Once again I've been sitting on recipes for things I've made and am posting a bunch at once...this time I've been too busy to write them up but feel like procrastinating today...one of these days my thesis will decide to write itself, right?
I had a little bit of a chocolate cake obsession a few weeks back that happened to coincide with a couple birthdays and a going away party for a girl in my lab. Here's the one I decided I liked best after a little tweaking and blending of recipes...This will probably be my last baking post for quite a while since the summer has already gotten to be hellishly hot.
Basic chocolate cake
1 stick earth balance
2 cups sugar
3 eggs worth egg replacer
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cup cake flour
1 cup soy milk + 1 tsp vinegar
3/4 cup boiling water
Sift together the cake flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler...or improvise one with a metal bowl.
Allow the chocolate to cool to close to room temperature. Cream the earth balance and sugar until light and fluffy (the sugar won't totally break down, but it will be noticeably lighter in color). Beat in the eggs (mixture should stay fluffy). Cream in the vanilla and melted chocolate.
Alternate mixing in the sifted dry ingredients and soured soy milk. The batter will be quite thick at this point. Add boiling water, stirring well to incorporate and pour immediately into a prepped pan (one 9x3" round pan [with a floured flower nail like in the last post] or split between two regular 9" pans). Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour (check for doneness for a tooth pick after 45 minutes). This recipe tastes great, but my only quasi-gripe with it is it doesn't make a very deep cake. I like to torte the deep ones into three layers, but i it was hard to get three that were easy to handle out of it if the cake had to be leveled first. Not a huge deal, but it's something to keep in mind for assembly/decorating plans.
So on to the first chocolate cake of the week...this was a going away cake for a girl in my lab. I was SO close to writing "Have a Nice Life" on it, but she's super sweet so I decided to be nice.
Black Forest Cake aka the misuse of decorating tools (9" version)
1 chocolate cake
1 lb cherries
Kirshwasser (cherry brandy)
Whipped Vanilla Icing:
2 sticks earth balance
1 cups sugar (or granulated vanilla sugar)
1 cup soy milk
7 Tbs Flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
Follow the directions for the peanut butter icing.
Pit the cherries. I don't have a cherry pitter so I used a decorating tip (a star tip i believe, but i don't think it matters). Put the tip pointy side up on a cutting board and push the cherries down on it from where the stems are attached (this can get messy, so dig out the gothest apron you have, or at least don't wear white...but really, who does that when they're baking anyway?). The cherries will be a little mutilated, but I cut them all in half anyway. I was actually pretty surprised at how quickly this went.
Torte the cake into two or three layers. Spread about 3 tbs - 1/4 cup Kirshwasser on to the cut side of each layer. Allow to soak in for about 10 minutes or so then spread the bottom layer with whipped vanilla icing. Arrange a layer of cut cherries on top leaving about a cm border from the edge of the cake. Repeat with the next layer if making a three layer cake. Ice and decorate with the rest of the whipped icing, some chocolate shavings and whole cherries. I kept the assembles cake in the refrigerator overnight mostly to keep the icing from separating. It is safe to leave out if it isn't too hot out.
Now on to cake two...this was a birthday request that I was really happy about since it required a cooked icing...that meant I didn't have to worry about having an icing melt on me in the heat (which was only in the 90's at that time...ugh!)
German Chocolate Cake
1 chocolate cake (If you want to be truer to the original Germans' Chocolate recipe use semisweet chocolate instead of unsweetened).
Coconut Pecan Icing
1 2/3 cup almond milk (soy will work too, but almond was on sale!)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
5 Tbs cornstarch
2 cups shredded coconut
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 Tbs earth balance
Mix together the cornstarch and 1/3 cup almond milk until there are no lumps. In a sauce pan mix the rest of the almond milk, both sugars and the cornstarch mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it boils. Stir over low heat a couple more minutes to thicken and cook out the cornstarch taste. Turn off the heat and mix in the vanilla and earth balance. Stir in the coconut and pecans and let it cool to almost room temperature. Torte the chocolate cake into two or three layers and ice with the cooled icing.