Everyday Chocolate Cake

A friend of mine asked me for chocolate cake recipe. Since she is new to baking, to confirm the simplest way of making chocolate cake, I immediately searched the net. To my disappointment, most sites prescribed butter milk, vegetable oil and even unprocessed dutch cocoa – something not very comfortable for a beginner.

So, I decided to go ahead with my basic vanilla cake recipe by adding cocoa to it. To my surprise, it turned out to be quite delicious. I don’t get a chance to repeat my recipes much (drawback of being a blogger), but I would love to repeat this one.

This chocolate cake is simple to make and the ingredients are absolutely easy to find. So here is how you make my humble chocolate cake.

Mind the following before you start;

  1. Use all the ingredients at room temperature.
  2. Sieve dry ingredients before you measure them.
  3. Follow the measurements to the T. don’t go by approximation.

Ingredients;

125 grams of unsalted butter (if you use salted butter, avoid adding salt separately)

125 grams of plain flour

125 grams of granulated white sugar (you can replace 75grams of sugar with brown sugar if available)

25 grams of dark unsweetened cocoa powder

2 eggs

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

½ cup milk only if needed

Procedure;

Pre-heat the oven at 1800C

Bowl A

  1. In bowl A add softened butter
  2. Add sugar and beat for a minute
  3. Add eggs and vanilla extract and beat for a minute more.

Bowl B

  1. In bowl B, sift flour, cocoa powder and baking powder.
  1. Slowly add the dry ingredients from bowl B to bowl A. Mix slowly with a spatula. At this point if you feel that the mix is too dense add a little milk (a tbsp to begin with) and mix.
  2. Line the baking tin with butter paper. If butter paper is not available, grease the tin with butter and sprinkle just a little flour. Remove excess flour.
  3. Add the cake mix to the tin. Tap gently on the edge of the tin to remove trapped air. Bake for approximately 40 mins. Keep checking.
  4. Once the cake is done. Switch off the oven and let it rest in the oven for 5 mins.
  5. Take the cake out of the oven and cut once it cools down.

 

 

 

 

 

If you are new to baking, chocolate cake is where you make a start. It’s a low risk option. Since it is loaded with cocoa powder, the taste will always be good 🙂

Chocolate Passion Fruit Truffles for a lazy weekend

Yeah! The name sounds exotic, but trust me its quite simple to make. The best part being that majority of the time on this will be spent away from the burner. Now isn’t that a blessing in this hot weather?

The key part here is to get the consistency and the texture of your Ganache right.  Ganache is a French word. It basically is a mix of chocolate and cream.  Ganache is different in different recipes – the composition of chocolate and cream varies as per the use. Popularly, ganache is used on éclairs, on cakes, chocolate glaze on biscuits…and of course for truffles.

You can have additional flavours like vanilla, alcohol, fruit juice going into the ganache. We are going to add ‘passion fruit juice’.

Feel free to replace it with the flavour of your choice. But mind the ratio of solids to liquids all the time.  The standard ratio is 2:1. If you wish to add other liquids like fruit juice or alcohol to ganache in a higher proportion then reduce the quantity of cream accordingly.

So lets start with the ganache first. The rest is quite simple.

Ingredients ;

  • 300 grams of chocolate (You can use bitter chocolate or sweet chocolate as per your choice. I used 175 grams of Belgian dark chocolate and 125 grams of sweet chocolate as I was too lazy to venture out to buy chocolate and I sort of like sweet and bitter taste mixed up)
  • 150 grams of thick cream (I used Amul cream)
  • 25 grams of unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp of passion fruit juice/pulp (if the juice is too watery, boil it till it is  reduced to 1/4th of its original quantity)

Procedure

  1. Shave the chocolate bar into small pieces with a knife. You can use any technique you know as long as the chocolate is cut into fine pieces. Use of Chocó chips is also a good idea. Keep the cut chocolate in a heat proof bowl.
  2. Mix the cream and butter in a sauce pan. Heat it on a medium flame close to boil i.e. heat the mixture till bubbles start to appear on the sides of the sauce pan. The process is called scalding.  Stir occasionally to avoid burning the bottom of the pan.
  3. Pour the boiled cream over the chocolate pieces and let it rest for 45 to 60 seconds.
  4. With a spatula, gently stir the mixture starting from the centre. If you stir rapidly, cream will cool off faster not giving enough time for the chocolate to melt.  As you go on stirring, the chocolate and cream will mix together.  Keep mixing till chocolate and cream blends into a shiny smooth paste. Make sure there are no lumps.
  5. Add passion fruit juice and mix well.
  6. Cover with a cling film and keep the ganache to set in the refrigerator.
  7. It will take about 40-50 mins for the ganache to set. This will depend on the temperature in the fridge and local weather conditions.

To make truffles

  1. Once the ganache sets, with a spoon or melon scooper take small chunks of ganache and roll them into small balls. The truffles have a rocky uneven look so even if you don’t get the round shape right, it is absolutely fine.
  2. Roll the balls in coco powder and keep them in the refrigerator to set further for a couple of hours.

In case if the ganache doesn’t set keep it in the freezer for 5 minutes.

If you are absolutely not able to get chunks of ganache , grab a spoon and dig in. You can also slice some fruits like strawberries, mangoes to go with it. It tastes yummy. After all chocolate can never go waste. 😉

The classic Chocolate Chip Cookie

This crunchy, buttery and sweet classic cookie is almost forgotten. I am not a cookie person. Never been one. But once in a while, after meals, I love to snack on the leftover crumbs from the jar.

Cookies are quite simple to make. The same set of ingredients as cake. Change the proportion of ingredients. Bake at different temperature. And you get cookies.

Ingredients;

200 grams unsalted butter

150 grams Granulated Sugar

150 grams Brown sugar

2 and ¼ cups (230 grams roughly) plain flour

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt (skip this if you use salted butter)

2 eggs

1 cup Chocó chips (of your choice, I use the ones with 50% cocoa)

Approximate yield = 3-4 dozens of cookies.

Before you start;

Take all your ingredients at room temperature. If butter is refrigerated, microwave it for 30 secs before use. Store Chocó chips in cool temperature, refrigerate in summers.

You can use a whisker/ manual beater to prepare the batter for cookies. Electric beater is absolutely optional.

The Cookie dough has a tendency to spread while baking. Try baking one cookie first, if you feel that the dough is runny; refrigerate it for 30-40 mins before using it.

Cookie dough can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days. Bake fresh cookies as and when you feel like having some.

Preheat the oven at around 150 Degree Celsius.

Procedure;

  1. In a small bowl sieve flour, baking soda and salt. Mix together with a spoon.
  2. In a large bowl add butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Beat till all the ingredients are mixed well.
  3. Add eggs to the mixture, one at a time. Gently beat after adding each egg.
  4. Fold in dry ingredients, little at a time in to the large bowl. The batter will be thicker than the one we make for cake.
  5. Mix Chocó chips with the batter. Save a handful for later use.
Line up the baking tray with butter paper. On the butter paper, drop a spoon full of cookie dough (batter spreads to double the size. The amount of batter will decide the size of the cookie). Leave enough space (an inch minimum) between two cookies.  Dot the cookies with the remaining Chocó chips.

To have standard size cookies, you can use an ice-cream scoop instead of a spoon.

Bake the cookie dough for 12-15 mins. Let stand for a few minutes.

Remove the cookies on the wire rack to cool.

Those with a taste for high amount of coco in chocolate, you can check out the darker and bitter variant of chocolate chip cookie –‘Dark chocolate cookie’ produced as a separate recipe.

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