We are meeting after a small gap, right? I was actually planning to take a small break from blogging. No particular reason, just like that. But then, June is a special month for MariasMenu. MM's b'day falls on this month and this year we turn 7! So it's been 7 years that our relationship started. I hope you dont feel the 7 year itch ;)
I cant believe that it's been 7 years that I've started chatting and cooking with you! It's been a long journey, but YOU made it a pleasant one with your wonderful company.
Initially you came here alone, checked out the place and left. The next time you came, you got involved with the place and stayed for some time. Later on, you brought your friends and family with you and had a picnic here :) All the while, I tried my best to make this a better place for you, to offer something new every time you came. I wanted you to have a memorable experience at this place. I'm not sure how much I succeeded in doing that, but I wanted to give it my best always.
Thank you for being with us and blessing us with your presence, comments and feedback.
Here's a birthday cake recipe. I've made this cake twice in a month's time, once for one of our friend's anniversary and then for another friend's b'day. What I liked most about the recipe is that, it uses little fat compared to other recipes. Also the cake isn't too sweet even with the icing. As I've told you before, I don't like cakes that are too sweet. I've tried it with Chocolate Ganache and Chocolate Cream Cheese frosting. They both pairs well with the cake. I'm posting the recipe for Cream Cheese Icing here, but if you want to have ganache icing, check it out here. If you are looking to make a layered chocolate cake, this is a good recipe. It rises well and comes out perfectly levelled.
Here is the recipe…
Cake recipe adapted from here.
- 1 3/4 cup Plain flour
- 2 cups Sugar
- 3/4 cup Cocoa powder
- 2 tsp Baking soda
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Buttermilk (shaken (refer notes for substitute))
- 1/2 cup Vegetable oil (I used Sunflower oil)
- 2 extra large Eggs (room temp (refer notes))
- 1 tsp Vanilla essence
- 1 cup Hot coffee (refer notes)
For Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing
- 200 gms Cream cheese (softened (I used Philadelphia full fat cream cheese))
- 175 gms Unsalted Butter (softened)
- 225 gms Semi sweet chocolate (I used Hershey's semi sweet choc chips)
- 1 tsp Vanilla essence
- 1 3/4 – 2 cups Icing sugar
For sugar syrup
- 1/3 cup Sugar
- 1/3 cup Water
For chocolate Shards
- 125 gms Baking chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F / 180 C. Prepare two 8-inch or 9 inch cake pans – Line with parchment, then butter and flour the pans.
- Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
- In another bowl or large measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla, gently whisk. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine – scrape up from the bottom to catch any pesky flour mixture hiding below.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack to complete cooling.
- For the icing
- Melt the chocolate in MW or using a double boiler method. Let it cool. Cream together the softened cream cheese and butter. Make sure there are no lumps. Add Vanilla essence and mix well. Add melted chocolate. Combine. Add 1 cup of icing sugar and mix well. Do a taste test and add the rest of the icing sugar accordingly and combine well.
- For the sugar syrup
- Mix together water and sugar. Heat it till the sugar dissolves and let it boil. Remove from fire and let it cool completely.
- For Chocolate shards
- Melt 125 gms of baking chocolate in MW or using a double boiler method. Spread the melted chocolate (there is no need to cool it) on a parchment/baking paper. Cover it with another parchment paper of same size. Roll it into a tube, refrigerate it with the seam side down for 2 hours. Unroll the tube and the chocolate will crackle itself. Shards is ready. Use as per your liking. Check out the video here, to see how it's done.
- Assembling of the cake
- The cake has to be cooled completely before icing. Place one of the cakes on a cake board & brush it with sugar syrup, make sure the entire cake is brushed. Place some icing on top of it & spread using a spatula. Place the other cake on top of this and repeat the process. After the top layer is placed and covered with icing, apply the icing around the sides as well. Now you can decorate the cake with Chocolate shards.
- Refrigerate the iced cake. Keep the refrigerated cake @ room temp for 20-30 mins, before serving.