Tag Archives: dessert

Black Forest Cake

If you like my page on facebook or follow me on twitter you must have seen my previous complaints about my black forest cake backfiring. It got so bad that I decided not to try again. I resulted in getting my brother to bake the cake then I do the frosting.

This past weekend we were having a bridal for a good friend of mine and I offered to bring a black forest cake. At first I had requested my brother to do the baking but on second thought I decided to ask him for his recipe. I needed to face my fears. I normally hate it when cakes back fire, though my friends think otherwise since they enjoy eating my backfired cakes, ha!

This recipe is a bit different from others that I have tried. The great thing is that it worked.

Before I go on, be warned this will be a very long post full of many photos so if you are yet to have lunch I suggest you eat first :-). Oh and another thing, making a black forest is a bit tedious, not the baking part but the layering and frosting so patience is key.

Ingredients:

For the cake;

7 medium sized eggs

220 g all purpose flour – about 1 3/4 cups

23o g sugar – about 1 1/2 cups

160 g margarine – about 3/4 cup

5 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon coffee

2.5 teaspoon of baking powder

2 teaspoon of vanilla essence

1 teaspoon of passion flavour essence – optional

For feeding the cake

2 tablespoons of icing sugar

4 tablespoons of water

Some juice – optional

For the frosting

Whipping cream

Strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered

Chocolate

Equipment

Electric mixer

wooden skewer or toothpick

Start with baking the cake.

Pre heat the oven at 180°C. Grease the baking tins and line them with grease proof paper. I used 2 9 inch round tins since I wanted the cake to have four layers.

the main culprits
the main culprits

Baking this cake is pretty easy since you just dump in all the ingredients then using an electric mixer you combine the ingredients and the cake batter is ready.

All the ingredients
All the ingredients

Using the handy mixer…

Cake batter
Cake batter

Divide the batter between the two tins. Ensure they are more or less the same.

ready to be baked
ready to be baked

Bake for twenty minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. I said a prayer as I put the cakes in.

Excitement!!! I was jumping up and down. The cakes had not backfired. Thank you God.

Fresh from the oven
Fresh from the oven

Let the cakes cool for about ten minutes then remove them from the tins to cool further.

chilled out
chilled out

It’s advisable to let the cakes cool completely, this will come in handy when layering the cake. The crumbs won’t be as many.

I wrapped my cakes in clear cling film them I put then in the fridge.

Same day evening…

Layering and frosting.

Take one cake, I put mine on top of an overturned baking tin. This is to aid in layering the cake.

Start by leveling the cake.

Leveled, I guess
Leveled, I guess

Then slice the cake in half to form two almost equal layers.

tada
tada

Repeat the above steps for the second cake.

DSC08476
leaning tower of black forest

Now for the fun part.

the whipping cream
the whipping cream
strawberries and whipping cream
strawberries and whipping cream

To make the sugar water, combine the icing sugar, water and juice if using. I used some orange juice that I had in the fridge. For the extra kick I guess you can put a tablespoon of rum in the mixture instead of juice.

food for the cake
food for the cake

Place the bottom layer of the cake on a board, then using a wooden skewer or toothpick poke the surface of the cake.

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Then drizzle about a tablespoon of the sugar water over the cake. This will feed the cake to ensure it continues to be moist and spongy.

Put a dollop of whipping cream on the surface of the bottom layer.

bottom layer
bottom layer

Spread it evenly on the surface of the cake.

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Spread the strawberries. I had some leftover cherries so I threw them in.

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Repeat the steps for all the layers.

DSC08491

DSC08493

After filling in all the layers, coat the entire cake with the whipping cream.

white cake...
white cake…

It doesn’t need to look perfect since you will pile on chocolate.

When it comes to putting the chocolate, you can be as creative as you want to be. You can choose to grate the chocolate and sprinkle it all over the cake. If you are in a hurry, like I was, you can cut the chocolate into chunks and stick around the cake. Don’t worry they won’t fall off, the whipping cream acts as the glue.

Decorate the top with smaller pieces of chocolate then make a border on the cake with whole strawberries that are slightly dipped in whipping cream.

talk of abstract art
talk of abstract art

DSC08505

the cake
the cake

By the way I used homemade chocolate.

The cake looks so huge, I guess it’s a 1.5kg.

When it got to cake time, I was anxious to see how the layers would look. Then the bride to be sliced the cake.

Need I say more?
Need I say more?

This cake may take long to prepare but, trust me it’s worth the wait. So go on try it out, in case you don’t succeed on the first attempt don’t give up there’s always a second, third or fourth try.

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Surprise: Chocolate Banana Cake

This past weekend was hubby’s birthday, so I decided to bake him a surprise birthday cake. Planning a surprise for someone you live with can be a bit difficult. The biggest challenge was where to hide the cake.

I recall earlier this year, on the eve of my birthday, hubby had prohibited me from opening the fridge. Well it was sorta obvious he had hidden something sweet, well it turned out to be a tasty white forest cake (my favourite) 🙂

Back to the surprise, I schemed to have the cake hidden at my friends place, they are also our good neighbours. Next challenge was to bake the cake in record time, frost it and eliminate all evidences of cake bearing in mind the way the house smells when one has baked.

Ingredients:

Cake

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup butter/margarine (I used margarine)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

3 ripe bananas mashed

4 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla essence

1/4 teaspoon salt

3-4 tablespoons of water

Frosting;

Chocolate Ganache

300ml double cream

300gm chocolate chips/chunks

Lemon Icing

Juice of one lemon

Icing sugar

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence

As usual start by pre heating your oven at 350 degrees.

Grease and flour your baking tin. This time round I also lined the bottom of the tin with some parchment paper.

Using a wooden spoon/spatula/electric mixer cream the sugar and the margarine.

Once the mixture is creamy and fluffy mix in the eggs one at a time. The mixture will look a bit curdled but it’s ok. Add the vanilla essence.

Mix in the mashed bananas.

The mashed bananas

Once well incorporated add the flour,cocoa,baking powder and salt into the wet mixture.

The dry ingredients

Fold in the dry ingredients until well incorporated. I found out recently that the cake batter should have a dropping consistency, that it when you scoop it with a spatula it should be able to drop. Don’t confuse this to mean that it should free flow. Even if it drops some huge dollops that’s ok. Well since mine what not at the right consistency I added some 3 tablespoons of water.

Pour out the batter into the prepared tin then put it in the oven to bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick/spaghetti inserted in the middle comes out clean.

AS the cake was baking I prepared the ganache and lemon icing.

In a bowl pour the lemon juice.

Juice of one lemon

Add the icing sugar, small quantities at a time. We want the icing to be a bit viscous.

The icing sugar

Patience is key while making this. I used about 3/4 cup of icing sugar.  Add the vanilla essence then continue mixing till you get the desired results. Then set it aside.

Lemon Icing

Thirty minutes or so later, my cake was evenly cooked and a toothpick inserted in the middle came out clean.

Place the cake tin on a rack to cool for about 10 minutes.

Taking a chill pill on the rack

Remove from the tin and let it cool further since, we’ll be frosting the cake.

I was really working in a rush and to be honest the kitchen counter was a bit messy. Since I was trying to eliminate all evidences, as the cake was baking, I also washed all the used equipment.

To be honest, I didn’t wait for the cake to cool completely, time was against me.

Since I had prepared the ganache earlier that morning, it hadn’t completely set, I wished I’d put it in the freezer, oh well.

Pour the ganache on the cake and spread it out.

The counter was full of chocolate. After putting the first layer of ganache, I squeezed the cake into the freezer for like 10 minutes to see whether it would at least set, well that amount to more mess O-o.

Add the final layer of the ganache. The dripping result.

Drip drip drip went the chocolate ganache.

Now for the lemon icing, I don’t have a pipping bag so I had to be inventive, so just using a polythene bag, pour the icing into the bag, push it to one edge of the bag then make a small hole. Then ice as desired. (sorry no pics, handy were messy).

Now for the end result.

Happy birthday hun 🙂

I forgot to mention, just as I was beginning the second layer of frosting the cake,hubby called saying that he had just alighted from the bus and that he was on his way home O-o (the horror). Trying to buy time I requested him to go buy fruits, I even recommended some vendors that were a bit far, sneaky I know.

Safe to say, the cake was hidden at my neighbours, all the utensils washed, wiped dry and tucked away in their respective cabinets. One big problem remained, the cake smell… Well I’d earlier lit an aromatic candle so when he got home and got to sniffing (pun intended) I just said it was the candle.

Tip: Please prepare the ganache the night before to avoid the mess I made.

For those who might be wondering the surprise worked out great and hubby loved the cake.

PS. Sorry for the longest post ever. Also, I apologise for the lack of step by step pics, I was really in a hurry and took what I could.

Pineapple upside down flop :-(

This was the second time I was making this cake and since the first time was a huge success I didn’t think this time would be any different. Boy was I wrong.

Honestly, I had debated on whether I should post this seeing that it didn’t come out as expected. All in all I decided to (que sera sera), I’m no professional chef so once in a while I’m allowed to burn the food, over salt it, add the wrong spice catch the drift I’m human.

Anyway back to the cake, just as the name suggests you put pineapple slices on the baking tin then the cake batter, then when the cake is done you turn it upside down and the pineapple slices are on top… sounds simple?

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup sugar

4 tbsp sugar for sprinkling

1 cup margarine/butter

1 tbsp baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1 tbsp vanilla extract/essence

Zest of one lemon

3 ripe bananas preferably mashed

A handful of cake mix (sultanas & raisins)

A handful of chocolate chips

1/2 pineapple sliced horizontally

Pre heat the oven at 350 degrees.

Grease your baking tin with some margarine/butter then sprinkle the sugar. Line it with the sliced pineapples.

pineapple slices

In a mixing bowl cream your sugar and margarine till light and fluffy.

Add the eggs and vanilla essence mixture. Mix after every egg addition.

Eggs and vanilla essence

Add the bananas, I forgot to mash mine before hand so I did extra mixing to ensure they were incorporated. *working the biceps 🙂 * #iLie

oops , caught red handed I used an electric mixer O-o

In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients.

flour,baking powder,salt,lemon zest,sultanas and chocolate chips

Fold in the flour mixture into the mixing bowl.

Be careful not to over mix, you just want them to be incorporated, then add the batter to the tin lined with the pineapple slices.

just before popping it into the oven

Bake it for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

The big flop:

I baked it longer and the pineapples sorta burned well not sorta they really burned 😦

So I just removed all the burnt pineapples threw them away and left the top of the cake to be the top of the cake no flipping over was done. And that is how you right a wrong 🙂

Verdict:

I served the cake to some guests who had come over and dare I say it was a huge hit *does the moonwalk*

If I could it all over again:

Well,we all know what I’d do differently.

Apologies, I forgot to take the photos of the end result sans the burnt pineapples. I guess I was a bit disappointed.

I’ll make one soon and post.

How it should have looked

The first attempt