Thursday, October 27, 2011

Chocolate Cake & Ruffles - What a girl wants

Poor little neglected blog, it's been a while!  Facebook has been going into overdrive and poor little blogger's not getting any action.  Well, it's about time I posted the recipe for that delish and super easy ruffle cake I made a while back for the special morning tea I hosted for my sister.

Well, I'm no pro, and pro cake decorators out there that are reading this, please don't look too closely!  But these ruffles are mighty easy to achieve if you have the right nozzle and the right consistency of butter cream icing.  So, the cake!  THE EASIEST and yummiest chocolate cake in the world (that I have come across so far).  My 4 year old has been making it since he was 2.5!  And here he is, demonstrating how super easy it is to make - only 5 minutes prep.  Recipe from Annabel Langbein's "The Free Range Cook".....


Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celcius
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Makes one large or two small cakes

3 cups self-raising flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda, sifted
200g butter, softened or melted (I melt mine)
1 cup milk or unsweetened yoghurt
3 large eggs
1 cup boiling hot coffee

Chuck the above ingredients into a large bowl and mix with a spoon.  Seriously.  Put AWAY your egg beater. Here's Enosh demonstrating how it's done - that's ma boy!

Mix it so it's all nice and chocolatey and smooth, and don't forget to lick the bowl when you're done pouring it into the cake tins ;-)

For this cake I used two medium sized cake tins, bottom lined with baking paper.  Easy peasy.
Bake at 160 degrees celcius for one hour or until cake springs back when pressed.
The other great thing about this cake is that it rises beautifully and doesn't end up with a 'dome' top - so it's perfect for layering up!

BUTTERCREAM ICING - the way I do it

400grams softened butter (yes I said 400grams)
1 kg icing sugar
Vanilla extract
A few tablespoons hot water
Few drops of food colouring/gel/powder

This cake with all the ruffles definitely requires this much icing!  You may have your own buttercream version, but this is what I make and it pipes well, holds its form - as long as you get the consistency right.

Cream the butter using electric egg beater or cake mixer, slowly add icing sugar and keep on creaming, adding hot water only a tablespoon at a time just to help with the blending, and not too much as to make the mixture runny.  Just keep beating and beating until it's a smooth creamy mixture.  Test it by putting some through a piping bag, make a shape and wait a while to see if it holds its form.

I made three batches of colour - pale green, pale yellow, and PALER yellow.
Join the two cakes together by gluing them with some icing.  Then cover the whole cake with the buttercream icing using a spatula/knife.  This is the crumb layer, just to cover the cake and provide a good surface to pipe the ruffles onto, and needn't be flash.

To pipe the ruffles, well I'll leave that to someone who's actually recorded how to do it - very easy and the ruffles are very forgiving.  And by joes you will need all of that icing!  So, take a look at this video:

There!  Now you're all ready to make something spectacular looking but super dooper easy for your next celebration or tea party :-)

Christall xx

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