I’m back, back, BACK!!! I was MIA for last 1 year & here I am again, hopefully not to go missing for a long gap this time around!
I conceived our second child last year & the smell of chocolate & vim kept me out of the kitchen for most part of the early months & then later on, a pre-schooler & heavily penguin-body kept me from working a lot. 🙂 Now the baby is out, penguin-body is slowly going back in (I’ve started resembling a pricked balloon which looses its shapes from all corners & curves before completely deflating!), & the risk of my falling all over with every step has reduced so here I am with something that I enjoy doing a lot – Baking!
My little one is 4 months old & has started to fall into a routine with her elder brother so life is slowly coming back into my control. 🙂 Though my husband strongly disputes this & foretell not a moment of peace for years to come with 2 kids on hand. Well, I’m hopeful for normalcy in our lives soon (I’m all crossed, while writing this) 😉
The best place to re-start was where I stopped. I last baked 2 birthday cakes in September, 2011 – V’s Eggless Blackforest Cake & Eggless Checkerboard Cake for me. September is here again & our birthdays too! We are a year older & hopefully wiser too! Since, V’s birthday falls first, it’s his turn! He volunteered to help me make a cake in all it’s glory this time, I happily accepted. I can take all the credit if it turns out good & blame him if it falters 😉
We both are chocolate lovers & our older kiddo too. The young one is too young to know now, but hopefully she will also turn the same tide. So, I decided to make a Chocolate Truffle Cake, simply for the reason it is chocolate from bottom to top. The base is a chocolate cake, the filling is chocolate, top is chocolate, garnish is chocolate. Chocolate in every bite, what more we 3 could want!
For the base I chose to make Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake from Barbara Bakes, a recipe which in itself is eggless & doesn’t require unnecessary experiment is always welcome, plus the reviews by Barbara, Deeba & others were great. For the chocolate whipped cream filling I used a recipe from Sugar & Stilettos which is from Dorie Greenspan’s BFMHTY. Chocolate Glaze from Cooking Channel TV & Chocolate Garnish from Neeta Mehta’s Cakes & Cake Decorations.
In place of heavy whipping cream I’ve earlier used Amul in Eggless Blackforest Cake with not very great results. This time I’ve tried my luck again for chocolate whipped cream, as I came across a technique for beating it better in Cakes & Cake Decorations. It simply says – refrigerate the cream tetra pack for 2 hours to allow the liquid content to settle down (NOT in freezer). Carefully remove & cut the pack fully from top. Gently discard the liquid. Transfer the cream to a whipping bowl & keep in freezer for about 1 hr. Whip into submission. 🙂 I did this with wonderful results. I felt the best way is to simply use a spoon & scoop out the thick cream gently. Tilting would mix the two to some extent.
The cake rose well & was perfect to slice through in layers. BUT after this my game plan went for a toss. 😦 Decorating the cake was full of stupid mistakes on my part – first I forgot to frost the first layer, then I forgot to soak the 3rd layer & if this wasn’t enough then while putting back the top 2 layers, they broke apart & fell on the cake. I managed to give it a bit of semblance though with glaze. The final result was fairly ok except that instead of nice round cake with 3 layers, it became a Chocolate Truffle Mound. 🙂
I’m glad that I kept sugar less only as the cake was sufficiently sweet enough for all of us. It was moist, bitter, mocha-ey with all the right proportions. Truly a wonderful recipe. I was told repeatedly that this is the best chocolate cake ever they had. 🙂
V & V loved it. Both Vs contributed to the making by doing their bit (eating through the making ;)) Vedanta, my son loved it so much that ate with his hands which you can see for yourself. It makes all the effort & mistakes worthwhile!
This one is for my 4 month old daughter & my second innings in food blogosphere 🙂
Sequence of Steps – I made the cake in steps over 3-4 days so as to allow time to work on it peacefully when kids are sleeping & to let the flavors really set in. I’ve listed the steps in the order I made them in.
Day 1 – Sharts & Curved Sticks
Day 2 – Sugar Syrup & Whipped Chocolate Cream
Day 3 – Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake, Whipped Cream & Chocolate Glaze
Day 4 – Birthday Boy cuts the cake 🙂
Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake – I used one 9 inch spring form pan & increased the baking time accordingly.
Recipe Source – minimally adapted from Barbara Bakes
- 3 Cups – APF
- 1 3/4 Cups – Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 Cup – Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 2 tsps – Baking Soda
- 1 tsp – Salt
- 2 cups – Hot Water
- 3/4 Cup – Vegetable Oil
- 2 Tbsp – Distilled White Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp – Instant Coffee Granules
- 1 Tbsp – Vanilla Extract
- Pre-heat oven to 180 C. Line the bottom of one 9″ springform pan.
- Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda & salt in a large mixing bowl. Do not use mixer.
- Combine water, oil, vinegar, instant coffee & vanilla in a separate bowl.
- Add to the dry ingredients & whisk till just combined. A few lumps are fine.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan & bake for 50-60 mins till tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in the pan on the rack for 15 minutes, then invert it on the rack. Leave it upside down to cool, it helps in flattening any dome shape.
- Once completely cool, keep it in refrigerator for 15-20 mins to allow the cake to firm up, it will ease the slicing of cake.
Chocolate Whipped Cream – I refrigerated it for 24 hours before whipping. I whipped it prior to assembly.
Recipe Source – from Sugar & Stilettos
- 90 gms – Bittersweet Chocolate, finely chopped
- 400 ml – Heavy Cream, I used Amul
- 2-3 Tbsps – Sugar, to taste
- In a large heatproof bowl, place the chocolate.
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, stir the cream & sugar & bring to a boil. Remove the pan from heat & pour over the chocolate. With a whisk, beat the chocolate & cream together vigorously. You should achieve a smooth mixture. Allow it to cool at room temperature.
- Once cold, cover the cream so avoid strong odors & refrigerate for 24 hrs (atleast for 4 hrs minimum).
- With a whisk or electric hand mixer, beat the cream till it is almost thick. This will happen very quickly. The cream should be just firm enough to spread but not so firm that it looses it lightness & creaminess. Whipped cream can be stored upto 3 hours.
Chocolate Glaze – I skipped light corn syrup
Recipe Source – from Cooking Channel TV
- 3/4 Cup – Heavy Cream, I used Amul
- 11/2 tsps – Instant Coffee Granules dissolved in 2 Tbsp boiling water
- 2 Tbsps – Castor Sugar
- 240 gms – Dark Chocolate, finely chopped
- Bring the cream, instant coffee granules & sugar just to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Remove from the heat & add chocolate. Allow it to stand till chocolate softens (about 3 mins).
- Gently stir using a spatula till chocolate melts & the glaze is smooth. Do not whisk.
- Strain the chocolate glaze into a measuring cup.
- Let stand until slightly warm (tepid) but still liquid & pourable (about 15 mins).
Chocolate Sharts & Curved Sticks –
Recipe Source – from Cakes & Cake Decorations by Nita Mehta
- 100 gms – Dark Chocolate, I used Morde
- 2 Tbsp – White Chocolate Chips or grated White Chocolate
- Melt the chocolate using double boiler method.
- Spread half of the melted chocolate on a butter paper in a thin layer using a palette knife.
- Quickly sprinkle white chocolate chips on the melted chocolate strip.
- Allow it to set in fridge for 15-20 mins. Remove from fridge & remove butter paper.
- Break into uneven shapes. Spread in a plastic/ melamine plate & again allow it to firm up in chill tray.
- For the sticks – pour remaining melted chocolate in a paper cone. Cut out slightly big tip. Squeeze out zig-zag lines in criss cross manner on the butter paper. Set them like sharts.
- Chocolate Sharts & sticks can be made 1 week in advance.
Sugar Syrup –
- 1/4 Cup – Sugar
- 3/4 Cup – Water
Boil water & sugar together. Once it boils, lower the flame & allow it to heat for another 1 minute. Remove from heat & cool completely. It can be made in advance & stored in refrigerator.
Assembling the Cake –
- Transfer the cake on to a platter. Then using a long serrated knife, slice it into 3 layers.
- Make some holes into the bottom layer using a form. Soak the bottom layer in sugar syrup. Then lightly spread whipped chocolate cream over it. Place the second layer on top of the bottom layer & repeat the process of soaking & spreading cream. Finally place the top layer & again soak it. Lightly spread the cream on top & sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for 1 hr.
- Transfer the cake to a wire rack. Place a cookie sheet under it to catch any excess dripping chocolate.
- Pour the glaze in the center of the cake & tilt the rack to cover the sides of the cake as well.
- Allow the excess to run down the sides of the cake.
- Decorate with chocolate sharts & sticks.
- Refrigerate the cake until glaze sets (about 1 hr). I refrigerated for 24 hrs prior to cutting covered in a cake dome as I wanted the flavors to really set in. Serve chilled.