Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mark's Mocha Birthday Layer Cake.

Mark's Mocha Birthday Layer Cake.

Inspired by the Crabapple Bakery's Dinosaur Rock Cupcakes.

3 cups plain flour
2 tsp bi-carb soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 tbls instant coffee
1 cup hot water
1 cup cocoa
1 cup cold water
200g room temp butter
2 1/2 cups caster sugar
4 eggs
1 tbls good quality vanilla extract

How to...

Preheat over to 170 degrees C.

Grease and line 3 x 20cm round cake tins.

Sift into a mixing bowl the flour, soda, baking powder and salt.

Into another bowl mix the hot water, cocoa and coffee. Blend until completely smooth. Mix in the cold water and whisk until smooth.

In yet another bowl - hang in there its worth the washing up! Cream the butter for at least 2 minutes. Add one third of the caster sugar and beat for another 2 mins. Continue until all the sugar added.

Beat the butter / sugar mix for between 2 mins and 5 mins - until sugar has almost dissolved and is light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time to the creamed butter - beating for at least 1 min each time. After all 4 eggs added beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat well.

Alternate addition of 1/4 flour mix and 1/4 cocoa mix. Beat slowly between each addition - don't over beat at this point or the mixture stiffens.

Divide mixture between the three tins.

Bake for around 30-40 mins - check often as every oven will vary!

Chocolate Fudge Layer Filling

NOTE: This makes 3 cups which is quite a lot of filling.

1 1/2 cups cream (don't even think of low fat!)
400g chocolate (dark or milk - your call)
1/2 cup whipped cream

In a heavy saucepan bring the cream to boil gently. Add cream to the chocolate in a mixing bowl.

Leave for 1 min to soften the chocolate and slowly blend with a wooden spoon. Try not to incorporate any air to achieve a silky ganache.

Once the mixture has cooled to room temperature fold the mixture with a fork to open up the texture.

Using a silicone or rubber spatula fold half of the whipped cream. Add the remaining cream and fold lightly.

If you want a lighter mousse add more whipped cream!

Assembling the cake.

Once the cakes are cool cut the dome off the cakes to flatten them.

Cover the bottom tier with the Chocolate Fudge Mousse and strawberries.

Add the next tier, press down slightly and move up to the second teir. Cover in fudge mousse and strawberries and pop on the top layer. Press down slightly.

Crumb coat the cake in your frosting of choice.* Make sure your crumb coat gets right into the layers so there is no lines on the outside of the cake.

Once the crumb coat is dry frost with your choice of frosting. I used a chocolate butter cream and decorated with more strawberries.

* Crumb coating is a preparation layer - a very thin frosting layer that you allow to harden. Almost like a primer when you are painting a wall.

Expanded post.

Dark Chocolate Goddess Cake Recipe (gluten free)

This recipe was from an amazing gluten-free website I found called Karina's Kitchen. I made this for a friend's BBQ and served with strawberries and Karina's Mexican Hot Fudge Sundae sauce. So good!

Dark Goddess Cake Recipe

Note: adding blanched almond flour will produce a sturdy, dense chocolate experience. Apparently this cake only gets better as it sits overnight but the one I made didn't last that long!

12 ounces good quality dark chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces (6 oz. butter)
1 tablespoon good vanilla extract
7 large eggs
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup almond flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line the bottom of a 9-inch Springform pan with a circle of parchment paper and grease.

Place the chocolate and butter in a medium to smallish saucepan, and set the pan into a slightly larger sauce pan filled with two inches of hot water; bring the water to a simmer and slowly melt the chocolate and butter together. Stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate and butter are melted together.

Remove the pans from the heat, and set aside the pan of chocolate and allow it to cool a bit (to warmish). Stir it often to keep it smooth. (Or you could do this melting thing the postmodern way and heat it in a glass dish in the microwave.)

Using an electric mixer, beat the heck out of the eggs until they appear light colored and frothy; add the sugar and beat it all again until the mixture is thick and flows in ribbons, about 5-6 minutes.

Very slowly - pour about half of the warm chocolate into the egg-sugar mixture (to gently temper it). Beat on low to combine. At this point switch over to a wooden spoon, and blend in the remaining chocolate by hand. Add the vanilla.

Sift the cocoa into the batter and gently mix. If you're adding the almond flour, do the same. Lightly combine.

Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and bake at 350 degrees F. for about 50 minutes. Ovens vary! Err on the near side if you like a fudgier texture; bake it longer and it becomes drier, more cake-like.

Note: the top of the cake may be cracked - that's fine. A toothpick inserted into the cake’s center will emerge clean with a few moist crumbs when done.

Cool the cake in the pan, on a wire rack. Loosen the cake from the edges of the pan with a small flexible spatula, and release the spring clasp.

You may serve the cake right side up or invert it onto a 9-inch serving plate and peel off the parchment. Mine domed and needed to be serve upside-down.

Dust the cake with cocoa powder or powdered sugar and garnish with a few scattered raspberries or mint leaves, if desired.

Serves 10.

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