Wednesday, February 25, 2015

It's a Cake Fest and a bit of news.

Wowzers, it seems I am on the cake making train lately. Not that I am complaining, there is something so decadent about a piece of cake that no other dessert can match. This is a cupboard version - nothing fancy schmancy in terms of ingredients - just a great simple choc cake. This number is super moist and superbly easy. Enjoy it xo

¾ cup cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
250g butter (1 block)
1 cup caster sugar
2 ½ cups soft dark brown sugar
6 eggs, lightly beaten
3 1/3 cups plain flour (low protein if you have it), sifted
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
200ml buttermilk
70ml full fat milk
Chocolate Buttercream
50g unsalted butter, softened
40g cocoa, sifted
350g icing sugar, sifted
½ tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
30ml whole milk
110ml double cream (or if you are after a slight tang use sour cream)
Preheat the oven to 170C.
Grease and line 2 x 18cm cake tins and set aside.
Place the cocoa powder, vanilla and 180ml boiling water in a heatproof bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Using the stand mixer, add the butter and sugars to the bowl and beat for 3-4 minutes or until well incorporated. Add the cocoa mixture and beat to combine. Add half the flour and baking powder and beat until just combined add half the milk and buttermilk continuing to beat and scrape down the side of the bowl. Repeat with remaining flour and milk mix until just combined. Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake in the oven for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Allow to cool in tins before turning out to cool completely on a wire rack.
While the cakes are cooling make the butter cream.  Beat the butter for 4-5 minutes  on high speed then add the cocoa powder and beat until you have a paste. Add the icing sugar, vanilla, salt milk and most of the cream and beat together slowly until combined then high to a smooth consistency. Ice the top of one cake and sandwich with the other. Ice the whole cake and dress with flowers or candles if using.

In other news

The French edition of Bistronomy has hit the shores of France. The French publisher Marabout has slightly edited the cover, this version is dark and moody, I love it although cannot say it beats the original edition which has a very special place in my heart.

Also my delightful editor at Fairfax Daily Life has left Syndey for Washington DC for a 12 month sabbatical and I was tasked with making her going away cake (no pressure). I decided on a vanilla bean sponge with a lemon curd centre and covered it in Italian meringue with some fresh berries, edible flowers and silver leaf. Here is a pic of the end result. It was rather pretty I must say.

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