Monday, 30 July 2007

and... the cake!

This cake was a Martha Stewart recipe from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook. And really surprisingly simple. You just mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately and then mix them together. Once baked, its nice and moist, and tastes great with chocolate sauce, though the recipe calls for Swiss Meringue Buttercream (without the food colouring). I didn't try it, though the picture sure looked cool because of the contrast, white on black. I made a layer cake, sandwiching the layers with melted chocolate, and then topped it with some nougat.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes
Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder*
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt*
2 large eggs, plus one large egg-yolk*
3/4 cup warm water
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups warm water

Preheat oven to 350F.
Line two standard 12 cup muffin pans with paper liners.
Into the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; add the eggs and yolk, the milk, oil, vanilla, and warm water. Beat on low speed until smooth and combined, about 3 minutes; scrape down the sides occasionally.
Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

Layer Cake Variation
Coat two 8 by 2 inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottoms with parchment paper, spray the parchment as well. Follow the above instructions. These may take longer to bake, about 45 minutes. Though I would recommend checking after 30 minutes.

I don't have dutch process cocoa, so I made do with ordinary cocoa. If you like you can do a Google search for 'dutch-process cocoa substitute' there are a lot of conversions out there, adding and subtracting baking powder and baking soda, I find them all a little confusing.

And if you don't want some egg white lying around, then use three whole eggs. I have tried the  recipe both ways and the difference wasn't perceptible, at least to me.

And I don't like it so salty, so I used just half a teaspoon salt. Also I simply lined the baking tins with parchment paper, not bothering to spray it with nonstick cooking spray.

The chocolate sauce was melted semi-sweet chocolate, some water and confectioner's sugar. I won't mention the amount because of two reasons, one that different people would want different amounts depending upon how rich they like it, secondly I didn't measure how much I used. Just about enough to make the five layers and dabble some on the top. After that I covered it with nougat and put the remaining chocolate in a piping bag and made these funny crisscrossing lines on it!

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