Wow, it has been some time since my last post hasn’t it? Next thing I know it’s already time to celebrate J-man’s 6th birthday. For most of you that didn’t know, I’m actually homeschooling J-man, so he’s going to be primary 1 next year. This year we have a more consistent schooling schedule compared to last year where it was lighter load. But this year he had to experience what is homework and ‘tests’ for the first time. When I say homeschooling, I mean I am teaching him at home. Currently I am not using a syllabus. I just buy loads of books and cover the topics indicated. So a lot of my time has been invested in the kids’ education, I haven’t had the luxury of creating or trying out new recipes. I still cook but I make like the normal stuff for our meals. With J-man turning 6, I don’t how to feel about it. Mixed feelings at best. Happy but also kinda sad, if that makes sense.
He requested a chocolate cake for his birthday. Well, more like the Dad wanted a plain cake. Initially J-man wanted a fruit cake like a strawberry cake but Dad dislikes strawberry cakes. So he said let’s make it a chocolate cake instead. I thought to myself, what could be more chocolate and more classically chocolate than the Devil’s Food Cake. And I turned to Anna Olson edu videos again to check off another recipe from the chocolate cake series. I guess I am somewhat on a quest to maybe try all the recipes and see if it will make me a better baker. Like Julie and Julia. Besides, last year’s chocolate cake for J-man’s birthday was a disaster. I had to handle powdered gelatin for the first time and something went awry with the method and the frosting ended up looking like chocolate phlegm. Not my finest moments. I made a red velvet cake from her recipe too and that turned out quite well.
The blackberries on top were mostly for aesthethic purpose but I found out from eating the cake that it actually helps to balance out the richness of the frosting. Although the frosting itself had sour cream in it, it was still cloying to some extent. Having some fruit there helped. And besides, we all know that berries go well with chocolate like strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.
Looking at the cake, it gives me a certain sense of classiness. I know it’s a plain cake and not much imagination goes into it but how can anyone ever feel depressed with cake? If someone puts a cake in front of you I doubt the first thought would be, ‘Yuck’…..unless it looks REALLY bad.
My son is an avid lover of cakes, again….when I looked at this picture, I have mixed feelings….but if he forgets everything else from his childhood, at least I hope he remembers the cakes he had for his birthdays.
CLASSIC DEVIL’S FOOD CAKE RECIPE
(recipe from Anna Olson)
1 1/2 cup cake flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup fine sugar
1/2 cup (or 113 grams) unsalted butter,
cool and semi solid
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs beaten
12 ounces (340 grams) of semisweet chocolate
1 3/4 whipping cream
1/2 cup sour cream, room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla
A pinch of salt
1. Pre-heat oven to 180C. Sift the cake dry ingredients together. I use my food processor for this cake. Because the recipe required the butter to pulse it into dry crumbs. I don’t think my mixer could do crumbs like that but this is a personal preference.
2. Blend the semi solid butter into the dry ingredients until the mix looks like wet crumbs.
3. Add the wet ingredients; the milk, coffee and vanilla. Whisk till mixed, at the end, add in the two beaten eggs and give it another pulse. Scrape the sides and bottom to make sure there are no chunky bit.
4. Give it a final mix.
5. Divide batter to two 8 inch pans that have been greased and lined with baking paper.
6. Bake for 30 mins to 45 mins depending on your oven.
7. Make the frosting in the meantime.
8. Pour chocolate and cream into a heatproof bowl. Place over a saucepan of boiling water.
9. Let it melt together.
10. Pour sour cream into a cup. Add the salt and vanilla. Mix it together.
11. When the chocolate and cream had melted together into a smooth consistency, mix in the sour cream.
12. Chill for about 30 mins to 45 mins before using.
13. When cakes are ready, cool in the pan for 30 mins before turning it out on a rack.
14. The cakes have to be completely cool before frosting.
15. Spread the frosting on top of the first half. Place the second half face side down with the flat side facing top.
16. Dollop a huge amount of frosting on the top and spread it out letting it fall to the sides. Cover the sides with the excess frosting.
17. Place blackberries on top.
18. If you had chilled the cake, take it out for 30 mins before eating else it would be too hard to slice into.