Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake

My birthday was just over and initially I was hesitant to bake my own birthday cake! We had plans to go out later in the evening and I thought I should not tire myself since I wasn’t feeling well. At the end, I decided to bake the cake that I like which is very chocolaty from every layer of the cake to the fillings and right up to the top frosting! Also I wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate my two months’ journey in baking! Whatever it is i know the good reasons why i baked :)

Well, I put on masks (of course not N95) and changed it few times when it gotten wet and washed my hand thoroughly. Having to work in healthcare for years, somehow I got influenced in practising good hand hygiene; a simple measure that breaks away the spread of diseases.

The recipe called for 2 round 8inch cake tins. Since I only got one, I divided the ingredients for the cake equally for two times baking. I did the mixing procedure twice to prevent the batter from being exposed to air too long while waiting for the first baking to finish.

After putting the first batter to the oven, I realised that I forgot to add water to the melting chocolate. I added in 2 tbsp into the balance of the melted chocolate for the second batter. The consistency of the chocolate turned thick, sticky and hard (as shown in the picture above) as compared to the first batch of the melted chocolate which was smooth and soft.

You can see the difference in colour for the first cake (lighter brown) which is on your right and the second cake (darker brown) which is on your left. Surprisingly to me the texture for the second cake is better. I have increased the timing to 30 minutes for the second batter as at 25 minutes when I put the toothpick into the cake it didn’t come out clean.

As this is my first layer cake project, I did quite badly in doing the job. For each cake we should layer it half to get four layers. I almost cut more than 2/3 of the cake for a layer and they were not level at all. Oops! I almost also broke one layer of the cake and if it happened my cake would turn out short. Luckily it didn’t happen.

I carefully assembled and spread the filling on top of each layer gently as I was afraid that I might tear the cake! I put the inverted bottom layer of the cake on top since it was the most flatten part. As the cake was not leveled, you can see in the picture that some parts of the layers are too thin. I tried to put more filling on the thin layer to level it.
For more details about layering cakes, refer to Baking911 website.

I cut one small little piece for my daughter as this cake contained really high caffeine. She is like me, a chocoholic! She asked for more but as usual I have to stop her at one :O.

The cake was very fudgy. It tasted so good and best to eat with vanilla ice cream! The filling of the cake had the strongest combination of cocoa and chocolate flavours and was a bit coarse due to the unmelted brown sugar (as shown in the picture above).

I like the frosting effect. It camouflaged the weaknesses of the whole cake and it 'dressed up' the cake beautifully!

This self-taught project was adventurous and the learning process was very satisfying. I am glad that I am able to feel for the very first time how layering, leveling, spreading, assembling, trimming etc are like.



(Make 8)
150g plain flour
175g unsalted butter (soften)
175g soft brown sugar
4 eggs lightly beaten
1 tsp baking powder
250g bittersweet chocolate
75g finely ground almonds

For the filling:
75g cocoa powder
175g soft brown sugar
175g unsalted butter
50g icing sugar

For the frosting (top only)
50g unsalted butter
150g semisweet chocolate
25g bittersweet chocolate (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350deg F or 180deg C. Grease and line two 8” round cake pan.

2. Melt the chocolate with 4tbsp of water in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Let cool slightly. Cream butter and sugar and slowly add in eggs. Stir in melted chocolate and fold in the flour, baking powder and almonds.

3. Pour batter into pan and bake 20 -25 mins. Let cool slightly and invert the cakes on a wire rack. Slice each cake through the centre to make four layers.

4. To make the filling, mix together the cocoa and sugars. Beat in the melted butter and stir in 4 tbsp boiling water to form a smooth paste. Refrigerate for 20 min then spread evenly over three layers of the cake. Place the final cake layer on top.

5. To make the frosting, melt the chocolates and butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Beat until glossy then let cool to a spreading consistency. Smooth evenly over the top of the cake.

Recipe from 'Homemade Cakes' by Philippa Vanstone

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