To be honest, pastry (or baking in general) is not my cup of tea. But I am giving myself an opportunity to learn the basics.
First off, I started buying all the needed baking implements, and invested on it like a pro (I bought the non-stick pans instead of the common aluminum pans and it drained my credit card!). The books I bought few months back were good signs that I am now ready to explore this field in culinary. Baking is too foreign to me as I don’t have any idea on how and what to do. Believe me, I started form scratches. Nobody was beside me to give me advises; and I explored the gas oven just like what I did when I first touched my MacBook Air. Good thing my books provided me full-colored photos of the step-by-step procedures that made me feel at home in baking. And of course, my warmest appreciation goes to my landlady who provided me the entire canteen kitchen for my baking experimentations nightly.
And what could be the most fitting recipe to try for baking is of course the chocolate cake. Who doesn’t want a chocolate cake for a first attempt in making cake?
Here’s what we need for the cake:
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon coffee powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups warm water
1 cup butter
2 ¼ cups sugar
4 whole eggs
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Line the baking pans with wax paper and grease the sides.
2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt then set aside. Tip: If you don’t have a sifter, you can use a fine strainer. The purpose of sifting the flour is to aerate it and to break or loosen up the lumps). Mix thoroughly all these dry ingredients.
3. In another mixing bowl, put warm water, vanilla and whisk in cocoa powder and coffee powder. Mix thoroughly all these wet ingredients.
4. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and pluffy, about 5 minutes (creaming method is one of the many methods in cake making I learned from my baking bible). Use butter in room temperature. Then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. Alternately, add the dry and wet mixture to the butter-sugar mixture, making sure you begin and end with dry ingredients. Now you already have the batter.
6. Pour batter into two 9-inches greased and lined round cake pans. Make sure each pan has the same volume and thickness of batter. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
And for the frosting, here’s what we need:
2 cups sugar
1 ¼ cups cocoa powder
¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup water
1 ¼ cups condensed milk
2 cans evaporated milk
½ cup butter
To make the frosting:
Making this chocolate frosting requires extra patience as the cooking time takes too long.
1. In a thick saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa powder and flour.
2. In a separate bowl, mix all liquid ingredients. Then pour this into the dry ingredients in the saucepan. Whisk until well combined.
3. Place the sauce pan on a low heat and keep whisking for about 1.5 hours until thick in a spreading consistency. Then blend in butter. When ready, spread on cakes.
Let your creativity flow when frosting your cake. For this one, I put some almond slices and drizzle some choco chips.
I committed a mistake while making this one. I only used one round cake pan and as expected, the cake rose more than the height of pan and made like one huge muffin. Of course, the cooking time was a bit longer. The good thing if we will separate it into two baking pans is that we can stack it up and put some frostings in between the two layers of cakes.
Each attempt is always an opportunity to learn. Enjoy your cake!
Note: This recipe makes a 1 9-inch diameter cake