Monday, March 18, 2013

Chocolate Devotion Cake

For Chocolate Cake

I always follow the Hershey's Perfect Chocolate Cake recipe given on their site ( Its a perfect one for a rich moist chocolate. The only variation I made this time was substitute oil with butter to bring out the texture of the chocolate cake. I used 1/2 cup melted and cooled butter instead of 1/2 cup vegetable oil in the original recipe. You will get two 8-inch cakes from the recipe.

For Chocolate Mousse
This is the recipe from Joy of Baking and it turned out perfect. I needed mousse only as a filling and was trying this recipe for the first time, so I had done it on a smaller quantity.

2 oz semisweet chocolate morsels
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
1 large egg, separated
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

In a medium-sized bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Then whisk in the egg yolk. Let the mixture cool completely before mixing the egg yolk as if it is still warm, the butter will melt. Cover and refrigerate while you whip the egg whites and whipping cream.
In the bowl with an electric or a hand mixer, whip the egg white until foamy. Gradually add one tablespoon of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form, yet the white is still glossy and not dry. Set aside.
In another bowl, whip the heavy cream, remaining one tablespoon sugar and vanilla extract until soft peaks form.
Remove the chocolate mixture from the refrigerator, and gently stir the beaten egg white into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the whipped cream.
For a better understanding you can watch the video on the site

Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream
This was the first time I made Swiss meringue buttercream. Oh I just loved the velvety texture of this buttercream. I was thrilled to get it right the very first time. I had halved the recipe from Running with Spatulas. For the videos I had referred to the modern buttercream class from Craftsy which really gives a nice explaination on how to prepare the Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I will share the recipe over here.

 3 egg whites
 1 cup unsalted butter (tbsp size chunks)
 3/4 cup granulated sugar
 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate morsels (melted and cooled)

Put egg whites and sugar in a mixing bowl. Fill a large saucepan halfway with water and heat on the stove over medium heat. Put mixing bowl with egg whites and sugar over the sauce pan water (the bowl should not touch the water). With a hand mixer, whisk constantly until sugar is completely dissolved (it will feel smooth between your fingers; you won't feel it gritty or won't feel the sugar between your fingers). Remove from heat and mix on low with the hand mixer until frothy. Slowly increase speed until soft peaks form. The mixture should be completely at room temperature before you start adding the butter. The bowl should not be felt warm to touch. The butter can melt if the sugar and egg mixture is warm. Slowly add one piece of butter at a time, waiting until each is fully incorporated before adding another.Once half of the butter is added you can increase mixing speed. You will have a curdled appearance of the icing but this is completely normal; so do not panic. The icing will get together eventually. Add in the vanilla and using a spatula slowly fold in the melted chocolate chips until combined. Then whisk it till you reach the desired consistency. This icing is very smooth and can have many air bubbles. If your icing it too soft, toss it in the fridge, but keep in mind that it will behave like butter, so don’t leave it too long or you will end up with hard icing. The chocolate decorations are done from the melted chocolate.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Marshmallow Sunflower Cupcakes

These were the cupcakes made by my 9-year-old son for the Garden State Cake Competition 2013 and he won a second place for it. I had made the butter cupcakes for him and used the store bought chocolate frosting. The petals are made out of marshmallows and yellow colored sugar and the central brown part is made up from mini chocolate morsels. We tried to make the look as a bouquet but after decorating these 7 cupcakes he was so tired so we could not do the rest of them. These are really very kid friendly cupcakes and I am sure the kids would enjoy to create them. They are just super easy to make and you will find so many videos on youtube on how to make these if you just type out "marshmallow flower cupcakes". The video I followed was

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Pineapple Cream Delight

A semi homemade cake for my friend's birthday!!

For Cake:
1 pack of pineapple cake mix ( I used Pillsbury for this one)
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 cup water
1 tsp cardamom powder
1 tsp nutmeg powder
1 can of pineapple chunks (20 oz)

For Whipped Cream Frosting
2 cups heavy cream
6 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Bake two 8-inch round cakes according to instructions; just add the cardamom and nutmeg powders into the batter. This brings out the pineapple flavor in the cake. Cut off the domes after cooling them completely. Using the syrup in the pineapple can, with a pastry brush, brush it over both the cakes slightly to make the cake more moist.  Place one cake on the cake board and spread some whipped cream and then put the pineapple chunks on this. If the chunks are too big, cut them into small pieces with a sharp knife. Place the other cake on top of it and frost the whole cake with whipped cream. Decorate with the pineapple chunks.

For preparing the whipped cream frosting, beat the chilled heavy cream, sugar and vanilla on medium speed till if forms into stiff peaks. (Make sure the bowl which you are preparing the cream in and the blades are frozen for half an before you start making the cream).