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A not so innocent cake
Every year for my birthday I make my own special cake, last year it was a 7 layer chocolate cake they loved it so much I was asked for an encore this year, unfortunately I'm not a fan of repetitions so I just had to do another cake.
It was hard to get a draw or a bust on an all chocolate 7 layer cake, but apparently I did , so I decided to share it with you, It's not an easy recipe, not fast either but it is fantastic so it deserves a chance.
Because it is such a complex recipe I explained some of the techniques I used in other recipes I already published.
- 3 cups Flour
- 100g Butter
- 3/4 cup Milk
- 1 1/2 cup Sugar
- 1 tea spoon Vanilla extract
- Orange peel, from one orange
- 250g Berries or cherries
- 3 spoons Cocoa powder
- 1 tea spoon Baking powder
- 2 Eggs
- 2 bags Store bought powdered cake cream mix
- Add the eggs and the baking powder together in a bowl, and mix them together. I know this is not the way the cake recipes start, but bare with me, by mixing this two ingredients together, it will result a heavenly fluffiness that will help the cake batter grow once exposed to heat, and the cake will stay softer longer.
- Add the soft butter and sugar, and start mixing until the mix is nice and firm. If you don't have soft butter, put the regular butter on a plate and heat it in the microwave for about 10 seconds, make sure the butter doesn't transform in to a puddle.
- Add the extract and orange peel and mix well.
- Add the flour and start mixing, as the batter starts to get firmer, add the milk and mix well making sure you mix with spiral movement from the margins of the bowl to the center. At this point you have the basic white cake, instead of chocolate you can add flour until the batter has the right consistency or you can follow the rest of the instructions and make a chocolate batter cake.
- Add the 3 spoons of cocoa step by step, instead of pouring all the cocoa at once, it has the bad habit of splashing off the edges of the bowl or clumping together and forming lumps in the batter and removing them will take a lot of energy.
Preparing the tin
I prefer the drop bottom tin form, the one I used fort his cake used to be round, but you have to be understanding, it has about 100 years since it is in my family, certain shape modifications.
Even if the tin is made of a non sticking material, I would still advise you to butter the tin, Believe me
Preheat the oven at 180 degrees, this is my favorite temperature to work with, with few exceptions, this is the most used temperature.
As you can see I put a pizza tray under the baking tin, I adore this type of baking trays but after a few years of use they don't close as well as they used to, for a precaution measure I put an extra tray to make sure the batter will not drop in the oven before it is baked.
Take 500g of berries, you can use fresh or frozen fruits, I prefer the frozen version, as they are available all year round.
Chop the bigger fruits in half or quarters put them in a pot ad some water over the fruits and 3 spoons of sugar and let them simmer over a low fire for about 15 minutes or until the syrup gets thicker.
Take the pot off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
Once cooled let it drain the syrup over a bowl, since the fruits are very soft now avoid mixing the fruits and crushing them, let the gravity drain the fruits for you. Keep the syrup for later.
As the 45 minutes get close to the end, make sure you check your cake. I would recommend you take a peek at it after 30 minutes have passed.
Feel the surface of the cake with your finger, it should be soft but firm, if you are not sure if it's cooked through probe the inside of the cake. I keep handy a new kebab stick to probe the middle of the cake. poke the cake as close to the middle, if the stick comes out with wet batter on it, it's time to close the oven door and let the cake cook for a bit longer. When the stick comes out clean, now it's time to take the cake out and let it cool.
Now is the time to prepare the 2 cake cream mix. I'm not a fan of buying mixes, but I need to think about my liver and weight, for their sake I prefer the store bought mix instead of the heavy home made cake cream.
When the cake cooled a bit, it's time to detach the sides of the cake pan, and let the rest of the cake cool. I personally am not a very patient person, completely cooling a cake takes about 30 minutes. I usually let the outer of the cake cool off and when it feels a bit warm to the touch I start cutting the layers.
After each layer is cut let it cool separately on different plates not stacked together. Depending on how warm they are when you cut them they might need to turn them.
When cutting layers you can either buy a easy layer cutter, or do as I did and with a bread knife, saw each layer starting from a side of a cake, first decide the thickness of the layers, and decide how many you can cut from the cake. Then as you already cut through about 1/3 of the cake turn the cake and keep sawing until you get to the other side of the cake and you can lift off the layer.
Decide which is the bottom layer, pick a plate large enough to put it on, a plate is of the right size if the cake fits well on the plate and at least 1 cm is free around the cake.
Put the top layer on, apply syrup then take the other cake cream out of the fridge, I used different flavored cream mixes, caramel in the inside and vanilla on the outside. You may use the same cream flavor or play with the flavors and add different flavors on alternative cake layers.
For the decoration I used chocolate truffles you can find my recipe here .
Enjoy the recipe and have fun eating it.
After the cake cream chilled in to the fridge for at least 15 minutes, take it out and start assembling the cake.
Take the syrup left from the berry chutney, if it's too thick, add a bit of water to make it more liquid, take a spoon and start applying syrup on the bottom layer of the cake, start at about 1cm away from the edge of the cake working your way to middle. Leaving the edges dry will make the cake more stable and it will not tilt under it's weight.
Usually I use a broad knife to apply the cream, but since now I have other ideas in mind, I used a pipping bag with the biggest pipping tip, as it happen the biggest one is the star one. Start drawing concentric circles with the cream, leaving about 10 cm circle in the middle free to pour the chocolate after it chilled.
For the chocolate recipe please refer to my chocolate ganache recipe, you can find it here .
Carefully sprinkle the berries over the ganache and the cream.
Repeat the procedure for every layer except the top layer.