Monday, January 16, 2017

Super Moist (and easy!) Chocolate Cake

We celebrated E's 8 birthday recently, he invited his best buddies from school and requested to have a 2 tier cakes fearing his friends will get enough share of the cake.. lol, how thoughtful of him.

So after some considerations, I decided to combine his request with the letter 8, since it's his 8th birthday day, and here's the final design... A huge "8" moist chocolate cake consists of two 8" round cakes, filled with smooth chocolate ganache.

Added some printed flags.

Centerpiece for the birthday party..

It is rather easy to make, to my surprise. I have been using a different recipe all these while and I thought to try out a different recipe from BBC Food this time, and it was amazingly good! The cake taste even better after keeping overnight in the refrigerator.

See? Moist, fudgy and a consistent density.

Here's the making.

Preparation Time: 30 min
Baking time: 30-40 min
Waiting time: 60min
Assembly time: ~30min

A) For the Cake
225g plain flour, sifted
300g caster sugar (reduced by 50g)
85g cocoa powder (I used Hersey cocoa)
1½ teaspoon baking powder
1½ teaspoon baking soda
2 medium eggs
250ml fresh milk
125ml vegetable oil
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
250ml boiling water

B) For the Chocolate Ganache 
200g chocolate solid / chocolate chips
200ml double cream / whipped cream

Original chocolate cake recipe adopted & modified from BBC good food.

** the above recipe is for a single 8" cake, if you need 2 cakes like me, just double the ingredients.

The Making:

Baking the cakes
1. Preheat oven to 180°c / 350°f. 

2. Line two 20cm / 8" round baking tins with baking parchment. Spray/spread a thin layer of cooking oil to avoid sticking.

* do note that the batter is very very diluted, so use a proper sandwich tin, or make sure you line carefully with the parchment paper to avoid leakage.

3. In a large mixer bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder evenly, then add the remaining of ingredient A (except the boiling water) into a large mixing bowl. Whisk till the mixture is smooth and well combined.

* I used electronic mixer and turned it on high speed for about 3-5 minutes for the batter to mix thoroughly.

4. Now slowly pour the boiling water into the mixture, a little at a time to ensure the ingredients are well combined and all smooth. 

* The batter is very, very diluted, almost like liquid. So don't panic.;-)

5. Divide the cake batter equally between the baking tins, then bake in the oven's middle tray for 30-40 minutes. If it is still liquid or sticky when tested, bake for another 5 min.

* to test, insert a cake tester into the middle of the cake (as that usually take the longest to bake thru). If the cake is ready, the tester should comes out clean, otherwise just bake for another 5 min and check again.

6. Remove cakes from the oven and allow to cool down completely on a rack while still in the tin.
Prepare the Chocolate 
7. While the cake is baking, you may prepare the chocolate ganache. Heat up fresh milk in the microwave oven for about 2 minutes. 

8. Toss the chocolate solid (chopped) or chocolate chips into the bowl of fresh milk. Stir constantly until the chocolate has melted completely and form a smooth texture.

9. Let cool then keep in refrigerator for about 1 hour. The chocolate ganache shall be thickened like peanut butter sauce.

Assemble the cakes
10. Carefully remove the cakes from the tins. Using a cake knife, carefully slice off the uneven top to achieve a flat top, then cut into half of equal height.

11. Spread a generous layer of chocolate ganache over the bottom layer cake, then top with the upper half of the other cake like a sandwich. 

Repeat step 10&11 if you have 2 cakes like me.

To assemble an "8" shape cake like shown above, you have to cut off about 1" from one side of each cakes, and connect them together to form the "8" figure.

• Tips: to ensure the cake stay still on the board, spread a little buttercream / chocolate ganache to the board before placing the cake on top.

12. Move the cake to a cake turner (or a serving plate), spread a generous layer of chocolate ganache then spread out evenly with a palette knife, then continue with the side.

• Tip:  I find it is much easier to spread the chocolate evenly by using a cake turner as I can rotate the cake slowly while I run the palate knife over the cake.

13. That's it, your moist, rich chocolate cake is done! Remember to refrigerate your cake until it's ready to be served..