A Good Day to Bake Chocolate Cake and Vanilla Cupcakes

Good evening once again.

Today my friend Ashleigh (http://kiwigirlskiwiblog.wordpress.com/) and I had a baking date. We decided to make a layered chocolate ruffle cake. There was our first mistake: layered. The cake mixture we used (thinking we would need a lot of it) was massive! Like huge! Turns out the three layers we wanted turned into five . . .

So for fear of a toppling cake that would fit no cake box alive we decided to split it into two and three stacked cakes.Leveling the tops of the cakes was such a pain, I think I will invest in one of those Wilton cake levelers.

 So the three stacked cake was supposed to be this ruffle cake, buuuuuuttt . . . we ran out of icing sugar (as we had already used 1.5kg worth already) and so the icing was a bit too runny (second mistake!) and the ruffles looked like the hillsides of Nelson (sliding down the hill). So that failed. So instead we just iced it. Plain and boring. We had gotten to the point of CBFed and we ended up with this:

Isn't is monstrous? And that is only three layers. I added some glitter on top to make it a wee bit fancy.

Then we wanted to cover up the bottom edge's messiness . . .

So we added a wee bit of ruffle using my mini star nozzle that had icing in it left over from the cupcakes we also made (they shall come in a sec).

Ta daa!! Doesn't that look tidier now.

Ok so what about the other two layers? 

This terrible looking melted, crumby mess went from this:

To this! WIN!

Success I think yes! WINNING!!!! All I did was start by making one rose in the middle of the cake and then just piping adjacent roses until I came to the edge (a rose is piped using a 1M Wilton nozzle and starting in the middle swirling outwards). You can see in some places there are wee incomplete roses. In the gaps in between roses I just piped a curve of icing to cover the base but to also blend in with the surrounding roses. You can also see I did it along the edges too. This was a chocolate cake with a cream cheese icing (odd mix I know). Even though I crumb coated and froze the blasted cakes I still managed to get crumbs in it, also I don't think my base layer was thick enough as you can see the cake through the icing. Sort of like trying to cover a black wall with light pink paint; you need a lot of layers.

Sorry, I am quite into taking photos at the moment. I have a really average point and shoot which is extra basic (hence the cheap price I bought it for). I originally got it so that if I went out to town and dropped it no one would cry over it. Only problem is that I haven't used it in town because I don't go anymore. I am a nana.

The cake recipe we used was really big (it used 3 cups of sugar!) so here is another recipe which tastes exactly the same but has smaller proportions and makes quite a decent cake as it is. The final batter is really runny but never fear, just make sure the bottom piece of baking paper you use to line the base of your spring form tin goes up the sides about three cm or so). 

Mocha Chocolate Cake ( a recipe from Sue!)

Add the ingredients in the order stated below, beating well between each addition.

2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups castor sugar
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1 cup buttermilk (or half and half yoghurt and milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla

then sift in together:

2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder

Once that is all beaten and smooth add:

1 cup of STRONG black coffee

Pour into a well lined spring form tin and bake at 180 degrees (Celsius!!) for 1 to 1 hour 10 minutes or until a skewer just comes out clean.

Once cool, ice with whatever you want, we usually ice this with a chocolate ganache! :) Ill pop that recipe up another day, Oh the suspense!!

So those cupcakes eh? we ended up making mini ones. Except we didn't expect to make 32 mini ones . .

By the time we got around to icing the cupcakes we had given up (or at least I had - Ashleigh made pretty, tidy swirls) so I just made big star blobs then covered them with random sprinkles. They taste delicious though. We used the Hummingbird Bakery vanilla cupcake recipe.

Vanilla Cupcakes:

40g Butter (softened)
140g castor sugar
120g flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
90ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

In a bowl, beat the butter, sugar, flour and baking powder until a sandy, but even consistency is reached. Beat the egg into the mixture and beat until smooth. Then add half the milk, beat until combined and then add the rest and repeat. Then add the vanilla (adding extra for good luck :) ) and beat for a few minutes to really make sure the batter is smooth. Oh yeah don;t forget to sieve the dry ingredients first. Spoon into paper cases to 2/3 full and bake at 180 degrees (Celsius!!) for 20-ish minutes or until golden brown and spring back upon touch. Leave to cool and then ice with a plain vanilla, chocolate or other icing of your choice :) This should make about 12 (depending on how big your cases are).

Cool bananas! 

Time for a sleep I think. 

Happy baking!