Wednesday, February 16, 2011

D's Valentine Cake

D loves the Sticky Chewy Chocolate Cake from Old School Delights at Upper Thomson Road, so I've tried to recreate it for Valentine's Day this year. According to him, it has that (said with emphasis) taste. At first bite, a friend exclaimed, "tastes like Betty Crocker!" And so, against my savvy pride, I stooped to the level of buying a box of Betty Crocker premix, convincing myself it was all in the name of science. The humble effort paid off, for that taste was found in Betty Crocker! I studied the ingredients on the box and came up with my version, with the help of The Cake Bible. This shiny chocolate cake doesn't have that taste; it tastes better. I've provided the recipes for cake and glaze below- they are really easy. By far the cake the gives the most impressed gasps for the (little) effort required.

I can see the towel in the cake- shiny!

D's Valentine Cake (Makes a double layered 10 x 20 cm cake)

55g dutch processed cocoa
98g hot water

50g egg yolks (3 yolks)
90g canola oil
20g light corn syrup (1 tbsp)

94g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
120g sugar
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract
150g egg whites

A 24 x 24 cm square pan lined with parchment/baking paper, with an overhang around the mouth of the pan. No fancy cake mixer required, just use a hand whisk so it's all your love and none of the machine's.

1. In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa and water till smooth. Cover with cling wrap to prevent evaporation. Leave to cool.
2. In another bowl, whisk together yolks, oil, corn syrup.
3. In yet another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt.
4. By now the cocoa mixture should have cooled to room temperature. Go ahead and add the yolk mixture to the large bowl, whisk for 1 min. It should look like buttercream.
5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla. Mix it in for a few seconds.
6. Add half the flour mixture and mix till dry ingredients are moistened. Repeat with the remaining half.
7. With a whisk, beat for 1 min. The batter should be very thick.
8. Add the egg whites in 4 batches while folding them in with figure of eights, still using the whisk. When all the whites are in, beat for 1.5 min. It should look like a thick soup.
9. Scrape batter into prepared pan, bake 175 deg c, 25 min, on lowest oven rung. When done, a cake tester inserted in centre should come out clean and centre will spring back slightly when gently pressed.

Good ol' days chocolate glaze (makes enough for above portion of cake)

34g dutch processed cocoa
90g water
36g gula melaka (palm sugar)
30g unsalted butter

3/4 tbsp light corn syrup
3/4 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tbsp sugar

1. Throw all ingredients into a pot and cook, constantly stirring, till thick. Let cool before using. (see I told you it was easy-only 1 step!)

Assemble the cake!

Trim off edges of the cooled cake. Cut into 2 equal pieces. Spread a layer of glaze on one piece and stack the other piece on top. Spread the glaze evenly over the outside, or simply pour it over each slice when serving. It's an easy glaze to impress with- not only is it super shiny, any knife marks made while spreading also disappear to give way to a smooth surface.

The cake layers are easy to transport. I lifted one end with a palette knife and slipped my hand under the layer to carry it to its destination. The layers will turn out moist and a little bendy, so they don't crumble easily. As extra insurance, refrigerate the layers before assembling so they are a little bit stiffer.

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