Monday, May 17, 2010

Chocolate Cake Madness!





I couldn't imagine my life without chocolates. A bite on a bar of chocolate, a sip on a cup of hot, rich chocolate drink, a good slice of that chocolate cake generously topped with ganache, freshly-picked strawberries dipped on bittersweet chocolate....nobody can say no to the invitation....simply glorious! God is so good creating this wonderful cocoa tree which has given man delightful experiences for countless generations. And these are all meant to be shared just like the wonderful chocolate cake recipes that I have for you. So heavenly, so chocolatey!!!!



A little something about this delightful tree. "Cocoa is the dried and partially fermented fatty seed of the cacao tree from which chocolate is made. A cocoa pod has a rough leathery rind about 3 cm thick (this varies with the origin of pod). It is filled with sweet, mucilaginous pulp called 'baba de cacao' in South America, enclosing 30 to 50 large almond-like seeds (beans) that are fairly soft and pinkish or purplish in color."



Here are the supposed benefits of consuming chocolate, among them are:
• eating chocolate does not trigger migraine headaches,
• eating chocolate reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer.
• eating chocolate does not give someone acne or other skin eruptions,
• eating chocolate boosts one's appetite, but does not cause weight gain,
• eating moderate amounts of chocolate makes one live almost a year longer,
• eating chocolate releases endorphins in the brain, which act as pain relievers,
• the sugar in chocolate may reduce stress, and have calming and pain relieving effect.



Now, let's explore my favorite chocolate cake recipes....




MOIST CHOCOLATE CAKE
Ingredients:
3/4 cup sifted cocoa
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. chocolate brown food color
3/4 cup softened butter
4 whole eggs
2 cups all purpose flour or (2 1/4 cups cake flour)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 3/4 cups brown sugar
Steps:
1. Mix cocoa, milk, vanilla and food color.
2. Mix all dry ingredients, add butter and eggs.
3. Combine the two mixtures.
4. Prepare two 9" round pans (or 9"x13" or 8"x12" or 10"x12"x1')line with bake paper or grease.
5. Preheated oven 350F, bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
YOU can use this recipe for CHOCOLATE CUP CAKES.
Steps:
1. Pour mixture on 24 paper-lined muffin pans.
2. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes 350F preheated.
YOU can also use this for making SOFT BROWNIES.
Steps:
1. Line two 7"x11" pans with bake paper.
2. Preheat oven at 350F, bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
3. Cut into 28 pieces per pan.
4. TO decorate, top with icings.



MOLTEN CHOCOLATE CAKE
Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
200g bittersweet chocolate
1/2 tsp. coffee-mocha flavoring (or instant coffee)
3/4 tsp. vanilla
3 whole eggs
3 eggyolks
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Garnishing:
Whip cream or heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. coffee-mocha flavor
Steps:
1. Melt butter and chocolate. Set aside.
2. Mix together the rest of the ingredients.
3. Fold in butter-chocolate mixture.
4. Preheated oven 425F, bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
5. Garnish.



CLASSIC CHOCOLATE CAKE
Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp. cold water
1/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder, unsweetened
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup softened butter
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 whole eggs
Steps:
1. Sift flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
2. Dissolve cocoa powder on water.
3. Cream butter with sugar.
4. On creamed butter, add eggs, with one minute interval per egg. Continue to cream alternating speed from high to low.
5. Mix in sifted flour and diluted cocoa.
6. Prepare 9" diameter baking pan, grease and lined (bottom and sides).
7. Preheat oven at 325F 30 minutes prior to baking, bake for 45 minutes to an hour.
8. Let cool.



DARK CHOCOLATE CAKE
Ingredients:
1 cup cocoa powder
2 tbsp. instant coffee
1 cup hot water
1 cup evaporated milk
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup butter
1/12/ cups sugar
4 whole eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
Chocolate fudge frosting:
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 cans condensed milk
1/4 cup butter
Steps:
1. Dissolve cocoa and coffee in hot water, then add milk.
2. Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda.
3. In a bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
4. on creamed butter, add beaten eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla.
4. Add in sifted flour.
5. Prepare two 9"x2" roun pans, lined with bake paper.
6. Preheated oven 350F, bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
7. For fudge frosting, cook in sauce pan or double boiler.



KAHLUA MEXICAN CHOCOLATE CAKE
[http://foododelmundo.com/2009/11/29/kahlua-mexican-chocolate-cake/]
Grease and flour THREE 9″ Round Cake pans
Whisk together wet ingredients:
1 1/2 Cups Sour Cream
1 1/4 Cups Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 Cups Kahlua
2 1/2 Tbsp White Vinegar
2 tsp Vanilla
3 Eggs

Whisk together Dry Ingredients:
2 1/2 Cups Flour
3 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
1 Tbsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Cinnamon

Add dry ingredients to liquid ingredients and stir until smooth.
Makes 4# 10oz (about 9 Cups of Batter) – portion out 3 cups per layer or weigh them out (1# 8oz per pan) to be even.
Bake at 350 for 40-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool completely, wrap in Saran and freeze until ready to frost – I store mine in the pan when I freeze them so they don’t get damaged.

Kahlua Cream Cheese Frosting
1 Pound Cream Cheese
1 Pound Butter
1 Pound Powdered Sugar
1 Cup Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
1/4 Cup Kahluah
2 tsp Cinnamon
Beat Butter and Cream Cheese on high until fluffy. Slowly add powdered sugar then mix in Kahlua.

Chocolate Collar
Put a crumb coating of frosting on the cake – it doesn’t need to be fancy – that part comes later.

Measure the circumfrence of the cake with some string. Cut the string an inch or so extra for an overlap.

Measure the height of the cake with a ruler.

Note: I realized acetate would have been much sturdier and wouldn’t show all the folds in the chocolate like the parchment did – next time.

So measure the acetate with measurements you got with the string and ruler – cut to size.

Melt some white chocolate and pipe on your design or dots. Let this harden completely before next step.

Melt your chocolate – I used 2 1/2 cups for this cake. Spread on top of dots – make sure your chocolate isn’t so hot that it melts the dots.

Let the chocolate set slightly before adhering it to the cake.

Let chocolate harden completely before removing its protection.

There you go – pipe extra frosting on top and tie a bow around if you’d like.








CHOCOLATE AND PEANUT BUTTER SALUTE
[Sour Cream Chocolate Cake]
[http://foododelmundo.com/2009/09/21/chocolate-peanut-butter-salute/]
Truly the easiest cake EVER and no mixer needed!

Grease and flour THREE 9″ Round Cake pans

Whisk together wet ingredients:
1 1/4 Cups Sour Cream
1 1/4 Cups Vegetable Oil
1 3/4 Cups Water
2 1/2 Tbsp White Vinegar
2 tsp Vanilla
3 Eggs

Whisk together Dry Ingredients:
2 1/2 Cups Flour
3 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
1 Tbsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt

Add dry ingredients to liquid ingredients and stir until smooth.
Makes 4# 10oz (about 9 Cups of Batter) – portion out 3 cups per layer or weigh them out (1# 8oz per pan) to be even.
Bake at 350 for 40-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool completely, wrap in Saran and freeze until ready to frost – I store mine in the pan when I freeze them so they don’t get damaged.

Peanut Butter Frosting

Equal Parts (measured by WEIGHT):
Cream Cheese
Peanut Butter
Powdered Sugar
Note: I used a pound of each – I like plenty of frosting – and don’t mind if there’s extra, but go CRAZY if there’s not enough! This amount worked out perfect!
Cream together Cream Cheese and Peanut Butter
Slowly add Powdered Sugar a cup at a time and blend until smooth.
Store in Ziploc bag in fridge or freezer.

Peanut Brittle- at end of post – I finally just made a half batch so I wouldn’t eat the other half!

Chocolate Ganache
1 Cup Ghiradelli 60% Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Tbsp Vanilla
2 Tbsps Light Corn Syrup
Melt over double boiler until smooth. Cool so it’s still runny but won’t melt the frosting. It’s a tricky combination – too hot it melts the frosting on the way down – too cold it globs along – it’s tough and I still have a hard time with it.

Assembly

Be sure to frost cake layers FROZEN
Let sit in cooler until ready for ganache
Pour over ganache that’s NOT HOT. Pour in center and help it along to the edges.
Put in cooler to set
Just before serving stick in peanut brittle pieces – if you put it in too soon – they’ll likely fall over.





GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE
[MyRecipes.com]
Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 cup pecans, toasted, plus 1 1/4 cups pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 sticks (1 lb.) unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, separated, plus 4 large egg yolks
1 cup sour cream
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 ounces evaporated milk
1 1/3 cups coconut
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons corn syrup
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease 3 (9-inch) cake pans; line with parchment; grease and lightly flour.
2. Process flour, 1 cup nuts, baking soda and 1/2 tsp. salt until nuts are ground. In a bowl, whisk bittersweet chocolate and 1/2 cup boiling water until smooth.
3. Cream 2 sticks butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar until fluffy. Add 4 yolks one at a time, blending after each. Stir in chocolate mixture.
4. Mix sour cream and 1 tsp. vanilla. Add flour and sour cream mixtures alternately to chocolate mixture, beginning and ending with flour. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Add 1/4 cup sugar 1 Tbsp. at a time; beat until egg whites hold soft peaks. Fold whites into batter in thirds. Divide batter among pans. Bake until cake springs back lightly, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before inverting cakes onto rack.
5. Whisk 3/4 cup sugar, evaporated milk, 1 stick butter, 4 yolks and 1 tsp. vanilla in a pan over low heat until smooth. Cook filling, stirring constantly, until thickened and just boiling, 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in coconut and 1 1/4 cups pecans.
6. Bring cream, 1 1/4 cups sugar and corn syrup to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add unsweetened chocolate and 1 stick butter; stir until smooth. Add 1 tsp. vanilla and 1/4 tsp. salt; pour into a bowl and set in a bowl of ice water to cool. Beat until frosting is shiny and thick.
7. Place one cake layer on a plate; spread with half of filling. Top with second layer and remaining filling. Top with third cake layer. Frost cake; garnish with additional coconut and pecans, if desired. Chill for 30 minutes.



GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE
[http://foododelmundo.com/2009/08/08/happy-birthday-papa/]
Ingredients:
4 oz German Chocolate (Sweet Baking Chocolate)
1/2 Cup Milk
2 1/2 Cups cake flour (or 2 1/4 all purpose flour)
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks (1 cup) Butter – room temp
1 3/4 Cup sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Cup Sour Cream
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Microwave chocolate and milk in microwave safe bowl for 1:30 on high.
3. Stir until chocolate is melted, set aside.
4. Sift flour, baking soda and salt together in a different bowl, set aside.
5. Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until fluffy.
6. Add eggs one at a time, beating between each addition.
7. Add 1/2 the flour mixture to the egg mixture, beat until well combined.
8. Add vanilla extract and chocolate mixture, beat until smooth.
9. Add the rest of the flour mixture and beat.
10.Add sour cream, beat.
11.Scrape the bottom the bowl to incorporate all the ingredients then beat some more
12.Divide batter between 3 cake pans
13.Bake 25-30 mins until a skewer stuck in the center comes out with only a few crumbs but no sticky batter
14.Run a knife around the inside of the pan, wait 10 mins before you flip cakes out onto cooling racks.

Coconut Pecan Frosting
Ingredients:
14 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 Cup water
3 egg yolks
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Cup Pecans chopped
2 Cups Sweetened Coconut Flakes
pinch salt
Directions:
1. Stir condensed milk, water, and egg yolks together in a saucepan
2. Add butter and cook on medium heat stirring occasionally until butter is melted and the mixture bubbles
3. Turn stove down to low and cook another 5 mins stirring constantly
4. Add remaining ingredients until evenly combined
5. Let cool but put on cake when still warm
Note:Traditionally the frosting does not run down the sides, if you want it to then double the recipe.



CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKES
[by Michelle, http://vanillaicing.typepad.com/vanilla_icing/2010/04/chocolate-lava-cakes.html]
2 ounces Chocolate, 60% cacao
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup butter
4 ounces Chocolate, 60% cacao
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup of flour
Directions:
1. In a double boiler, combine the 2 oz of chocolate and the heavy cream. Stir until combined and then place in the freezer until firm. Scoop into 6 balls and return to the freezer.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a double boiler, combine the 4 oz of chocolate and the butter. Stir until combined. Set aside to cool slightly. Butter 6 four ounce ramekins. I like to flatten a mini-cupcake paper and place it in the bottom of the ramekin and butter that as well. It helps later with removing the cake from the ramekin.
3. In a clean bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla until they are pale yellow and fluffy. Fold in the chocolate mixture. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and fold in until just combined.
4. Fill each ramekin halfway. Place a frozen lava ball in the center of each ramekin and then cover with remaining batter. Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. the cakes will puff up and feel firm to the touch.
5. Cool for a few minutes and then invert the ramekin on a plate. You may need to run a knife around the edges of the ramekin before inverting it. Serve warm.



BROWNIE CAKE WITH GANACHE
[by Michelle, http://vanillaicing.typepad.com/vanilla_icing/2009/10/brownie-cake-with-ganache.html]
Ingredients:
For the brownie/cake:
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
4 oz semi sweet chocolate, melted & cooled slightly
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup flour
For the ganache:
1 cup semisweet chocolate (I find chocolate chips to be suitable for everyday)
6 oz heavy cream
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour an 8 or a 9 inch cake pan and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the baking soda, salt, baking powder, cocoa and flour. Set aside.
2. In a bowl, combine the butter and sugar and beat until well combined. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Slowly mix in melted chocolate.
3. Add the flour mixture and the milk alternately mixing slowly until well combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 22-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few fudgy crumbs on it.
4. Cool cake on a wire rack in the pan for 15 minutes. Loosen the edges and allow to cool completely.
5. To make the ganache--Combine the semisweet chocolate and the cream in a small saucepan. Cook on medium low heat, stirring constantly until completely smooth and combined. Place something under the cake on the wire rack to catch the drips and then pour the warm ganache over the cake until it is completely covered. You may need to smooth the ganache along the sides of the cake to ensure complete coverage. Allow the ganache to set before serving or before covering and storing.


Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties!
http://smittenkitchen.com/2006/09/this-cake-has-a-hole-in-it/
Ingredients:
1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1/4 cup grated orange zest (from 4 large oranges)
3 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup buttermilk at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups good semisweet chocolate chunks
Syrup:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Ganache:
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.
2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the orange zest.
3. Sift together 3 cups flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine the orange juice, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately in thirds to the creamed butter, beginning and ending with the flour. Toss the chocolate chunks with 2 tablespoons flour and add to the batter. Pour into the pan, smooth the top, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, make the syrup. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the sugar with the orange juice until the sugar dissolves. Remove the cake from the pan, set it on a rack over a tray, and spoon the orange syrup over the cake. Allow the cake to cool completely.
5. For the ganache, melt the chocolate, heavy cream, and coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Drizzle over the top of the cake.

Rich Chocolate-Blackberry Torte with Raspberry Sauce
http://putasporkinit.wordpress.com/2010/05/05/rich-chocolate-blackberry-torte-with-raspberry-sauce/Raspberries, blackberries, wild strawberries, boysenberries, loganberries, or any combination can be used to top this torte. Likewise, the sauce can be made with the same berry or from a berry with a complementary flavor.
Serves 10
DOUGH
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup superfine sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
1 ½ cups flour
CHOCOLATE GANACHE FILLING
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup seedless blackberry/raspberry preserve
8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
BLACKBERRY/RASPBERRY SAUCE
8 oz fresh or frozen blackberries/raspberries, plus extra for topping
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp superfine sugar
2 tbsp blackberry/raspberry-flavor liqueur, such as Chambord
Prepare pastry. In a food processor fitted with metal blade, process butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla until creamy. Add cocoa and process for one minute, until well blended; scrape side of bowl. Add flour all at once and using the pulse action, process for 10-15 seconds, until just blended. Place a piece of plastic wrap on work surface. Remove metal blade and turn out dough onto plastic wrap. Use wrap to help shape dough into flat disc and wrap tightly. Refrigerate for one hour.
Lightly grease a 11-inch tart pan with removable base. Soften dough for 5-10 minutes at room temperature. Roll out dough between two sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap to a 13-inch round, about ¼-inch thick. Peel off top sheet of plastic and invert dough into prepared pan. Ease dough into pan. Remove plastic wrap.
With floured fingers, press dough onto base and side of pan, then roll rolling pin of edge of pan to cut off any excess dough. Prick base of dough with fork. Refrigerate for one hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line tart shell with foil or parchment paper; fill with dry beans or rice. Bake for 10 minutes; lift out foil with beans and bake for 5 minutes more, until just set (pastry may look underdone on the bottom, but will dry out). Remove to wire rack and cool completely.
Prepare filling. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring cream and blackberry/raspberry preserve to a boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate all at once, stirring until melted and smooth. Stir in butter and strain into cooled tart shell, smoothing top. Cool torte completely and refrigerate to set.
Prepare sauce. In a food processor combine blackberries, lemon juice, and sugar and process until smooth. Strain into a small bowl and add blackberry/raspberry-flavor liqueur. If sauce is too thick, thin with a little water.
To serve, remove torte from pan. Place on serving plate and arrange with the berries on top of the torte. With a pastry brush, brush berries with a little of the blackberry/raspberry sauce to glaze lightly. Serve remaining sauce separately.

(Photos from Flickr.com and links as provided.)

3 comments:

AiDah said...

Hi,

I am from Singapore. I really envy that guy like you can bake such a beautiful cakes. I just begin my interest in cake baking because after looking at all the cake gallery from other baker. Hoping I will be able to decorate and bake a cake just like others do. INSYAALLAH

PERRY a.k.a. YUSUF said...

Salam Aidah,

Thank you for your comment. Baking has become my passion now.Looking back I knew nothing about cakes except that I can eat more than one serving hehehe. I love eating so I decided to venture into cooking and baking! I am glad I did and yes, I also continue to be inspired by many great bakers. I pray that you will be able to bake and make beautiful cakes!InshaAllah... You are always welcome to come and visit my blog....JazakAllah..All the best, Perry Yusuf

Katherine Thayer said...

I gave your recipe to the residents of http://assistedlivinglittlerockarkansas.com so they can try this one as their hobby.

Le Bonhuer....

Meet Perry

My photo
Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines
I got a confession to make. I am food addict, over-indulgent! I crave for anything especially sweets, chocolates, cakes, ice cream, strawberries, halo-halo, leche flan, banana Q, breads, pasta, Nasi Goreng....tell me what you got in your fridge ;-D. Thank heavens for I got my mum's genes, I can gain and lose pounds that easy and quick. I am here to share with you my food recipe collection (almost forgotten in a corner of my room) and search for new, exciting recipes, meet good people, and discover more about the world of baking. I am no professional baker or chef (just a wanna-be for now) but we'll get there in time. In sha Allah. Afterall, DREAMS just got to start somewhere, and it starts right here, right now! Meantime enjoy this food journey with me among other stuff....amigos to the kitchen! [Thank you for visiting my blog,you're always welcome to come by! Feel free to dig deep into the posts, much treasures there. And leave your comments, I'd appreciate your words....] [P.S. Borrowed articles/photos can be deleted anytime, please advise.Thank you.]

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