It’s been a long time since I found the energy and excitement to post something immediately after I have made it. My hubby and I have rarely celebrated our birthdays after we got married. Considering the time we spent staying away because of my work that should not be a surprise. So this time I decided to do something special. I planned a surprise birthday party. I had to source my ingredients, menu planning and guest list without waking up the Sherlock Holmes at home ( read hubby) and my little Watson ( 3 month old Sarah) was my accomplice this time. Baking with a toddler in arms is fun and planning a birthday with a cranky toddler is even fun. Luckily I had my lady knight in shining armour – Noel to get me the last minute things I needed and to toil with me whole day in the kitchen. Noel is starting to become a regular accomplice in my cooking expeditions, always getting me stuff that inspire me to invent something new. I planned baking a batman cake but I chucked out the plan the last minute and I am happy I did so. So finally I decided to try a Dark chocolate German cake with white chocolate ganache.
I was in mood for some exciting chocolate decorations but it flopped so instead of curls we got bits and strips that we stuck onto the cake. Noel who thought baking was an art and a tough one to learn is now confident about baking a cake from scratch and has become my disciple :) I am not a fan of chocolate but I have a deep fondness for dark chocolate, the bitter the better. So presenting to you ‘snowfall in the forest’- a title my hubby awarded this cake.
Ingredients for Snowfall in the Forest
For the German chocolate cake ( Recipe adapted from joy of baking)
Dark Chocolate chopped- 115 gm
Cake flour- 270 gm
Cocoa powder- 70 gm
Baking powder- 11/2 tsp
Baking soda- 1/2 tsp
Luke warm water or coffee- 240 ml
Buttermilk- 240 ml
Butter- 280 gm
Sugar- 450 gm
Vanilla extract- 11/2 tsp
In a heat proof bowl kept over a saucepan with simmering water heat the dark chocolate till it melts. In another bowl sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cooca powder. In a cup mix the buttermilk and warm water. The easiest way to make buttermilk is to add 1 tbsp white vinegar to 240 ml milk and set it aside for 5 minutes. Now add the warm water or coffee to this buttermilk and set it aside. Beat the butter in another bowl till its fluffy. Now add the sugar little by little a beat it till the butter and sugar becomes creamy. Add eggs one by one followed by vanilla essence. Your wet ingredients are now ready. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees and line two 9 inch cake tins with parchment paper. Now add the dry ingredients ( flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda) to the wet ingredients. Add them in small batches and fold into your wet ingredients. Pour half the batter in two pans and bake at 180 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool the cakes on a rack.
For the White chocolate ganache
White chocolate – 200 gm
Butter- 280 gm
Icing sugar- 280 gm
Vanilla extract- 1 tsp
Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Beat butter and icing sugar in a bowl till creamy and then add the vanilla extract and white chocolate. Beat the mixture for few minutes till its creamy.
For assembling the cake
Level the top of both the cakes that has been cooled. This is to remove the uneven portion on the top of the cakes. Apply a little ganache to the board or plate onto which you will mount the cakes. I used a cake board. This application helps to keep the cake in position. Now mount the first cake. Slather some ganache onto this cake, this acts as the adhesive for the next layer of cake. Now mount the second layer of cake. The next step is crumb coating of the cake. This is nothing but application of the first layer of icing over the cake to remove the crumbs that sticks to the icing. Sometimes if you apply the first layer of coating you see a lot of crumbs coming off as dark grains over your icing a crumb coating is the fix to this issue. Now refrigerate the cake for half an hour. After half an hour apply the next coating of icing with a cake palette knife and our second layer will look more polished and refined over your crumb coat. Decorate the cake with shavings, curls or logs of dark chocolate.
This has been a very fulfilling cake for me and my hubby who does not have a sweet tooth was impressed with this one and so I think it was worth the effort in the middle of my thesis deadline. My little one as you will notice in every pic was ogling the cake I don’t know if she loves cakes or baking I hope she loves baking to eating :)
A big thanks to everyone who made this party a success- Manali, Anshuman, Noel and Dr Rajshri Jobanputra, you guys made this day eventful with your presence and I hope you had a wonderful time. And there goes a post into my memoirs :)