Friday, November 17, 2017

Baker's Corner: Chocolate Drip Cake with Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate Glaze


I said I would blog the recipe of my twins third birthday cake, didn't I? Well, here it is!

First things first - I am no cake decorator. I assume you know that right? So, please be kind and don't judge my effort too harshly okay? 😄 I am just a hobby baker who still has far too many things to learn. Heck, I don't even own a turntable you guys! Enrolling in a cake decorating class has been on my agenda for years and I need to do that without further delay to get my basics right. Next year will be the year!

I'm going to make this post all about this cake and spare you the pain of my frivolous ramblings 😛 This chocolate drip cake was one of my recent kitchen ventures that was a success. The drip cake phenomenon picked up steam a few years ago and I don't know about you, but I have been an ardent fan. I'd been meaning to try it for a long time and the perfect opportunity presented itself at the time of the twins birthday.

This cake has three components - the chocolate cake, the chocolate peanut butter frosting and the chocolate glaze, the recipes of which I tried for the first time on the morning of the girls birthday. I knew I was taking a big risk because I didn't know how everything would turn out, pair together or even if the quantities were right. I earnestly followed the chocolate cake recipe from a blog that I stumbled across but improvised on the frosting and glaze recipe as I went along.


To be honest, this turned out to be the easiest cake I have ever made. The cake itself has oil instead of butter so there is no creaming involved. Just mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, mix the wet ingredients in another, put everything together and you are sorted. The cake turned out tender, fudgy and moist with just the right amount of chocolate flavour. It wasn't all that sweet either so it went very well with the light, fluffy buttercream which was quite sweet and had a mild hint of nuttiness from the peanut butter. I used semi-sweet chocolate for the glaze which further brought the chocolate flavour to the forefront. The chocolate glaze was done in a matter of minutes and creating the drip effect was easier than I thought. The consistency of the glaze was just perfect. After that, it was just a matter of arranging a few chocolates and wafers on the top and I was done! From start to finish, the whole shebang took about 90 minutes. It struck me that I didn't even have to wake up as early as I did that day! But then again, I could have taken my time and done a much better job with smoothing the frosting on the cake for that seamless, uninterrupted finish. I clearly didn't 😛

Obvious cake flaws aside, will I be making this cake again? Absofreakinlutely!!!

So cake done and packed, I gingerly transported it to the twins preschool and they were delighted to see me and a chocolate cake (which brought them more excitement I'm not sure!). After the birthday girls blew out the candles and cut the cake, they had second helpings and were about to greedily reach for a third but as their mother, I had to put my foot down. Two little monkeys high on sugar is more than I can handle! Anyway, I stashed the leftover cake in the fridge and we polished it off within the next 3 days. Just keeping it at room temperature for 10 minutes was good enough to get it back to its moist yummy self.

I enjoy baking my childrens birthday cake. The happiness on their faces when they see it makes my mommy heart sing. Right now, they are at an age where they can easily forgive any flaws with the cake but as they get older, their expectations are going to get bigger 😰  To that I say - bring it on! Jokes apart, I sincerely hope I can improve as the years go by and I can share with you my labour of love.

Trust me, this is a very easy cake to put together. If you you prefer to stay in your comfort zone  by baking simple cakes and avoiding any kind of frosting or decoration, you can begin your maiden cake decorating journey with this one.

Good luck and be sure to let me know how it turns out!

Chocolate Drip Cake with Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate Glaze

Preparation time:10 min; Baking time: 25 min; Cooling time: 30min; Assembling time: 30 min
Total time: ~ 90 min
Makes: A two layered 8-inch cake
Recipe category: Dessert\Western
Recipe level: Moderate
Recipe source: Adapted from here

Chocolate Cake

Yields: one 2-layer 8-inch cake (or 3-layer 6-inch cake)

Ingredients:
1¾ cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
⅔ cup (65 g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup (120ml) neutral oil, such as canola
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk (or whole milk)
1 cup (240 ml) hot water

Optional: To enhance the chocolate flavour, dissolve 1-2 teaspoons instant coffee granules or espresso powder, or 2 oz dark chocolate in the hot water.

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Generously butter two 8-inch (or three 6-inch cake pans) and dust with cocoa powder, tapping the pans slightly to remove any excess.


2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add in sugar and mix until combined. Set aside.



3. In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, oil, vanilla, buttermilk, and water. Whisk until smooth. Add egg mixture into flour mixture and mix until smooth. Don’t overbeat – batter will be lumpy at first, but mix gently and eventually stir with a whisk just until smooth. Batter will be very thin.



4. Divide the batter equally into the two pans. Bake cakes for about 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing, then let cake cool completely on a wire rack.


5. Pop the cakes in an airtight container in the fridge for a while before frosting

Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
3.5 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
4 tbsp heavy/whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

1. In a bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with whisk or paddle attachment, whip butter on moderately high speed until very pale and fluffy (nearly white in colour), about 6 - 8 minutes, occasionally scraping down sides of the bowl.


2. Sift in cocoa powder then add in powdered sugar, 4 tbsp heavy cream, peanut butter and vanilla and mix on low speed until combined, scrapping down the sides of the bowl as needed.



3. Increase mixer to medium-high speed and whip mixture until pale and very fluffy about 4 - 5 minutes, occasionally scraping down sides of the bowl.


Note that it is best to prepare and use the frosting within a few hours for best (fluffiest) results. 

Assembling the cake: 
1. Trim both cakes with a knife (if they have rounded tops) until they are flat on both sides. Set one layer on a plate.

2. Evenly spread about ⅓ of the frosting over the cake to the edge. Top with the second cake layer. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake as uniformly as possible.




If the frosting remains, you can pipe some of it along the lower circumference of the cake or at the outer edge on the top surface (after applying the drips) for additional decoration.


Place the frosted cake back into the fridge for at least 15 minutes before you begin to add the chocolate drips. 

Chocolate Glaze

Ingredients:
75g dark chocolate chips
50g butter, softened

Method:

1. Melt the chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave.


2. Add the softened butter and mix in until melted and glossy. Pour into a squeeze bottle and drizzle drips around the edge of the cake or else, spoon drips along the edge and then smoothen the top (I used a spoon). It is very important to keep the frosted cake in the fridge before adding the drips.



Once the chocolate glaze sets a little, arrange chocolates in a random manner (I'd recommend ferrero rocher, maltesers, kit kat, thin mints, wafers and chocolate cigars).



Notes:

  • You can also use fresh fruit such as berries to arrange on top of the cake 
  • Keep the cake in the fridge until the time of serving. Bring to room temperature before serving. 
  • Store cake in the fridge for up to 3 days. 


Cheers,
Megha

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