There are certain things in life that give immense pleasure, satisfaction and joy to you and those around you as well. Baking is one such activity. It is one of my favourite pastimes, something that I can never tire of or get bored with. I love the look of surprise and delight in people’s eyes when they hear the words “home made “.
Going down memory lane, after having completed my 10 standard, my mother got me enrolled in an eggless cake making class. I met up some old friends there and we ended up having a good chat style without paying much attention to the class. But the notes and memories remained and years down the line, making cakes is my most favoured baking indulgence. I have made, tested and developed many cakes and cake recipes, some of them failing me at times, but most of them always a success.
Taste, texture and presentation are vital to good cakes. The texture of the cake poses to be a challenge, when one is into eggless baking. Over a period of time I have found suitable substitutes to eggs that do not compromise the taste and texture of the cake. A few basic cakes, particularly sponge cake recipes, can be a treasure to possess since you can play around with the presentation by embellishing and beautifying them in a number of ways, with cream, butter, fruits, nuts, dry fruits and chocolates, each time presenting style showdown brandy norwood and katy perry in fausto puglisi and more them in different ways that are always a delight to the human sensory faculties.
This cake is quite simple to make. It can be dressed in a number of ways over the chocolate covering, with fresh seasonal fruits, flaked almonds, chopped pistachios, etc. Mangoes, berries and peaches combine well with chocolate.
For the chocolate sponge:
200 gm (1 1/2 cups) plain flour
50 gm (1/4 cup) good quality cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda/ sodium bicarbonate
1 tin/400gm sweetened condensed milk
150 gm butter melted
2 tsp good quality vanilla extract
150 ml water
For the chocolate icing:
225 gm cooking chocolate
100 gm unsalted butter
Grease and line the bottom of a 9” round cake tin with greaseproof paper/baking parchment/butter paper. In a mixing bowl, assemble the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda, mix with a spoon and sieve once to make the mixture uniform. Preheat the oven at about 100 to 120 degrees centigrade. Add in the condensed milk, melted butter, vanilla essence and water. Beat with an electric hand mixer, whisk or spoon just until the mixture is uniform and smooth and there are no lumps. This shouldn’t take more than a minute with an electric hand mixer/beater. Be careful not to over beat as this tends to stiffen the batter which might result into a harder textured cake. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for an hour at 150 degree centigrade.
For the icing, break the chocolate into chunks and melt it slowly in a bowl over a pan of hot water (a double boiler). Mix in the butter and stir until the icing has the consistency of thick pouring cream. Place the cake on a cooling rack and over the icing, smoothening the top and sides with a palette knife. Allow to set and decorate as desired or savour it as it is.
P.S. Since this is an eggless cake, you might find the batter on the looser side, but it comes out alright, soft and spongy out of the oven. I have topped the cake pictures above with freshly cut mangoes, when they were in season.
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