Archive for October, 2011

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Project Chocolate Cake – The Finale!

October 6, 2011

Well, the day has been and gone.

My Dad has turned 80, friends, colleagues and relatives visited, good food was provided, eaten and taken home (the local co-op sold out of tupperware so good was the food and generous were the portions). Wine was drunk (more than was sensible by me) and stories and connections shared.

The day before the party two cakes were baked

 

More than a few eggs were used

 

The morning of the party they were decorated

 

A little chocolate and cream to make a ganache

 

Some Kit Kats were used

 

Decoration done

 

In the middle of the party, the candles were lit, a song was sung

 

The candles were blown out

Happy Birthday Dad

 

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Project Chocolate Cake – Cake no 4 and The Cake-Off

October 6, 2011

Cake no 4 was chosen from Kiss My Bundt by Chrysta Wilson a book that I’ve had for a while, ordered during the missing mojo period in the hope that it might restore the my baking desire. It didn’t work at the time, no fault of the book which is filled with intriguing bundt recipes. Chrysta provides base recipes for simple bundts of all sizes and then a myriad of adaptations and suggested frostings. She covers everything from a Champagne Celebration Cake to Chocolate Bacon Cake (with bacon sprinkles) even a Vegan Red Velvet Cake.

The book joined the others on my shelves and has been, if I’m honest, forgotten. Project Chocolate Cake has given me a mission, a focus, and I’ve poured over my recipes to find suitable test candidates. As I was certain the final cake should be in bundt form then this book was a definite source to consult. I didn’t want to stray into adventurous avenues so I went for the Basic Chocolate Bundt, oil based it made a good contrast to the other butter based cakes and almost guaranteed a moist crumb. As I’ve had problems with a couple getting them out of the tin I hoped that using oil might aid the turning out too.

It didn’t disappoint – moist and so light in crumb, it was also lusciously dark. Once again my oven speeded up the baking time by about 5 minutes, it was evenly baked and turned out beautifully.

Basic Chocolate Cake 

Chrysta  Wilson – Kiss My Bundt

350g sugar

300g plain flour

90g cocoa

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of  soda

3/4 tsp salt

2 eggs

255g buttermilk (Chrysta suggests whole milk)

180g vegetable oil (I used sunflower)

2 tsp vanilla

220g boiling water

 

Preheat the oven to 180C

Grease your pan and dust with flour

Sift together the dry ingredients

Whisk the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla for 1 minute

Still whisking slowly add the dry ingredients a little at a time

Once combined slowly add the boiling water – you will end up with a thin batter

Pour into your pan and bake for 40 – 45 mins.

Leave to cool in the pan for about 10 mins before turning out.

Many of the official tasters had Chrysta’s recipe as their no 1, but the vote wasn’t unanimous – only one thing for it … A Cake-Off.

There was a short hiatus whilst I went on my summer holiday but early one morning I re-baked cakes no 3 (with the quantities doubled to fill a standard bundt tin) and 4 this time in a different tin (thank you Ikea of all places) a spring-form bundt pan – genius. I’m sure that technically this isn’t a true bundt pan, but I decided to use it because of the (hopefully) eased releasing and also because the straight sides will make the planned decoration easier.

The day that I’d chosen to bake on was also the day of our regular pub quiz in the local, so off I trot, cakes in hand ready to share. Still no unanimous decision, so difficult to compare the two as they are really very different. I was also asking them to imagine the final cake with the extras that have to be added. When taste, decorating and slicing issues were all taken into consideration cake no 3  won out.

I think inundating the neighbours with various chocolate cakes has been less of a chore for them than the Victoria Sponge period a few years ago (although I did have to dust off that recipe recently too) and I’d like to thank them for putting up with the mountains of cake they have eaten recently. After the 4 different cakes, the 2 re-baked for the cake-off there was a test cake still to come. My decoration idea needed testing as did the ganache and I needed to make sure that it all went together well. It did – so much so that I had to post an emergency plea via Facebook to locals to come and eat the thing before I made myself ill