The hubby’s birthday should always fall on a weekend, especially if you are planning to bake a cake for him and especially if you are trying a new recipe which has more steps rather than just mix together-bake-serve.
But unfortunately that was not to be, the hubby’s birthday came on a Thursday this year and not a normal Thursday but a Thursday, when I had a lot of project work at hand (read office project) and was also fasting. But thank God for small mercies I was at least working from home.
Since I have been working from home since the start of Ramzaan, I was not able to stock up on things to decorate my cake with. The final decorations which did happen on the cake were the creative ideas of my sister and the birthday boy.
But all in all, I was extremely pleased with the end result of my first try at a chocolate cake with ganache frosting. I referred to several recipes on the net before customizing them to my requirements and proportions.
Now for the recipe…
For the Chocolate Cake
1 ¼ cup refined flour,
½ cup whole wheat flour,
¾ cup cocoa powder,
2 tsps baking soda,
1 tsp baking powder,
¾ tsp salt,
2 cups sugar,
½ melted butter,
1 cup milk,
2 tsp vanilla extract,
3 tsps instant coffee powder,
Some extra cocoa powder for dusting the pans,
Some extra butter for greasing the pans
For the Ganache
500 grams dark chocolate compound,
1 ½ cup cream,
2 tbsps sugar,
¼ cup butter,
1 tsp vanilla extract
To Make the Chocolate Cake
Sift the refined flour, whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Add the sugar to this and mix well.
In a separate bowl mix together the melted butter, milk, eggs and vanilla extract with a fork.
Now mix the wet and dry ingredients
Add the instant coffee powder to a cup of very hot water and mix well.
Add this coffee to the prepared mixture and mix well.
This mixture will be used to make two cakes. It is best if you have two 8 inch round cake tins for this. In case you do not have two (like me) you will have to bake two cakes one after the other.
Apply butter on both the pans and dust it with cocoa powder. Pour half the batter into each pan. Preheat the oven at 180oC. Bake the cakes for 35 minutes or until the knife comes out clean once the cake is pricked.
Unmould and let them cool on a wire rack.
To Make the Ganache
Cut the chocolate into small even sized bits. Some people also suggest grating them.
Take the cream, sugar and butter in a saucepan and heat it at a very low temperature till it melts.
Pour this hot mixture over the chocolate bits and stir till smooth. Let it cool for 1-2 hours or until it reaches a coating consistency.
Place one of the cakes on a flat surface. Apply a coat of the ganache over the top. Place the other cake over this carefully. Try to ensure it is placed exactly on top of the first cake.
Now apply the ganache over the top layer of the cake and all along the sides using a spatula. When you have ganache over all the exposed surfaces of the cake, you can use the spatula to give a smooth finish to the cake. This step takes practice. You can see in my cake, I have loads of practice to do :-).
You can then decorate the cake however you wish, as I didn’t really plan the making of this cake I didn’t have anything ready at hand for the decorating.
What we finally did was we dusted icing sugar in the center of the cake and placed a few strawberry jellies in the center.