the milk and mix. Add the remaining flour and beat in until it’s all incorporated.
  6. Mix with a spatula and pour the batter into the moulds.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out free of crumbs when inserted in the middle.
  8. Take off the pan and let it cool in a wiring rack. Once completely cool, frost the cake.
  9. I used butter cream for the green part and dulce de leche(DDL) icing for the cricket pitch. I made the rectangular pitch first and then used butter cream for the remaining parts and sides.
  10. After coating the sides, I felt something was missing and then just went ahead and piped patterns all around the cake with the sandy DDL icing.
  11. The toppers were made using ready-made Wilton fondant. I had enough to make a pair of shoes, pads, a cap, a bat and a ball. The stumps are tooth picks and not edible.
  12. The buttercream recipe is here and the DDL frosting recipe is here.

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