Monday, May 17, 2010

Black Magic Cake

A special cake for a special friend.

Turning a year older is quite a big deal for us teenagers (I hope I'm speaking for the majority hahah). It can alter your life in many many ways.

Take for example turning sixteen. You can watch NC16 movies LEGALLY without sneaking around. You've reached your first milestone age and can host your own sweet sixteen party! Woohoo. And, you're going to junior college/poly (usually). Then, two years down the road, you turn eighteen. Awesome. You can finally watch M18 movies LEGALLY without sneaking around. You can also drink alcohol and learn driving LEGALLY. Totally cool. You've reached your second milestone age where you are practically an adult! No doubt you have to pay adult fares once you've graduated from junior college but so what? You're no longer a child. Halfway there. So as two more years fly by, you'll turn twenty. OMG you've finally hit the twenty-something mark. You feel different. No longer are you a teen. No longer does your age begin with a 1. Suddenly, it just doesnt seem fun. You used to look forward to birthdays and growing older. But now? You don't want to proceed down the twenty-something lane. But too bad, there's no turning back. Actually, there's nothing you can do but to suck it up and go on with life. After one more year, you've finally turned the big twenty one. Hurray for you! You're an official adult. You can vote, you can do whatever you want. You're free! (sort of). You can watch R21 movies LEGALLY without sneaking around. You can throw your 21st birthday party with all the works and invite everyone you know you celebrate with you. Cool. Then after all the bling has subsided, there you are, slowly inching towards the midlife crisis. Good job.

This is kind of a bleak and pessimistic picture to paint of one's future right? Come on! Life is not all about numbers! You have to live it your way and enjoy every day to the fullest! Right now, I'm at the in-between stage. I've turned eighteen end of last year and am on my way to turning nineteen. Truthfully speaking, I'm enjoying my life as an eighteen-year-old and don't really wish to turn nineteen. Why? Because that means I'll be turning twenty next year. But to be honest, I don't feel any different. It isn't as though after turning eighteen I feel like I'm this super matured person compared to when I was still seventeen a day ago. It doesn't make sense right?

So why not just lay back and enjoy every moment you have. Savour what life throws at you, even though you may not like it. But when life throws you this Black Magic Cake, you just gotta grab it and never let go! :D

Happy Birthday R!
You're finally nineteen (:

Hahah okay I don't think she knows about this blog, much less reads it. Anywho, I baked this cake for her and tweaked it a bit here and there. I sliced some strawberries and spread Nutella in between each layer. Awesome. What better way to celebrate turning a year older than eating this gorgeous cake?

I even put it in a personalised cake box which I decorated myself. Teehee

It's moist and chocolatey with hints of hazelnutty goodness in between bites.

The sweet tang of the fresh ripe strawberries adds a nice contrast to the richness of the cake. This cake is really decadent so be sure to share it with people who are not afraid of loosening their belts!

The pictures above doesn't do this cake justice AT ALL. They was taken under super dull lighting @ TCC the central (clarke quay) using my old Sony Cybershot camera.

When R first opened the box and saw the cake, she thought it was store-bought because it looked "too pretty" even though the ganache was a bit melted! Hahah what a compliment! But I didn't think the decoration was nice since it was my virgin attempt at baking such a cake (please forget about that failure tiramisu one. Please.)

I quartered the recipe and baked this baby in two separate pans; one heart shaped and one round shaped. The heart shaped one turned out weird shaped so I just cut it into a round shape to fit the other one. The combined cake was too tall for my cake box so I cut each layer into two. Used only three of the four layers. The concept went like this: first layer - Nutella - second layer - Nutella - sliced strawberries - third layer - chocolate ganache. I forgot to put the strawberries onto the first layer after smothering on the Nutella and immediately put the second layer on ._. That explains the weird combi.

So I had extras. Lots of extras from the remaining layer, trimmings and the pieces that fell off as I was smothering the cake in Nutella.

My supportive sister ate it all. She thought the cake was a bit too milky for her palate but I thought it was fine. If I do bake it next time, I'll reduce the salt I added though. Tasted the batter and thought it was a bit too salty. But the cake turned out fine though. Odd. Mom tried it too. She thought it was moist and awesome. But being my mom, she doesn't fancy sweet things even though it's chocolate. She prefers eating chocolate raw or in the form of ice cream. I love eating chocolate in any form. HA.

Black Magic Cake (full recipe)

makes 10-12 servings

2 cups sugar (caster for me)
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa (I used the unsweetened one)
2 tsp baking soda (didn't have this so I omitted it)
1 tsp baking powder (I increased to about 1-1/4 tsp to make up for the lack of baking soda; idk if it's a baking faux pas or not though)
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk* (I used the sour milk version)
1 cup strong black coffee OR 2 tsp powdered instant coffee plus 1 cup boiling water (used the latter)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Heat oven to 177C. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and satl (dry ingredients) in a large bowl. Add the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer for about 2 min (batter will be thin). Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.

3. Bake for about 30-35min for round pans and 35-40min for rectangular pan (mine took about 25min to bake since they were smaller) or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10min; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost as desired.

*To sour milk: Use 1 tbsp white vinegar and add enough milk to reach 1 cup.

PS: idk why it's called Black Magic Cake but it certainly does taste magical!

Chocolate Ganache
makes enough to cover my small 4" three-tier cake and dress the remaining 1 tier + trimmings + bits&pieces generously

50ml heavy cream
50g dark chocolate (72% Cocoa solids Swiss chocolate from M&S)
10g white chocolate (Cadbury's)
10g bittersweet chocolate buttons (Ghiradelli's)

1. Heat the cream to just about boiling and pour it over the chocolate.

2. Let it sit for about 3-4min then stir gently till combined.

3. Wait for the ganache to cool until it is pourable.

Sums it all up doesn't it?


Chef Dennis said...

Hi Cheryl
OMG....what an incredible cake!!! Please keep baking, I look forward to your posts and creations!

Cheryl ♥ said...

thanks!! your comment gives me motivation to bake (:
appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

WOW, i was i was turning 19 again... LOL This is incredible! By the way, THANK YOUfor your somment on my cheesecake, i am so glad it's gone, my pants don't fit~! LOL

Baking Decorations said...

Very cute!

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