Basic Chocolate CakeJuly 19, 2012 9 Comments
Some things just make you bloody happy don’t they? I apologies for using the word bloody but I just wanted to convey to you my passion in that statement. I love cooking as you would have guessed otherwise why would I waist my time writing about it in a blog. No it’s not just because I am a bored housewife who needs some escapism… well that’s not all anyway… it does make me very happy. The other thing that makes me very happy apart from my two amazing girls, which goes without saying, is singing.
Ahhhhh singing, it’s like some magical release, a cathartic experience if you will, and I’d say nothing else gives me this type of internal shift when I need it. I think music generally is like this for lots of people, it is after all engaging one of our main senses. You know that feeling you get when you hear a song and all of a sudden you are back in that place and time when you used to hear it? Everything around you feels like that moment just because that song transports you there. I think if we EVER built a time machine it would have to be driven by music :) What a thought! haha
For those of you that know a bit about me would know that I grew up singing and did it in both an amateur and professional capacity. Sadly I do not do it half as much or a quarter as much as I used to. My grown up life has meant I needed to put a pause on some things, so lets just say I have taken a forced sabbatical from singing. A while ago though I was talking to my lovely friend Tammy, who is also a lovely singing mummy, and she mentioned to me that she was singing in a fantastic choir which was giving her a much needed connection back into singing. She gave me the contact of the wonderful Annemarie Sharry who runs the South of the River (SOTR) Choir and the rest is history. Once a week, I make sure that hubby is home on time, I tuck the kids in, I grab my gear and head down to test my vocal cords on some wonderful tunes. I just love this choir… we do things ranging from African, gospel, folk, blues.. the list goes on. The group of people in it is great, with such a vast variety of personalities. I have made some life long friends. I am so grateful I can sing such great songs with some awesome people… the combination of the two makes the whole experience a total joy for me.
Recently SOTR celebrated their 10 year anniversary. I have been privileged to be part of it for the last 2 1/2 years. I was asked if I would like to make a cake to mark the celebration which I was over the moon about and jumped at the opportunity. I created this tower of sweetness. The Black Forest Tower! I was so thrilled with how it turned out. It looked the business. I really wanted to create something that everyone would think was unique and special, as this is how I see the choir. Most importantly I just wanted everyone to feel HAPPY eating it because this is how I feel every time I walk out of rehearsals. Do you think I achieved this?
Making the tower was a feat as I was juggling a 3 year old and a baby only a few weeks old, so there was lots of love and sweat (no tears thankfully) that went into this cake. Today I bring you the basic chocolate cake recipe that I used to create this tower, and you can use it to create your own unique and special creation :) This chocolate cake is delicious, I really love it. I hope you do to.
- 125 g dark/bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 300g plain flour
- 25g tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 125g butter, soft
- 200g caster sugar
- 200g light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 225 ml sour cream, room temperature
- 175g boiling water
Ingredients quantities will work for 2 x 23cm round cake pans or 3 x 20cm round cake pans.
1. Grease and line with baking paper your chosen size pans.
2. Preheat oven to 180°C.
3. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, stir until smooth, then let cool slightly.
4. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt.
5. Cream the butter and both sugars in the bowel of a stand mixer 3-4 minutes.
6. Gradually add the beaten eggs to the creamed butter in 4 or 5 additions, mixing well between each addition and scraping down the bowl from time to time with a rubber spatula. Add the vanilla and melted chocolate and mix again until combined.
7. Mix one-third of the sifted dry ingredients into the mixture, then half the sour cream. Repeat this process and finish with the last third of dry ingredients. Mix until smooth. Slowly pour in the boiling water and mix until smooth.
8. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared cake pans and spread level with paletted knife.
9. Bake the cakes on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Test cake.
10. Allow to cool in pans for about 3-4 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack.
I feel so lucky to know some of the things that make me happy… it’s half the battle in life don’t you think? and I can confirm that making this cake made me very happy. So tell me beautiful people, what makes you happy?
Buon Appetito.Adapted from Make, bake and celebrate by Annie Rigg
Tags: Basic chocolate cake, chocolate cake, Happy, South of the River ChoirArticles, Baking, Basic chocolate cake, Cake, Cooking and Baking conquests