The Newbie Cook
- 19,442 forkfuls since 16.Oct.10
Making everything for the first time
I came up with this when I was thinking of recipes for our company’s Health Food Cookbook. Chocolate lava cake doesn’t exactly strike one as being healthy but what is a cookbook without at least one chocolate recipe?
I did try to make this as low calorie as possible. Also, even if its calorie content is about the same as regular vegetable oil, canola oil is low in saturated fat and has high-level cholesterol-lowering fats.
This is husband approved and is a nice not-so-guilty snack for me.
This is based on a brilliant recipe I found on Chocolate Covered Katie.
This is not a new recipe but it’s a combination of two posts. I was looking back at my posts when I realized that the cake and the frosting had separate entries when my family almost always serves them as one. There are gazillions of chocolate moist cake and frosting recipes around but I guarantee that this is the BEST chocolate moist cake that you will EVER have in your whole life. *insert Rocky theme*
The best part about this cake is that the frosting is cooked and will never melt. You can just keep it on the table the whole day without worrying about the the room’s temperature compromising its shape so you can entertain your guests and have a couple of drinks.
I made this for my husband’s 38th birthday. I halved the recipe since we didn’t have guests and two people can only eat so much. He loved it. 🙂
On another non-food related note, Chris looks a lot younger than 38. Isn’t my hubby cute?
I had two tubs of strawberry yogurt that would go bad if I don’t eat it soon. Unfortunately, I left my bag of all-purpose flour in the other apartment and the only thing left is whole wheat flour, which isn’t nutritionally bad but whole wheat is not exactly known for its smooth, moist properties in cakes.
So I tried to look for a whole wheat yogurt cake recipe that I could work with. Luckily, there’s always Food.com. I changed a few things since I wanted to make it healthier and avoid butter altogether.
I’m a little scared of bundt pans. There’s always a possibility that, no matter how much you grease the insides, the pan would traitorously eat the top parts of the cake, leaving a hot mess on your plate that even powdered sugar could not hide. However, one of the reviews mentioned that the center of the cake tended to be a little wet so I was determined to use a bundt pan to avoid smooshy centers.
Thankfully, my bundt pan behaved. This is the third time I’ve used it and it has not failed me so far. Good bundt pan, yes you are. *pats*
As for the cake, my fears were unfounded. I was afraid that I would have a dry, unpalatable cake. Instead, it ended up being dense, moist, and yummy–you could really taste the yogurt and the whole wheat gave it texture that prevented it from being boring.
This is a cake that is best eaten as breakfast or a snack with coffee or tea. Plus the apartment smells heavenly. *inhales*
Note: If you don’t want the chocolate flavor, just follow the recipe as it is without the cocoa powder. I actually prefer it without the chocolate as it brings out the taste of the yogurt more.
My mother perfected brownies. She managed to create a brownie recipe made of six simple ingredients. And this isn’t just any brownie, she produces incredibly moist, flavorful brownies with a very very thin crispy crust that contrasts with the gooey insides.
Now, I’m good with the basic brownies. I’m extremely happy whenever I manage to do it right because that means I won’t disappoint the people I have to feed. But, sometimes, I have the urge to add some oomph that appeals to my raging sweet tooth.
Enter my sister’s marshmallows of choice. Plus oats. Plus chunks of semi-sweet chocolate. All that results in extreme gooiness that will block your arteries and will require a half-hour horizontal rest after downing a hot cup of tea.
This isn’t exactly a cheesecake. Which is why I said “cheese cake.” Harhar. The cake itself is a chocolate moist cake, the frosting is made of peanut butter and cheese, and a drippy dark chocolate ganache covers it all. The strongest flavors are chocolate and peanut butter and fans of Cone Zone’s peanut butter choco ice cream would surely appreciate this.
I think that is the most times I’ve written peanut butter in one paragraph. *wipes brow*
I made this cake for Tita Edith’s birthday, not knowing that she’s a big peanut butter fan. And then I made a second cake for my family, knowing that my siblings would feel jealous if I didn’t make one for them. This is also one of the most complicated cakes I’ve ever baked. It took a lot for the batter to turn into the pretty cake on a plate.
For the first time, I used flash freezing (freezing a cake for a short time to firm it up) to make a decent layer cake. When the two cakes come out of the oven, flatten the surfaces a bit with a spatula or a potato masher like what I used here.
Let them cool a bit before inverting onto plates and popping them in the freezer. Ideally, the cakes should be wrapped in cling film but I made do with foil, having run out of the plastic wrap. Thirty minutes later, they’re ready for layering.
I put tons of frosting for the middle layer, around one third of what I made. Just work quickly so the cakes won’t warm up especially if you have a warm kitchen like mine. Because the cakes are firmed up in the freezer, it’s really easy to place the other cake on top of the frosted one without breaking the cake. Just remember to put the straight (or bottom) sides together to avoid having a wobbly cake.
I also learned how to crumb mask. Because the cake is darker than the frosting, it’s advisable to put a very thin layer of frosting over the whole cake and pop it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before applying the final layer of frosting. This tip will avoid brown cake crumbs from mixing with your frosting as you spread it around the cake.
The finale is the dark chocolate ganache. It makes the simple cake look elegant and avant-garde at the same time, aside from providing it with a richer taste. Between the moist cake, the rich frosting and the sweet chocolate, serving a sliver would be more advisable instead of a hefty slice to prevent blocked arteries and trips to the ER.
Oh, and if you’re wondering if it’s better to leave the cake in room temperature or refrigerate it, it depends on the room itself. If you’re in a cool, air-conditioned room or if the weather is naturally cool, you can leave it out of the fridge. But if it’s hot enough to fry eggs on your car, it’s much better to refrigerate it. It won’t affect the taste. Besides, a firm cake is always better than a wilting one.
Yum! Trust me, this looks much better in real life than in the photos. Tastes much better, too.
And as I receive my self-presented award for having passed another baking hurdle, I would like to thank Smitten Kitchen for being such a dependable baker’s bible filled with wonderful recipes and tips.
NOTE: I will not classify this as a disaster since the cake tasted great overall. However, the frosting was not blended properly. It should have been smoother. Will not make this mistake again in the future.
For Mom’s 50th birthday, I couldn’t think of a nice cake to bake. We’re all a bit tired of the standard chocolate. I thought about dimply plum cake, then a plum pie, but decided that I’m not in the mood for pie. The reason why I didn’t ask Mom what she wanted is because she’s far, far away in the Philippines with the rest of the kiddies while Dad and I are in Riyadh. But we still celebrate each other’s birthdays as if we’re geographically together. 🙂
Just before I slept last night, I settled on orange chocolate cake.
When I woke up this morning, Dad laid a big glass of fresh orange juice on my desk. I instantly panicked.
“Oh. My. God. Did you throw the orange rinds away?!”
“No, they’re on a bowl. I haven’t cleaned up yet. Why?”
“I’m making cake!”
I instantly went to work with the small grater, making sure there wasn’t a smidgen of zest left in those rinds. For the nth time, I wished I had a microplane zester/grater because the grater just isn’t very hand-friendly, especially if one needs a lot of zest.
I stayed faithful to Smitten Kitchen’s recipe and did just as she instructed because I didn’t want this cake to fail. (I had no oranges left for a second cake.) But since I had no chocolate chips, I skipped that part. And because I keep on forgetting to buy a bundt pan, I used a rectangular teflon-coated. I also used a different recipe for the ganache.
The smell of the cake while it was baking was heavenly and the kitchen was infused with a warm citrus scent. The result was a light orange, springy, moist cake with a rich flavor. Yum! The ganache was ever so slightly lumpy with teeny-tiny dots of cocoa (my fault… didn’t mix it enough) but it was still very delicious.
Or at least I thought it was delicious. This…
… quickly turned into this.
(Clearly, judging from the lower-right photo, Dad agreed with me.)
We called Mom on Skype, wished her a loud happy birthday and showed her the long-distance birthday cake which we promised to eat in her honor.
What’s my favorite chocolate frosting?
This one’s a family classic and is a wonderful companion to your favorite chocolate or mocha cake recipe. This doesn’t have the consistency of buttercream or even whipped cream. Think peanut butter only more chocolatey. It is very pliable and firm and can be smoothened with a spatula, drizzled with toppings, or simply roughened with a fork. It is also best stored in a cool room and not in a fridge since it tends to harden in a fridge.
The recipe is very simple but it’s labor-intensive, especially for your legs and your patience. Fortunately, the results are worth it. (Recipe under the cut.)
Also known as the heart-shaped man-cake. My dad turned 51 today. I promised that I would make something appropriately birthdayish to bring to work. Last night, I conked out while reading at 7:30 pm. I woke up at 4 am the next day, realized that I had made NOTHING and that I had 3 hours to make something great.
I deserted my fiancé on Skype and ran to the kitchen, wondering if I should make something new and unique or just trust older recipes. I did both, sort of. I used my mother’s trusty chocolate moist cake recipe, added a caramel glaze center and marshmallow vanilla icing. Having a n00b kitchen meant that I had to improvise on borrowed portions of the recipe.
By the time my dad woke up, I was assembling the cake. He had my grandparents on Skype. It was noon in the Philippines and we talked as I worked. (Grandma Emma: “It looks too sweet. Aren’t you putting too much almonds?”)
The end result was a pretty, two-layer, heart-shaped cake placed in the tackiest flowered tray I could find. Now I know why this was the only tray that no one bothered to steal or keep from potluck parties: no one wanted it.
Oh yeah, I even had enough to make a little cake just for us here at home.