April 23, 2012

Sky High Chocolate Cake


I am constantly on a mission to find and make the perfect chocolate cake! Each year for my brother's birthday he requests a chocolate cake and this year was no different. 

For me, making a chocolate cake is like a composer composing a beautiful piece of  music. It goes far beyond a simple sponge and some frosting. I look at the type of chocolate and cocoa powder being used, the depth and width of the tins, how high the cake is going to be after it is fully frosted, whether it is going to be even and balanced and how much frosting is going to be needed to lavishly frost the outside of the cake so that it looks big and generous.

I want my chocolate cake to be like a ''Southern Cake'', straight out of Alabama or South Carolina; tall, tiered and hand frosted with a palate knife sitting proudly on top of a cake stand. 

In this recipe I used two cake tins that are 3 inches in height and 10 inches in diameter. Somewhat like a tin you would bake a Christmas Cake in. The height of these tins means, that there is very little doming on the cakes as they bake. Which in turn means, you will have a tall cake because less will need to be trimmed so that the cake sits flat. 

If you are like me and obsessed with your cakes being big and tall invest in some high sided tins. We can totally obsess together!! 

Once I was finished icing the cake, it stood just under 6 inches in height. If you ask me, 6 inches of chocolatey beauty but maybe I'm biased! 

Also, there may be some frosting left over...but seriously who's going to complain about that?! 

Enjoy!

Holly x





 Cubed butter at room temperature.



Sieved dry ingredients in the bowl of a food mixer.


Dry ingredients with softened butter and 125ml full fat milk.


Mixer on medium speed for 3-5 minutes until a crumbly texture is reached..(all butter incorporated)


Add one third of the egg/milk mixture and mix for one 1 minute...followed by another third...


..and the remaining third. Beat until silky smooth.


Divide into greased tins that are lined with parchment on the base.


Use a ladle and a spatula to evenly fill each lined tin.


Who gets to lick the bowl?!


Smooth the top of the batter with a spatula.


Allow to cool completely in the tins....See how little doming is on the cakes?


Make it look real pretty now, you hear?!


Recipe, 12-14 slices.

Adapted from Not So Humble Pie

Cake

2 1/4 Cups Plain Flour 

3/4 Cup Good Quality Cocoa Powder-Green & Blacks 

2 Cups Vanilla Caster Sugar/ Caster Sugar

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
226g Unsalted Butter, room temperature
250ml Full Fat Milk
4 Large Eggs
2 Large Egg Whites 
1 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract/2 if not using Vanilla Sugar

Butter and  line the base of two 3 inch high x 10 inch diameter cake tins OR 4 x 8 inch regular cake tins.
Preheat oven to 170°C
Cut the butter into cubes and allow to come to room temperature.
Sieve together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a food mixer, fit with a whisk.
In a separate bowl, beat together the whole eggs, egg whites, vanilla and 125ml of the full fat milk.

Add the cubed butter to the dry ingredients with the remaining 125ml of full fat milk.
Turn on to a medium speed and work for 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the mixer so that all the butter gets worked in. 
Add one third of the egg/milk mixture and beat for a minute.
Scrap down the sides.
Repeat this process until the egg/milk mixture is gone. 
The batter should be silky and smooth with no lumps. 

Divide evenly into the two lined cake tins using a ladle to measure the batter out evenly.
Smooth the top and bake for 40 minutes in the preheated oven.

Remove from oven.
Allow to cool completely in the tins before turning out. 
Using a serrated knife, cut and even out the tops of each cake so that they are flat.
*Because the cake tins are 3 inches in height, very little evening out will need to be done* 

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

200g Milk Chocolate
250g Dark Chocolate
6 Tablespoons Good Quality Cocoa Powder-Green & Blacks 
8 tablespoons boiling water
150g Unsalted Butter, room temperature 
500g Full Fat Cream Cheese, room temperature
1-2 Cups Icing Sugar
Salt, pinch 

Break the chocolate into squares and melt over a low heat in a glass bowl set over a pot of water (make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl).
Allow to cool and come to room temperature for 25-30 minutes, so that the butter doesn't melt in the frosting.
Combine the hot water and cocoa powder, stirring out any lumps. Set aside.
In the bowl of a food mixer, fit with a whisk, whisk the butter, salt and 1 cup of icing sugar together until smooth, light and fluffy. 
Add the cream cheese to the cocoa powder/water mixture. 
With the mixer on low, add the room temperature chocolate to the icing sugar mix and turn to medium.
Whisk for 3 minutes or until all ingredients are well incorporated. 
Scrape down the sides and mix for another minute.
Add the cream cheese mixture and whisk for another 2 minutes.
Add some more icing sugar if it is not stiff enough or not sweet enough.
If it is too stiff, add some water.
The frosting should be well combined, smooth with no lumps.

Assembly

Place one cake into the centre of a cake stand, cut side facing up.
Add one third of the frosting and spread evenlying out to the sides. 
Place the other cake on top, with the bottom of the cake facing upwards. 
Frost the cake all over with the remaining frosting even as possible! 





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