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Food Corner: Surprise Inside A Perfect Chocolate Cake
Our Inconsistent Chef’s rendezvous with food in its twists and twirls are well documented. But mix friends with food and birthdays and surprises, voila this is what you get!
On Feb 26, 2015

 

I love surprises, who doesn’t, huh? A couple of months back a good friend of mine ensured that I was home on a particular day and boy was I in for a huge surprise. Enclosing the picture of the surprise that came in that day’s courier and I promise you my friend, I will never cease my passion to knead, shape and play around with bread dough.

I am glad I bumped into this friend; knowing this friend has added years to my life for sure. So if I stick around for more than what is my time on this planet, I hold that friend responsible!!!  The recipe that follows has nothing to do with bread as the book I now possess denotes.


I took this cake as token of my love and appreciation to my friend who was literally stunned at the process in which I got a heart pumping in a cake. It is a recipe for a cake with a surprise element in it and I am glad that this recipe was thrown at us at the right time. Another friend was about to celebrate her 42nd year on this planet and I just had to surprise her with my visit. Of course, as is the normal protocol that I follow, I did call and fix with her telling her I would drop by.

This is the kind of cake you would want to gift to someone who would appreciate the efforts you took and to look you in the eye and be grateful that they had you as a friend or a relative. It is a delicious cake. A cake in a cake. Although everybody was going so gaga over the perfect timing of the recipe coinciding with Valentine’s Day, to me it was just another challenge to bake along with our group!

The recipe calls for two cakes so be warned that the process is lengthy, loads of eggs in them, it is a rich cake and it is a cake meant to be shared with anybody truly deserving! So sit back and enjoy!

The Perfect Pound Cake: Now this cake is the cake which you would leave like so as far as the colour is concerned or like me add a couple of drops of Red food colour to give it the colour I got. This is the cake that would at length be shaped out as hearts with the heart-shaped cookie cutter.

Milk-45g (three tbsp.)

Eggs-three large eggs-150g (without the shells)

Vanilla extract-1 ½ tsp.

Sifted Cake Flour-150g/ 1 ½ C (Cake Flour is extract two tbsp. of your normal Maida/APF and replace it with two tbsp. of Corn Flour)

Sugar-150 g/3/4 C

Baking Poweder-3/4 tsp.

Salt-1/4 tsp.

Unsalted butter-184 g


Preheat oven to 180 Degrees C. Grease and line your 9” loaf pan and set aside. In another bowl whisk in three eggs, add the milk and vanilla extract and combine them. Set that aside as well! In another bowl, add the cake flour, baking powder, salt and sugar and whisk them all in thoroughly. To this add the butter and a quarter of the beaten egg mixture and start incorporating this wet to dry at a low speed until the fat is well incorporated. This enables the dry mixture to get moistened and helps to form the structure of the cake.


Do increase the speed of the beater and beat the same for another 30 seconds. Add the remaining liquid ingredients in two parts and beat the entire mixture for about twenty seconds more. (Those of you, who are adding a little bit of colour to the batter, do so during the process and beat that in as well) I did add the red food colouring, the drops depend on how red or pink you want the batter to resemble.


This cake is then baked for about thirty to forty minutes or until a toothpick when inserted in the centre comes out clean. Once the cake is cooled down properly, cling wrap and freeze the cake for two hours or overnight. This allows the cake to be firm and well defined when you take it out the next day. Slice them to half inch thicknessand cut out your hearts on this cake with the cookie cutter. Ensure that you stack these heart-shaped cakes without leaving any gap between each other (I have left some gap between mine as I had used a different kind of pan to bake in, do not do so, that is not the right way to do it).
Perfect All American Chocolate Butter Cake:-

This is the second cake that you may bake.

Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder-63 g/ (1/2 C +three tbsps.)

Boiling water-236 g

Eggs-three large (150g)

Pure vanilla extract- 2 ¼ tsp.

Sifted cake flour-235 g

Sugar-300 g

Baking powder-one tbsp.

Salt-3/4 tsp.

Unsalted softened butter -227 g


This cake has an extremely soft texture and a full chocolate flavour. It simply vanishes in the mouth with each bite. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C. In a medium bowl whisk together the cocoa powder and the boiling water until smooth. Allow it to cool completely. In another bowl, whisk the
eggs, a quarter of the cooled cocoa mixture and the vanilla extract. Set aside!


In another bowl combine the cake flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and beat the dry ingredients such that they all merge well. Let it combine. Add in the softened butter to this dry mix and beat well on a low speed for about 30 sec and then add in the remaining cocoa mixture and increase the speed to medium and aerate the cake like so for about a minute and a half. Gradually to this add in the whisked eggs that you set aside in three batches beating for 20 sec each after each batch is used. This gives the cake its structure and strength. The batter is ready to be poured into the tin.


In a 12” loaf pan, pour in the chocolate batter to fill the loaf pan to about half the pan. Neatly arrange and stack the already baked and shaped heart cakes in a row such that they stand in a row in the centre. Do not push each heart down with force. No pressure is to be applied.


Once this stacking has been done, pour the remaining chocolate batter nearly three-quarters of the pan over these hearts and into the pan such that the hearts are sort of hidden in its midst. Smoothen out the batter. This is the surprise element once it is baked. Once the batter is smoothened out, tap the cake pan lightly such that all the trapped air bubbles are released and in it goes into the preheated oven for about fifty minutes to bake until a toothpick when inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool. You may slice it but if you refrigerate the cake the slicing becomes easier and neater. Ta Da! Surprise!

Inconsistent Chef' is a food blogger who shares her personal experience of cooking traditional and fusion dishes using ingredients available in India. Some of her dishes are outrightly native, while some are exotic and brings in elements from different continents and cultures. The accent here is on the experience of conjuring up a dish - the texture, colours, flavours and their play on the palate. The presentation of recipes is unique that there is no need for measuring cups or quantities. It's measuring by your senses and getting it right by sheer instinct.
 
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