Showing posts with label Layer Cakes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Layer Cakes. Show all posts

Monday, August 31, 2015

Happy birthday to me! and a chocolate-orange celebration cake

Spelt Chocolate Orange Celebration Cake © www.foodbabylife.com

Actually that should read happy birthday to us as my husband and I are lucky enough to share the same birthday! Being Sunday we had to get up early to get the kids to swimming for 8am and also do some more packing and cleaning in preparation for our move. But after lunch we got to relax a little and we had family over for birthday cake for afternoon tea and Indian takeaway for dinner (I refuse to cook dinner on my birthday!).


Now some people might think it's a bit sad having to make your own birthday cake but as a baker I really enjoy it and bonus, I know exactly what's in it and can tweak the recipe to suit our needs.

Chocolate and orange is one of my all time favourite combinations and after much (much, much) thought I decided to make a chocolate cake, sweet orange curd, orange jelly and a chocolate swiss meringue buttercream. Wow it sounds decadent when you write it out like that!

We are mostly sugar-free (fructose-free) in this house and while I wanted this cake to be special I didn't want to go overboard on the sugar. My sweeteners of choice these days are rice malt syrup (which although processed is fructose-free and a great alternative to honey and golden syrup) and coconut sugar (which does contain fructose but is unrefined). I also wanted to use spelt rather than wheat flour and no dairy other than the grassfed butter we use everyday.

I made a few small changes to the recipes I found and was really happy with the result. Everyone loved the cake and it was certainly impressively tall! It had all the flavour I was hoping for and it wasn't too sweet.

I popped the cake in the fridge for an hour or so which was a mistake as it seemed to dry the cake out a little (I know it was really moist before that as I got to eat the trimmings - cook's privilege!).  It would be much better to simply assemble the cake as close as possible to serving and leave it at room temperature until ready.

I especially loved this cake and it will become my go-to spelt chocolate cake from now on!

Spelt Chocolate Orange Celebration Layer Cake © www.foodbabylife.com

Spelt Chocolate Cake
Slightly adapted from Bake with Spelt
makes 2 x 8 inch cakes

230g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
2 ts vanilla extract
300g white spelt flour
40g raw cacao
1 tbs aluminium free baking powder
80ml (1/3 cup) rice milk

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius fan-forced. Grease and line the bases of 2 x 8 inch round baking pans.

Using a stand mixer, thermomix or electric beaters, beat together the butter and coconut sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the vanilla.

Sift together the flour, cacao and baking powder then add to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk until the mixture is smooth and well combined.

Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake for 25-35 minutes. The cakes will have pulled away from the sides a little, spring back in the middle and a skewer inserted into the middle will come out clean (mine took 31 minutes).

Leave in the pans to cool for 10 minutes before turning out to cool completely on a wire rack.


Sweet Orange Curd
Adapted from Tenina

200g rice malt syrup
zest of 2 oranges and 1 lemon
200g fresh orange juice
240g cold butter, cut in cubes
1 ts corn flour
4 whole eggs
2 egg yolks

Place butter into the thermomix bowl and chop 5 seconds / SP 5.

Add all remaining ingredients and cook for 10 minutes / 80 degrees / SP 5.

Cook for a further 3 minutes / 90 degrees / SP 6.

Pour into sterilised glass jars. Place in the fridge once cooled.


Fresh Orange Jelly

500ml fresh orange juice, strained to remove the pulp
1 1/2 tbs gelatin powder (I use Great Lakes)

Grease and line the base of an 8 inch round cake pan.

Place the orange juice into a small pot over low heat. Once the juice is just warm to touch, turn off the heat and sprinkle over the gelatin, whisking continuously until it is completely dissolved and there are no lumps.

Pour immediately into the prepared pan and refrigerate until needed.


Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Slightly adapted from Thermomix Recipe Community

85g egg whites, at room temperature
170g coconut sugar
pinch of salt
340g unsalted butter, very cold and cut into cubes
100g 85% dark chocolate, melted and cooled

Make sure the thermomix bowl is completely clean, dry and free of grease.

Weigh in the coconut sugar and mill for 1 minute / SP 9.

Weigh in the egg whites and salt and mix for 3 minutes / 60 degrees / SP 3.

Check that the sugar has dissolved by rubbing a small amount of the mixture between your thumb and finger. It should be completely smooth. If not, repeat for another minute or so.

Insert the butterfly and whip for 10 minutes / SP 4 until the bowl is only slightly warm and the mixture is glossy and has double in volume.

With the machine running on SP 3 for 6-8 minutes, add the butter a few pieces at a time. Once it is all incorporated, pour in the melted and cooled chocolate and whip until light and fluffy.

Use immediately or keep in the fridge until required (bring back to room temperature and re-whip with the butterfly on SP 4.

Spelt Chocolate Orange Celebration Layer Cake © www.foodbabylife.com

To assemble the cake

Choose your favourite large cake plate or stand and place a small dollop of the buttercream in the middle to secure the cake.

Trim the tops from each cake if they have domed and then slice each cake evenly in half horizontally so you have 4 layers.

Place one half down on the plate and top with 1/3 of the orange curd. Spread evenly to the edges. Top with another cake half and press down lightly. Smooth over a tablespoon of curd and then carefully place on the prepared jelly. Top with another tablespoon of curd and another layer of cake. Repeat with another cake layer and 1/3 orange curd.

Top with final layer of cake.

Cover top and sides of cake with buttercream icing.

Best assembled close to serving and kept at room temperature until ready.

Serves 12 (at least)

So there you go!! A marathon recipe but none of the components are too tricky and best of all, I was able to keep it free of wheat and refined sugar!






Monday, August 30, 2010

White Choc Honeycomb Mudcake

In one of those freaky but awesome coincidences my husband and I have the same birthday. So happy birthday to us today!! While he unfortunately is off to uni as usual, I have the day to myself with Oscar off at daycare every Monday. As soon as I drop him there I am off to the hairdressers.

Tonight we are going to the lovely Bretts Wharf for dinner. For the Aussies out there, you may know head chef Alastair McLeod from Ready Steady Cook.

This year I told hubby to choose whatever sort of cake he wanted and we would make it together. After a little searching he came up with the truly gluttonous sounding White Chocolate Honeycomb Mudcake from taste. Now if that doesn't sound like a celebration cake I don't know what does!


White Choc Honeycomb Mudcake

Recipe from taste.com.au

Mudcake:
250g butter, chopped
180g white chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup milk
1 3/4 cups caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 3/4 cups plain flour, sifted
1/2 cup self-raising flour, sifted
2 x 50g Violet Crumble chocolate bars, chopped

White chocolate ganache:
180g white chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup thickened cream

Grease a 6cm-deep, 22cm (base) round cake pan. Line base and side with 2 layers of baking paper. Place butter, white chocolate, milk, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until smooth. Set aside for 25 minutes to cool. Preheat oven to 160°C/140°C fan-forced.

Whisk eggs and flours into chocolate mixture. Fold in half the Violet Crumble. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours or until browned and a skewer inserted into centre of cake comes out with crumbs clinging (cover cake loosely with foil if over-browning during baking). Cool in pan.

Make ganache. Place white chocolate and cream in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high (100%) for 1 minute, stirring with a metal spoon halfway during cooking, or until smooth. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool. Whisk ganache gently to thicken. Spread over cake top. Sprinkle with remaining Violet Crumble. Serve.

(I left the honeycomb pieces out of the cake and used them to fill it instead.

I used 220g white chocolate and 300ml thickened cream to make enough ganache to fill and ice the cake. Chop up the chocolate and place into a heatproof bowl. Place the cream in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until almost boiling. Pour over the chopped chocolate. Leave for 30 seconds then stir until smooth. Refrigerate until cold. Using an electric beater, whip the ganache until soft peaks.

Slice the cake in half. Place about 1/3 of the ganache mix into a small bowl and fold through some chopped violet crumble. Use this to fill the cake.

Smooth the remaining ganache over the top and sides of the assembled cake. Scatter over more chopped violet crumbles and serve.)


The verdict? ... Delicious but sooooo sweet. I mean seriously SWEET. If I were to make this again I would cut the sugar by half and use plain whipped cream to decorate rather than a ganache. The recipe says it will serve 12 but I think it would be more like 20+. Still a success overall though!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesdays with Dorie: Dressy Chocolate Loaf Cake

Let me just say, I loved this cake. LOVED. So a big thank you straight off to Amy of Amy Ruth Bakes for picking it this week!

The name 'Dressy Chocolate Loaf Cake' really doesn't do this cake justice. To me it was a cheat's version of a Black Forest Cake (which I adore) just without all the fuss. Ok and without all the booze too.

I made a half batch in an 8 x 4 pan and it still took 50 minutes to cook. I was glad for the chance to use my Wilton layer cake cutter but somehow still managed to end up with wonky layers. Sandwiched together with black cherry conserve, smothered in fabulous chocolate-sour cream frosting and topped with fresh cherries, it didn't matter in the slightest. This was delicious!

The cherries were a bit of an indulgence as it is definitely not cherry season here. These were imported from the USA and about $16 a kilo.

I'm so glad I only made half the recipe. As it was I ate 3 slices.

Great pick, Amy! You can find the recipe at Amy Ruth Bakes under today's date.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Daring Bakers August - Dobos Torte

The August 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers' cookbook Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caff├ęs of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.

I have to admit I was a little daunted by this recipe but wow, what a result! The Dobos Torte is a layered sponge and chocolate buttercream cake with caramel and hazelnuts. I only made some slight changes to the recipe, using flaked almonds and scorched (chocolate covered) almonds to decorate. I also brushed each layer with Pom Pomegranate and Cherry Juice which added a little burst of freshness to each bite.

I had a brainwave when it came to assembling the torte. Normally my layer cakes are pretty wonky, with each layer slip-sliding all over the place even when I try to hold them in place with skewers etc. This time I assembled the cake inside a springform pan. I used the base of an 8" pan as the template for my sponge layers. As they shrunk a little while baking they fit perfectly inside the pan leaving a slight gap around the edge. I spread the buttercream right to the edge on each layer so that when it came to unmold the sides were essentially iced already and my layers were perfect.

My only hiccup was with the caramel wedges for the top of the cake. The recipe said to use the best looking cake layer for the top but I chose my worst one because all the others were perfectly cooked and even and I wanted them for my layers. I sliced my cake into 12 even wedges and spaced them just a few millimeters apart on a baking sheet. My caramel was very foamy and didn't seem to spread out much as I poured it over the cake wedges so I just kept pouring more and more on. Suddenly there was way to much and it ran off the edges into a big toffee puddle. I decided to leave it exactly as was and break it into pieces including the extra bits.

Seemed like a good idea in theory, but it was really hot that day and my wonderfully majestic caramel fans wilted and sagged in the heat.

The taste test ...

I was worried this would be too rich but it was actually very light. Delicate sponge layered with fluffy, almost mousse-like buttercream. Our least favourite part was the caramel. Even though I adore citrus I didn't like the lemon flavour at all here - it didn't seem to complement the cake. Plus by the time we came to eat, the caramel had completely lost it and was a sticky, pull-your-teeth-out mess. Most of it got left on the plate. Nonetheless I would definitely make this again (minus caramel). It was fabulous!

Thanks to Lorraine and Angela for a great challenge. This is something I would never have attempted on my own! You can find the recipe here.
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