Monday, April 13, 2009

A very merry un-birthday to me...

March and April have seen a spate of celebrations in my social group. And no festive occasion is complete without a delicious confection. The stars have been:
For St Patrick’s Day: Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Green Filling and Dark Chocolate Ganache
For a mate’s birthday dinner: Chocolate Mud Cake infused with Jagermeister with Red Bull Frosting and Chocolate Ganache
Dark Chocolate Fondant Cake for long weekend dinner
For my French colleague’s birthday: Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Chocolate
Biscuit Crust
For Easter: Dark Chocolate Roulade filled with Raspberries and Organic Milk Chocolate Ice-cream

As you can see, a theme has developed. Trial and error in the chocolate cake department has led to the tweaking of a number of recipes and I am quite happy with this one, which will be the standard chocolate cake recipe in the kitchen of ‘9 Bean Row’ for the foreseeable future. The recipe is in cups rather than grams or ounces. I find it easier to work that way, but will try and translate into grams for those fond of scales. Obviously you should use the best quality ingredients available, but the cocoa powder in particular will make a significant difference to the end result.

9Bean Row Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

3 cups plain flour
2 1/2 cups soft brown sugar
4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp Maldon salt
1 cup Green and Blacks or other unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 large free range eggs
1 1/2 cups hot strong coffee, it is fine to use instant if, like me a cafetiere is still on your wish list


Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease and line two 22.5cm round cake tins, two 20cm square cake tins, or 24 very large muffin cups.

Place all dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix using a whisk. Form a well in the middle of the bowl and pour in the buttermilk and oil and using whisk mix vigorously to combine. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Pour the hot coffee down the side of the bowl in a steady stream. The mixture will be quite thin.

Pour into prepared tins/cases and bake for 20 minutes for muffins, 30-35 minutes for round or square tins. Cakes are finished when a skewer comes out clean when tested.

This cake is quite moist and dense, and best topped with a simple ganache.

Ganache recipe
1 cup whipping cream
200 grams dark chocolate, finely chopped. (I use Green and Blacks 85% but I like my ganache dark and bitter-if you prefer a sweeter ganache, try the 70% or 60%)
Gently heat the cream in a heavy saucepan.
Once it starts bubbling, remove from heat and stir chocolate through.
Leave to thicken slightly as it cools and either pour or spread over cake.


Anonymous said...

jagaermeister and redbull you can eat! Who would have thunked it!

Anonymous said...

What kind of dessert would you concoct for my birthday? Chocolate cupcakes decorated with KISS makeup and edible studs?


'NEEN at 9 BEAN ROW said...

The star one would be easy. It is the silver wing-ey one that would be the challenge!

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