Chocolate Cake

It’s a very special day today as Garlic Goddesses completes an entire year around the sun. We are one! It was exactly one year ago that we started our small but significant entry into the world of food blogging. We have grown as a blog and as individuals interested in food as well. We have had an exciting year, cooking some unexpected dishes and some favorites too! We have had to throw out some batches of food because they didn’t turn out quite right but it has all been a massive opportunity to learn and do better. We would like to thank each and everyone of you for supporting us and stopping by our page. It means a lot to us. 

On this special day, I’m posting a cake I made for my husband’s birthday this year. While I have made the chocolate cake before (it’s a handy recipe to have from Hershey’s), I was attempting ganache for the very first time. Ganache is nothing but a deliciously thick mixture of cream and chocolate. While the cake tastes good as is, I did want something extra special to go with it and the ganache did exactly that! If this extra layer of goodness appears intimidating, let me assure you that it’s super easy to make. I also went ahead and whipped some of the ganache in order to try some piping on the cake (again, a first for me!). My only reason to do this was I wanted some sort of decoration on the cake (I take the liberty to call my child-like piping, decoration!) but not in the form of ready-made candy or shaved chocolate or kit kat bars. I wanted to make the decoration myself and didn’t want anything too rich. And this was the result! The husband was pleased and I was too 🙂

Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

For the cake:

All-purpose flour – 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – 6 tbsp
Baking soda – 3/4 tsp
Baking powder – 3/4 tsp
Sugar – 1/2 cup
Egg – 1
Milk – 1/2 cup
Vegetable oil – 1/4 cup
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
Boiling water – 1/2 cup

For the Ganache:

Heavy whipping cream – 1 cup
Semi-sweet chocolate chunks/chips – 1 cup
Instant Coffee powder – 1/2 tsp (optional)

Method:

Making the cake

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 175 degrees Celsius
  • Prepare a baking dish by greasing with butter and sprinkling a teaspoon of flour; shake off excess flour
  • In a mixing bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients including flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and sugar
  • Add the egg, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract and beat using an electric mixer for about 2 minutes on medium speed
  • Stir in the boiling water and mix well; you will get a runny batter
  • Pour this batter into the prepared dish and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes till an inserted skewer comes out clean
  • Remove from oven and allow this to rest for about 10 minutes before transferring the cake on to a cooling rack

Making the ganache

  • In a heat-proof bowl, combine chocolate chunks and coffee powder; set aside
  • Heat the cream in a saucepan on medium flame
  • Swirl the cream occasionally while keeping an eye on it
  • Once it comes to a low simmer, remove from heat and pour on to the chocolate-coffee mixture
  • Set this aside for 5 minutes without stirring
  • After 5 minutes, use a whisk to slowly mix until it becomes smooth and runny
  • Allow this to rest until it cools down completely and begins to thicken
  • If you have time, let this rest at room temperature overnight; otherwise, refrigerate it for a couple hours after it cools down
  • The consistency of the ganache should be thick enough to spread over the cake 

Assembling the cake

  • Once the cake is completely cooled and the ganache has reached the desired consistency, take a couple of tablespoons of the ganache and spread it on the cake, starting from the middle and moving to the sides
  • Do this until you have used up all the ganache
  • Alternatively, you can use half of the ganache to spread over the cake; with the other half, you can beat it using an electric mixer for a few minutes until it becomes pale in color, fluffy in texture and light in taste
  • You can transfer this whipped ganache in to a piping bag and pipe designs on your cake (as shown in the photo)
  • This cake stays in the fridge for at least 4 days and tastes even better when it’s cold!

Chocolate Cake

Notes:
– In this recipe, you can make only the cake and it tastes yum without the ganache as well
– With the ganache, you need to use your judgement to decide whether the consistency works for you. I allowed it to cool down completely before refrigerating it for about an hour or two. I then spread about a layer of ganache on to the cake and then refrigerated both the cake and the ganache as it was a very hot day. After about 30 minutes, I spread another layer and put it back in to the fridge
– If the ganache becomes too thick, add a tablespoon of hot water and mix well

– As far as the whipped ganache goes, this is entirely optional. It only adds another dimension to the cake with very little effort
– If the room temperature is high, place the cake in the fridge at intervals while spreading the ganache. This helps the ganache to set on the cake
– Adding instant coffee powder to the ganache enhances the flavor of chocolate
– The ganache recipe isn’t from a particular source but a result of reading a few recipes online. Some recipes call for butter while others stick to equal portions of cream and chocolate (semi-sweet or bittersweet)

Chocolate Cake

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