Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Simply Moist Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Buttercream and Salted Caramel Frosting

Simply Moist Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Buttercream and Salted Caramel Frosting

 Prep Time: 15 Minutes  Bake Time: 1 Hour
Yield: One 9" x 12" Single Layer Cake 
(Twelve 3" x 3" Square Slices)
2 Cups Flour
2 Cups Sugar
¾ Cup Hershey's Cocoa
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda)
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder (Optional) This will make the cake rise just a little bit more than using the Baking Soda only.
2 Eggs (I use large eggs)
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Buttermilk
You can freeze buttermilk so you have it to make another buttermilk chocolate cake recipe later.

Can't find buttermilk? 
Here's how to make a substitute...
Add 1 Tablespoon of White Vinegar or Lemon Juice to a measuring cup. Add milk and fill to 1 cup (240 ml). Let it stand for 5 minutes.

Can I use regular milk or half and half? 
No. Buttermilk is acidic and counters the Baking Soda (a base) to eliminate any bitter taste.

1 Cup Mazola Vegetable Oil 
(Mazola is a brand name. Any high quality vegetable oil will do.)
1 ½ Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Boiling Water
You can use 1 Cup of strong coffee instead of the boiling water. Doing so intensifies the chocolate flavor. If you're making it for children you might want to stick with the boiling water.
  1. Preheat Oven to 300° F 
    (This is not a typo! This is a slow bake chocolate cake recipe.)
  2. Use Crisco Shortening to lightly grease and flour the 9 x 13 in. Baking Dish. 
    (Note: You can this recipe for cupcakes and as a layer cake. I included the baking times for each option below.)
  3. Place all the ingredients on the left except the cup of boiling water into a mixing bowl.
  4. Mix at medium or medium high speed. After about 1 minute add the 1 cup of boiling water. Then continue to mix until all ingredients are blended and smooth. Pour into greased and floured baking dish. Note: If you're using 8" baking pans fill to 2/3 the height of the baking pan.
  5. Bake for...
    • 9" x 13" Baking Dish Bake for 1 hr. 
    • Cupcakes: 22 - 23 min. 
      Be sure to use cupcake liners.

    • (2) 8 in. x 2 in. Round Cake Pans - 45 min.
      • Never fill the pan more than 2/3 full or it will cook over especially if you used both the baking soda and the optional baking powder.
      • You can use 8 in. x 1½ in. pans but you will definitely have left over batter and you should start checking to see if it's done at 35 or 40 minutes. 
      • Depending how accurately you measure you may have a little left over batter with the 8 in. x 2 in. pan.
  6. Test by sticking it in the middle with a knife or toothpick. If it comes out clean... it's done! If not put it back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes and then test again.
  7. Allow to cool. 

 Vanilla Buttercream

84   gm egg whites
125 gm caster sugar
250 gm unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla beans paste.

In a large, clean heatproof bowl, combine the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over ( but not touching) simmering water in a saucepan and heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is very warm to touch ( about 71 C on an instant-read thermometer), about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the saucepan. If you use same bowl you can start using electric mixer on high speed, if you don't make sure you wipe the excess of the water from the bottom of the bowl before transfering into the mixer bowl. Beat the egg white mixture until it is fluffy, cooled to room temperature, and hold stiff peaks  ( the mixture should not look dry), about 6 minutes.

With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the vanilla extract and butter, a few pieces at a time, beatingwell after each addition. If frosting appears to separate or is very liquid after all butter is added, continueto beat on high speed until it is smooth and creamy, 3-5 minutes more. Add the flavourin(s) of choices and beat u til combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Use right away... Can keep up to 3 days in a  room temperature.

Salted Caramel Sauce
( make one day ahead)
150 gm caster sugar
120 ml fresh cream/ whipping cream
10 gm unsalted butter
1/4 tsp flaked sea salt

Put the sugar in a medium pan over a medium heat. Cook, without stirring, until the sugar starts to caramelise around the outside of the pan.

Meanwhile, put the salt, cream and butter in a small pan over a medium heat to warm through.
 Using a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, carefully draw the caramelised sugartowards the centreof the pan, to help the sugar cook evenly. Once all the sugar has caramelised to a rich golden brown, remove from the heat and carefully add half the cream - this will bubble up violently, so pour slowly. Once the bubbling has settled, add the remaining  cream and cook until smooth. If, afterr addi g the cream, you have lumps of caramel, return the pan to a medium-low heat and cook until the lump have dissolved and the caramel is smooth. Pour the caramel into a jug and use as a sauce or filling, depending on the recipe. Kept in a sealed container in the fridge, the sauce will keep for up to two weeks.

Cake Assembly (finishing touch)
To assemble the cake, cut the sponge into 3 layers, begin with bottom layer with vanilla buttercream, repeat again with the second layer and the cover with vanilla buttercream, cover with the last chocolate sponge and use the remaining vanilla buttercream to spread the top and the side of the chocolate cake... To make nice appearance of the cake...use cake comb for the nice pattern at the side of the chocolate cake...transfer the cake into freezer to chill for 2-3 hours. 

Meanwhile, put the saltd caramel in a heatproof bowl and set over simmering water pan. And stirring till you have smooth, pourable glaze. Leave to cool slightly until warm, but not to hot!!!

Remove the cake from the freezer, make sure the surface of the cake is not watery, if it so, dap a bit with kitchen paper towel and put on the wire rack set over shallow baking tray. Pour the salted caramel sauce  over the cake, making sure the entire surface is covered. Using a palette knife, lift the cake from the wire rack and carefully put them on the plate or cake stand. To decorate, you can put any berries or white and dark chocolate curls/ blossom and fuge bits as your desire...good luck and enjoy.

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