Archives

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake with Coconut Frosting

Chocolate Olive Cake with Coconut frosting

By Kira

I came across this recipe, when I was looking for a gluten and dairy free bake. The recipe suggested using almond meal will result in heavy cake and plain flour will make it lighter, but neither suited me. Since my nut consumption is in moderate level and I also needed a gluten free recipe, I adopted it according to my preference. I had reduced the recipe to fit my 7inch cake tin.

For my first try, I used Doves farm gluten free plain flour and I was so excited to use my very first Willie’s Venezuelen Black 100% cocoa, which I got as a gift from my equal. The result was just ok, but there was three problems. One being the gluten free flour has a strong smell, which was putting off, for a person who has a hyper sensitive nose like mine. Second being, the cocoa wasn’t rich and bitter to compensate for the strong smell of the flour. Atleast, I expected great smooth hot chocolate from the world’s most pricey cocoa, but it was grainy and will not dissolve even after endless whisking. Err!! I am still not able to figure whats wrong, is it a problem only with my bar or its suppose to have only grainy consistency? I swear next time I will go back to my loyal rich, bitter and smooth tasting Green & Black’s Cocoa. Thrid being less sugar, when you take a bite, immediately you will crave for more sugar or atleast for a frosting inbetween to compensate for it.

Second time, I decided to make it for my baking group. I adapted the recipe based on my first try. Inorder to lessen the strong smell of gluten free plain flour, this time I used 2 parts of it to 1 part ground almond meal. Also, made hot cocoa using Green & Black’s cocoa. Finally, I had one more adventure, trying to make dairy free frosting using vegetable shortening to compensate for the sweetness. I can hear you saying, thats all fine, how come coconut came into the picture. Recently, I tired homemade coconut macaroons along with dark chocolate, yum I liked it eventhough I am not a great coconut fan.
Chocolate_Olive_oil_Cake_Coconut_Frosting

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 45 min
Total time: 55 min

Ingredients
Cake:

  • Green & Black’s Cocoa powder 35 g
  • Boiling Water 85 ml
  • Vanilla Essence 1 tsp plus 1/4 tsp
  • Eggs 2 (medium size)
  • Caster Sugar 135 g
  • Light & Mild Olive oil 100 ml
  • Ground Almond 35 g
  • Doves farm Gluten free Plain flour 60 g
  • Bicarbonate of Soda 1/4 tsp plus a pinch
  • A pinch of salt
  • Desiccated Coconut, to sprinkle on top of the cake 1 tsp (optional)

Dairy free Coconut frosting:

  • Vegetable shortening, room temperature 56 g
  • Icing sugar 113 g
  • Vanilla Essence – 1/2 tsp
  • Water – 17 ml (approx. 1 tbsp)
  • Desiccated Coconut 25 g

Instructions
Cake:

  • Preheat the Oven at 170C fan.
  • Prepare the cake tin, line the bottom with greaseproof paper, grease the sides using oil.
  • Sift the cocoa into a small mixing bowl, add the boiling water and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the vanilla essence and let the mixture rest for a while.
  • Place the eggs in a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer beat the eggs until its pale and foamy. Keep the mixer running at low speed, add the sugar gradually into the egg mixture, drizzle in the olive oil and slowly pour in the cocoa mixture. Mix everything until is well incorporated.
  • In a small mixing bowl, sift the gluten free plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Add the ground almond, give everything a good mix and tip this into the wet mixture. Gently fold in the dry mixture into the wet mixture.
  • Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake at 170C fan for 30 minutes. Remove the cake from oven and let it cool for 10 mins before releasing it from the tin.
  • Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it cool completely. Using a serrate knife cut the cake into two equal halves, spread the icing between the them and sprinkle little bit of desiccated cooconut on the top.

Dairy free Coconut frosting:

  • Double the frosting recipe, if you like to frost the top of the cake as well. This recipes yields enough to sandwich the two layers of cake.
  • Bring the vegetable shortening to room temeperature, it took approximately 30 minutes.
  • Place the shortening in a mixing bowl, beat it slowly using electric mixer until its light and little bit puffy. Sift the icing sugar into shortening mixture, add the vanilla essence and water, mix it with a fork until its runny.
  • Beat the icing mixture with electric mixer at medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes until its increased in volume and puffy. Add the desiccated coconut and beat it slowly for a minute until its evenly distributed.
  • Spread the frosting immediately on the cake, believe me its easy this way (check Notes). Also, I only needed 3/4 of frosting to sandwich the two layers of cake.

Notes:

  • Remember when additioning any flavouring to vegetable shortening, less is more. Unlike butter, vegetable shortening does not have any taste, so any flavouring added to it will be fully absorbed.
  • Shortening has the tendency to set faster in the fridge. I left mine in the fridge for 30 minutes, I couldn’t spread it at all. Since I was in a hurry, my only option is to pipe it, hoping it will be ok in a hour.
  • Unlike butter, shortening react to heat slowly, so mine had softened and reached room temperature while I was on my way to the baking group.

Butternut squash cake with apple, currants topped with Almond streusel

Butternut squash cake with apple, currants topped with Almond streusel

By Kira

Recently, I decided to participate in Wimbledon baking group, where everyone has to bring one home made cake. Each meetup has a theme and this month’s theme is ‘A bake with a story’. Being my first meetup, I was wondering what to make. Finally, I decided to retry my very first attempt to make a cake for my exact equals birthday.

Here goes my story… My baking adventure started of a couple of year back in London. Before that I never baked in my whole life. Thats right you are reading it right. When I moved to London, I use to enjoy the BBC program for children ‘I can cook’ by Kathy. I started trying recipes from that program and slowly started of with cup cakes, muffins and cookies. By then I got the basic knowledge of baking, I wanted to try cakes. I was looking for recipes to make dinner with butternut squash, to my surprise I came across a cake recipe using butternut squash. I was surprised as well as excited by the thought of adding vegetable to a cake.

I never follow a recipe to a ‘T’, I always improvise with my basic knowledge and personal twists. I made the cake a day ahead of my exact equals birthday, to give me enough time for the backup plan. After I finished baking, my house was filled with pleasant smell. All is well at the end, now I have the trouble of hiding the cake for a another day.

I really surprised him on his birthday, presenting with my very first perfect cake. Oh my goodness, the cake was so light and tasted delicious with bits of apple, currants and top of all was the almond streusel. The cake also had taken the nice yellow colour from the butternut squash puree.

Here is the picture of my Butternut squash cake with apple, currants topped with Almond Streusel.
           

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 65 mins

Ingredients
Dry Ingredients:

  • Plain flour – 140 g  (14 tbsp – level tablespoons)
  • Golden granuated raw cane sugar – 137 g (10.5 tbsp – level tablespoons)
  • Baking powder 1.5 tsp
  • Table Salt a pinch
  • Red apple, medium size 1
  • Juicy currants – 50 g (5 tbsp – I used Whitworths juicy currants)

Wet Ingredients:

  • Eggs, medium size, room temperature 2
  • Sunflower oil – 65 ml (4.5 tbsp  – I used Flora sunflower oil)
  • Vanilla essence 1 tsp
  • Nutmeg 0.25 tsp (I used freshly grated nutmeg)
  • Ground Cinnamon 0.50 tsp
  • Butternutsquash puree – 80g (8 tbsp  – level tablespoons)

Streusel Topping:

  • Whole Almonds 100 g (10 tbsp finely chopped almonds)
  • Golden granuated raw cane sugar – 33 g (2.5 tbsp)
  • Unsalted Butter, room temperature 20 g

Instructions

Butternut squash Puree:

  • Cut the medium size butternut squash in lengthwise, scoop out the seeds. Place it in the roasting tray with cut side down.
  • Pour little water into the base of the roasting tray.
  • Bake at 180C fan in the preheat oven for 35 mins or until the butternut squash is tender.
  • Remove the butternut squash from oven and let it cool completely.
  • Scoop out the flesh of the butternut squash. Puree it in the food processor until it has smooth texture.
  • The puree stores well in fridge and freeze. I usually make the puree a day before I plan to make the cake. Measure the amount that is needed for the cake and keep that in fridge. Freeze the remaining puree for later use.

Dry Bowl:

  • Shift the plain flour into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the sugar, baking powder and salt to the mixing bowl.
  • Give everything a good mix using a spatula and keep it aside.

Wet Bowl:

  • Have the electric hand blender with balloon whisk attachment ready.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, break the eggs and whisk it until it looks pale yellow in colour and foamy.
  • Add the oil to the egg mixture and whisk a few seconds until its mixed evenly.
  • Add the vanilla essence, nutmeg and cinnamon to the mixture and give a good mix.
  • Add the butternut squash puree to the mixture and whisk at low speed for a minute until its well blended.

Streusel Topping:

  • Place the whole almonds in the food processor and pulse until the almonds are finely chopped.
  • Transfer the chopped almonds to a bowl, then add the sugar and butter. Mix it with your finger tips until the mixture looks like a crumble.

Final steps:

  • Preheat the oven at 170C fan.
  • Line the 7 inches round deep cake tin with baking sheet.
  • Peel, core and cut the apple into cubes of 1cm pieces. Add the apple pieces and currants to the dry mixture bowl and give it a good mix.
  • Add the dry mixture into wet mixture bowl. Fold the mixture gently with a spatula, because you don’t want to knock out all the air bubbles produced by beating the eggs. Fold it until everything is well incorporated.
  • Fill the cake tin with the mixture. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the cake mixture. Very gently press the streusel to level it evenly.
  • Cover the top of the cake tin with aluminium foil. The foil cover prevents the almonds from burning. Bake at 170C fan for 25 mins.
  • Remove the aluminium foil and bake for further 22 mins or when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from oven and let it cool for 10 mins before releasing it from the cake tin.
  • Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it cool completely.

Pineapple upside-down Individual cake

Pineapple upside-down Cake

By Kira

I was wondering what to do with fresh pineapple. I came across this recipe from the slow cooker book. I modified the recipe according to my liking and to suit the oven cooking.

Here is the picture of my pineapple upside-down cake. The texture of coconut spongy was light and when had with pineapple it tasted perfect for a treat.

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 18 mins
Total time: 28 mins
Yield: 2 servings
Baking Utensil: 2 ramekins

Ingredients
Plain flour50 g
Baking powder1/2 tsp
Sugar2 tbsp plus extra to sprinkle the ramekins base
Unsalted Butter – at room temperature25 g plus extra for coating the ramekins
Desiccated coconut1 tbsp
Egg1/2 large
Honey1 tbsp
Pineapple chunks50 g

Instructions
– Cream together butter and sugar, using an electric hand blender.
– Add the egg to the creamed butter and a tbsp of flour to stop the mixture from curdling. Mix until the egg is well incorporated.
– Add the remaining flour, baking powder, desiccated coconut to the mixture. Mix on low speed until everything is mixed well.
– Grease 2 ramekins. Fill each ramekins with 1/2 tbsp of honey, sprinkle a thin layer of sugar and then spread half the pineapple chunks and half of cake mixture. Level the surface with back of wet spoon.
– Bake at preheat oven 170C fan for 18 minutes. Remove the ramekins from oven and let it cool on wire rack.
– Loosen the edge of the ramekins and turn the cake into the serving plate.

Enjoy the soft coconut sponge with sweet chunky pineapples.

Diablo Chocolate Cake

Diablo Chocolate Cake

By Kira

Have you ever wondered why the rich chocolate cake is coined with Devil? I think its because it is simply irresistible and even the devil can’t help it.

Here is the picture of my devil’s chocolate cake. It tasted so rich chocolatey and texture was so spongey. Wow, it was delicious and I ended up eating like a devil, proving the name “Devil’s Chocolate Cake”. After we enjoyed the wonderful cake, me and my exact equal named my Devil’s Chocolate cake after the devil Diablo.

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 35 mins
Total time: 55 mins
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients
Plain flour200 g
Green & Black Cocoa powder40 g
Baking powder3 tsp
a pinch of salt
Sugar280 g
Unsalted Butter – at room temperature80 g
Milk240 ml
Egg2
Vanilla extract1/2 tsp
Cocoa buttercream frosting enough to sandwich 3 layers and top of the cake.

Instructions
– Cream together butter and sugar, using an electric hand blender.
– Add the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt to the creamed butter. Mix on low speed until a coarse grainy consistency is achieved.
– Beat the eggs, in a separated bowl. Add the milk and vanilla extract to the egg mixture and give it a good whisk.
– Add half the milk mixture to the flour mixture. Start to mix on low speed and then on medium speed until there are no lumps.
– Gradually add the remaining milk mixture. Mix on low speed until the mixture looks smooth.
– Grease and line the cake tin. Fill the tin with cake mixture and level it.
– Bake at preheat oven 170C fan for 35 minutes. Remove the cake from oven and let it cool on wire rack.
– Cut the cake into 3 layers after it is completely cool down. Spread the cocoa buttercream frosting between the layers and on the top.

Enjoy the rich chocolatey spongey devil’s chocolate cake.

Black Forest Gateau

Black Forest Gateau


By Kira

Black Forest Gateau, is a delicious German dessert. It consist of layers of chocolate cake filled cherries, kirsch and whipped cream between each layers. It is named after the liquor Schwarzwälder Kirsch which is used in the gateau.  Schwarzwälder Kirsch is a speciality liquor (distilled from tart cherries) of the black forest region.

This is my first attempt to make black forest gateau. I had some fresh cherries left in the fridge and I thought it would be wonderful for my black forest gateau. I made the chocolate cake separately, then sandwiched three layers of cake with whipped cream and cherry filling. For chocolate cake recipe follow my Diablo chocolate cake. The chocolate cake itself was soft and light. The whipped cream and cherry filling added moistness to the gateau. It tasted rich and deliciously.

The decorations on the cake does not justify its taste, I know it needs more work. I decorated it, without palette knife nor icing set. I also know my fingers needs practice, since I gave up on using paper and pen along time ago 🙂

Cocoa cupcakes with Cocoa buttercream and white chocolate topping

Cocoa cupcakes with Cocoa buttercream and white chocolate topping


By Kira

It is such a pleasure to enjoy treats made of chocolates. Here is the picture of my cocoa cupcake with cocoa buttercream and white chocolate topping.

For cocoa cupcakes recipe follow my Diablo chocolate cake. It makes 8 large cupcakes.

The soft and light cake with the hint of bitter cocoa along with the light cocoa buttercream with the intense sweetness from icing sugar and topped up white chocolate is such a merry to enjoy 🙂 It reminds me of my all time favourite hummingbird bakery devils chocolate cake.