Saturday, 4 December 2010
You might be tempted to laugh at this ridiculous looking attempt at a Gingerbread Man Cake! I would forgive you for doing so, truly. He really is rather funny looking . . . and my piping skills do leave much to be desired. I am truly much better with a brush and a pen . . .
However . . . if you were a child, you would think him, quite . . . quite . . . lovely . . . maybe even beautiful . . . and would be delighted to find him sitting on the sideboard as a special dessert offering during the holidays.
Composed of a deliciously moist buttermilk chocolate cake, baked in both a 9 by 13 inch tin (lightly oiled and floured) and a 5 inch glass bowl (lightly oiled and floured)and then frosted with a delicious chocolate frosting and piped with a vanilla butter frosting to decorate, along with some candies for eyes and buttons.
Tis really quite easy to shape . . . if you follow this diagram, then simply frost and decorate.
Oh so perfect with tall glasses of cold milk, or equally as delicious with scoops of vanilla ice cream!
You might be forgiven for your lack in finesse . . . simply by it's charm. Who can resist a Gingerbread man, especially a moist chocolate one. He can run, run of course . . . but he won't get far!
*Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake*
serves 8 to 10
Moist, delicious and chocolaty. Great with tall glasses of ice cold milk!
3/4 ounce dutch process cocoa (1/4 cup)
8 3/4 ounces plain flour (1 1/4 cup)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
250ml buttermilk (1 cup) at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
125ml hot water (1/2 cup)
12 1/4 ounces sugar (1 3/4 cup)
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
12 TBS unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened
Grease and lightly dust with some extra cocoa powder, two 8 or 9 inch round baking tins, or one 9 by 15 inch pan. Line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, soda and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside. Stir the buttermilk and vanilla together. Set aside.
Combine the chocolate, 1/4 cup of cocoa powder and hot water. Set in a pan over simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Heat, stirring often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in 1/3 of the sugar and continue to heat until thick and glossy, some 2 minutes or so. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Whip the eggs and egg yolks with an electric whisk on high speed, gradually beating in the remaining sugar, about one minute. Continue to beat until the mixture is very thick and voluminous, 4 to 8 minutes. Beat the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until thoroughly incorporated. Beat in the butter, one piece at a time. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the flour in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, smoothing the top over and gently tapping the pans down on the counter to settle the batter. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely, peeling off the paper as you do. Let cool completely before frosting.
makes about 4 cups
You can use bittersweet, semisweet, milk or white chocolate in this recipe. Do not use white chocolate chips though as they will not melt to a smooth consistency, although it is ok to use milk or dark or semisweet chocolate chips.
10 ounces of chocolate, chopped fine
250ml of heavy cream
2 ounces golden syrup or corn syrup (1/4 cup)
1/4 tsp salt
5 1/2 ounces icing sugar, sifted (1 1'3 cups)
2 tsp vanilla
10 ounces of butter (1 1/4 cups), cut iinto chunks and softened
Place the chocolate in a food processor. Bring the cream, golden syrup and salt to a boil in a liquid measuring beaker in the microwave. Stir the hot mixture to combine. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate in the food processor and blitz until the mixture is smooth, about one minute.Add the sugar and vanilla and process until combined, another 30 seconds. With the motor running, drop in the softened butter, one piece at a time through the feed tube, processing until the frosting is smooth and no butter chunks remain, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover. Chill for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until thick and spreadable.
Makes 4 cups, or enough for two layers
or one 9 by 15 cake
12 ounces (1 1/2 cups)butter, cut into chunks and softened
3 TBS double cream
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
12 ounces (3 cups) sifted icing sugar
Beat the butter, cream and vanilla together with the salt until smooth. Reduce the speed and slowly add the icing sugar, beating until incorporated and smooth, some 4 to 6 minutes. Increase the speed t9 high and beat until light and fluffy, five to ten minutes.
Note - Simply by swapping the chocolate frosting for all vanilla, you could have a snowman!