Gloomy days since the beginning of January.In the tropics, the year normally starts with a more than usual heavy monthly rainfall. That brings about side effects.
Well, nothing beats surviving through the wet season than with a chocolaty treat. And when I came across the pastel swirl cake on sweetapolita’s blog, I know I have to bake this cake.
The Dark Chocolate Cakes makes two 8-inch cakes
140 g all-purpose flour
60 g Dutch-processed cocoa powder (I used Hershley’s)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup hot coffee
Preheat oven to 160° C. Prepare the 2 cake pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a mixer bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix well.
In a separate bowl, combine the beaten egg, vegetable oil, and milk. Stir well till mix.
With the mixer on low, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix on low until evenly distributed.
Pour the hot coffee into the batter gradually and mix on medium low until smooth.
Divide the batter between 2 cake pans. Bake for 20 minutes. When a toothpick inserted at the center of the cupcake comes out cleanly, the cakes are baked.
Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Buttercream frosting produce 2.5 cups
227 g unsalted butter (2 sticks ), softened (but not melted) 375 g to 500g (3-4 cups) icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
up to 4 tbsp milk or heavy cream
- Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add 3 cups of icing sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter.
- Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time
- Put aside three-quarter cup of the buttercream for frosting.
- Divide the rest into 3 batches and colour them according to your liking.
* For lavender – I used 2-3 drops of violet (Wilton Gel Icing Color), for lighter shade of green – I used 1 drop of sky blue and the deeper shade of blue – I used 2-3 drops of sky blue.
*I used the silver dragees as the decorations.
1. Make sure each cake is levelled. I use the buttercream frosting in the centre of the two cakes.
2.I did the first layer of frosting using the (uncoloured) buttercream frosting. (heck out this link from Joy the Baker on to frost a cake). And I left the frosted cake in the fridge for around 30 mins. Do ensure the frosting is hardened before you start on the second layer.
3. I spread the lavender (lightest shade) from the centre, on the top of the cake and allow some to ‘flow’ over the edge and cover around one-third of the height.
4. Then I work with the deeper shade of blue, spreading the frosting upwards (from the bottom) along the side.
5. The middle level, the lighter shade of green, is the most important part. Do ensure your frosting is not too creamy. If so, put it back in the fridge for 5 mins.
6. Apply the middle layer to find up the empty spaces. Then use a clean palette knife and try to smudge the discreet layers, as if you are painting with oil pastel.
* Refer to the sweeapolita’s blog for a better idea of the frosting method.
* A turn-table for cake would make the frosting easier. Well, I dont have one and I find it perfectly manageable.
At the end of the day, a layered chocolate cake and my favourite colour combination just made my day. Whether gloomy or shiny.