IT’S THE ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF JACKIE RUINS THE CAKE!
I’ve learned a lot about baking since opening this blog a year ago. I’m not ruining cakes as much as I used to! I still have slip-ups and screw-ups in the kitchen sometimes, but I’m at a much better place than I was September 2010. I understand so much more about so many things — like how to make meringues, the science of baking powder, the process of baking cakes and how to mix properly and cream butter and sugar — and, what I learned with this recipe, how stiff egg whites will lighten your batter and thus, your cake!
I knew I had to make something awesome for the one year anniversary of my baking blog. Something epic. Something cool-looking. Something delicious. And when my best friend Sophie of Clumsy Kitchen gave me this TOTALLY EXCELLENT AND FANCY AND BEAUTIFUL book full of amazingly decadent chocolate recipes, I knew I had to pick something from there.
Of course I had to go with a cake. This is Jackie Ruins The Cake, is it not?
Problem was, all of the layered cakes in the book wanted shit like apricot preserves as fillings and almond extracts in the batter and crap like that. I don’t like almonds, and I don’t like fruit anywhere in or near my cakes. Plus I’m on a budget. So I decided to go with the Rich Chocolate Cake.
Oh, and did I mention my sweet new camera that I got for my birthday from my dad? Yeah. This thing is awesome. Expect much more quality photos from now on.
This recipe called for me to separate two eggs, and to use the two egg yolks in the batter. What this particular cake seemed to be was a combination of a sponge cake, with the stiff egg whites folded into the batter, and a regular cake, with butter and sugar creamed together.
I didn’t figure this out until later, though, so when my dough came out looking like this, after having kneaded all of the ingredients together with my hands instead of a mixer because I didn’t want to have to clean up yet another thing, I was a little worried. It looked more like cookie dough than cake batter.
(okay, I know this photo doesn’t look very good, but the rest will, I promise!)
But then I added this:
(see, told you)
(man I love this new camera)
Now, the recipe told me to use an 8-inch springform pan, but I used a 9-inch one for the following reasons:
- I couldn’t find any 8-inch springform pans at my store
- When the fuck am I going to use an 8-inch springform pan again? Never, that’s when.
- I’m cheap and on a budget and 9-inch springform pan is just fine probably.
I should probably learn how to spread batter properly at some point.
I’m gonna say that it was proooobably because I used a 9-inch pan that the cake finished baking fifteen minutes after I put it in the oven rather than the 40-45 minutes stated in the book. I was not expecting it to be done anywhere even close to that early, so it was lucky I looked in the oven when I did, otherwise I would have — ruined the cake! *ba-dum-tish*
Because it was in the oven slightly too long the cake turned out a little dryer than it should have been, but it was still good.
Okay, so the cake looks ugly. Who cares? I’m just going to cover it in cocoa powder and frosting anyway!
Speaking of the frosting…
Who knew a little sweetened condensed milk, a little butter, and a bunch of chocolate would make such a delicious frosting? Man! I was a tad concerned that I was melting all of the ingredients in a saucepan sitting on top of a smaller saucepan filled with simmering water, but all was well.
Sophie also got me a boss set of decorating tips and a re-usable pastry bag, so I decided to put it to use for this cake. First, though, I sifted the unsweetened cocoa powder on top. I’m not a fan of sifting. Shit gets caught in those things like you wouldn’t believe. I had to use almost my entire thing of cocoa powder to cover the whole thing and the spots I kept missing somehow.
After that, I started piping the edges. I started out trying to do this fancy piping job, but then I got bored with that and just started doing crazy squiggles. It still looked good. Then I frosted the tiny sides, since I only used a 9-inch pan and therefore the cake wasn’t tall. I slapped some shaved chocolate I
stole procured from work on said sides, sprinkled extras in the middle to hide some weird wet spots from my dripping wet hands earlier, aaaaaand —
YEAH, MAN! This cake looks fancy as hell, dudes! And it tasted okay, too! The unsweetened cocoa powder definitely was a minus, though. It added a lot of bitterness unless you brushed it off. But the frosting! Oh man, the frosting was great!
I shall leave the recipe here for your baking pleasure. Enjoy, my friends! Celebrate the art of baking and the deliciousness of chocolate with me!
I feel so bad posting a cake on 9/11.
Rich Chocolate Cake (adapted from The Golden Book of Chocolate)
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup of superfine sugar (I just used regular sugar and it turned out fine)
2 large eggs, separated
Pinch of salt
Creamy Chocolate Frosting
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour (or spray with a copious amount of cooking spray) an 8-inch springform pan (or a 9-inch one). Mix the flour, cocoa powder, and baking salt in a large bowl, then beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add the egg yolks from your separated eggs one at a time, beating until just blended after each addition. Gradually beat in dry ingredients with mixer at low speed, if you’re using one.
With a mixer at high speed (you do kind of need a mixer for this next bit), beat the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. Fold them gently into the batter. Spoon and spread the batter into the pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. This will take 40-45 minutes if you use an 8-inch pan, and 10-15 minutes if you use a 9-inch one.
Cool the cake in the pan for five minutes, then loosen the cake by running around the edge with a knife. Remove the pan sides and invert the cake on a rack or a plate and let cool completely. Dust the top of the cake with cocoa powder (a sifter will make it look nicer).
Melt the chocolate, condensed milk, and butter in a double boiler over barely simmering water, or a saucepan placed on top of a smaller saucepan with simmering water. Let cool, then spoon the frosting into a pastry bag and pipe a design around the edges of the cake. Decorate the sides of the cake with flaked chocolate if desired.