Monday, May 21, 2007

Chocolate Obsessions

Baking powder vs baking soda.

To the uninitiated, like myself, what's the difference? I thought they were both the same and that the recipes had some errors in them when they called for: 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder.

I learnt it the hard way after 2 horrendous attempts at baking chocolate cakes which just refused to rise. They are now in the bin, along with my self esteem. I am throughly demoralised...

That was yesterday though - ha ha!

I googled and yahoo-ed baking soda vs baking powder - Voila! there are so many sites dedicated to these deceiving ingredients - looks like i'm not the only uninitiated person hee hee. My self esteem is feeling much better thanks.

Check out what wally has to say on these 2 ingredients. So much of science involved in baking!

So off I went in search of more ingredients for my next attempt. Baking soda finally became visible to me. okaaayyy.

Chocolate cake recipe adapted from: Chocolate cake by Elisa Strauss, Confetti Cakes
150g flour
80g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (or sodium bicarb)
1/2 teaspoon salt

110g sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (couldnt find this so I used 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

110g unsalted butter (i used normal salted? butter)
225g sugar
1 large egg
150ml strong coffee

Frosting recipe from the Very Best Baking
75ml heavy whipping cream
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar (less if choc used is sweet)
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
~ 2/3 bar (5oz) baking chocolate finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Grease one 9" baking pan
- Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt
- In another bowl, combine sour cream and vanilla (and almond extract)
- Cream butter and sugar, beat until smooth. Add egg
- Alternately add flour and sour cream mix to the butter mix in 2 batches, starting and ending with flour. Scrape bowl after each addition

- Pour in coffee. Scrape bowl and beat until combined
- Pour batter into baking pan. Bake for approx. 30 mins or until skewer comes out clean
-Cool cake then spread the frosting

- Melt cream, butter, sugar and salt in water and simmer in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently.
- Remove from heat. Immediately add chocolate. Whisk until melted and smooth.
- Add vanilla extract. Pour into bowl and refrigerate, stirring off and on, for about 1 1/2 hours or until thick enough to spread.

Verdict: 6/10. As you can see from the photo, the cake didnt rise properly. My oven temp must have been too hot. My poor cake had cracks and peaks :( However, it tasted really good - very chocolatey and moist! Frosting was rich and indulgent though maybe a tad too sweet. I'll be making this again soon to perfect it!


Jie said...

U should try out the choc cake recipe I used to bake. Mum should still be keeping it. The one that uses vegetable oil instead of butter.

coffeedreames said...

I tried 2 times with vegetable oil and both didnt turn out good. oh dear

choc lover said...

Wow! I can lick the monitor and taste chocolate... mmmmm