Saturday, 31 March 2012

something chocolaty

It was one of those mornings when I decided that I should bake something chocolaty...

and, it has to be that classic chocolate cake that I have bookmarked for weeks. Never mind that I do not own a 15cm round pan, I can do with ramekins. Never mind that I do not have rum, I can do with vanilla extract, to me, it's no rum no harm ;)

Preparing the batter was just like making a chiffon cake...even the ingredients used is identical...

Just 15mins into baking, the cake rose beautifully in the individual ramekins. They puffed up real nice and climbed well over the rim. It was an admirable achievement considering the fact that the ramekins were barely 3/4 filled with batter.

Alas, what goes up would eventually come down (except my age and my weight!)...those little cakes started to sink the minute they were out of the oven. What were once muffin-like domes came crashing the time they were completely cooled off, the cake pulled away from the sides of the ramekin and there were cracks here and there. Unlike the usual classic chocolate cake I have made many times before, there was no sight of nice flaky crusts :_(

It's always good to have some berries in your fridge (I wrapped the berries with kitchen paper towels before storing them in air tight containers, it helps to keep them stay fresh for extra few more days). They are lifesavers when it comes to dressing up a 'not-so-appealing' dessert made by 'some unqualified, self-taught home baker', meaning me! Plus the magical power of icing sugar, these little cakes were ugly ducklings no more.

The sunken centre serves as a great nest for the berries! Oh, if you do not have berries, but happen to have a tub of ice cream in your freezer, I am sure a scoop or two of your favorite ice cream will fit in perfectly!

Now, it's time to dig in...

Do not expect a soft centre as it is not a molten cake (something which I will bake the next time I crave for something chocolaty)...the texture is excellent for what it is meant to be...a classic chocolate cake! Lighter and not as fudgy as brownies, but denser and so rich in flavour that no chocolate sponge cake or chiffon cake could match it. I will use the adjective yummilicious to describe its taste...according to Urban Dictionary, 'when food is so more than yummy and beyond delicious so it is yummilicious'. Well, but that is IMOHO since taste is something so subjective.

The only thing that I am proud of myself from this little baking episode of mine...was to be able to take the last picture without any help. The picture was taken with my right hand holding on to the camera, while I held the spoon with my left hand, with the spoon turned at an angle so that it faced the camera lens, I know, it is hard to imagine! I had to cross my hands so that my right could rest on my left to steady the camera, and, all the time trying to keep the spoon as steady as possible. Any photographers' toes would be laughing out loud if anyone of them caught me doing such an acrobatic act, lol! Even though the effect was not what I had expected...the spoon didn't really stand out...but seriously, I think I should give myself a pat on my shoulder, at least, for the effort :)

Sunken Chocolate Cake (法式巧克力蛋糕)

(makes one 15cm cake, or about 4 ramekins(6 oz size))

50g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
60g unsalted butter
40g caster sugar
40g egg yolks (about 2 yolks from large eggs)
5ml rum (I replace with pure vanilla extract)
35g cake flour
15g cocoa powder

70g egg whites (about 2 whites from large eggs)
40g caster sugar

icing sugar for dusting

  1. Melt dark chocolate and butter in a saucepan over very very Low heat. Remove from heat. Let cool.
  2. Line the bottom of a 15cm round pan (with removable base) with parchment paper. Grease and flour the sides. If using ramekins, grease the inside with butter, set aside.
  3. Separate egg whites from egg yolks when the eggs are still cold from the fridge. (It's easier to separate eggs while they are cold). Sift together flour and cocoa powder, set aside.
  4. With a manual whisk, whisk egg yolks with the caster sugar, till the mixture turns pale, becomes thick and creamy (takes about a couple of mins). Add in the melted chocolate/butter mixture. Whisk till well mixed. Add in rum (or vanilla extract), whisk till combined.
  5. Add in flour mixture and fold gently with a spatula. Set aside.
  6. In a clean, dry mixing bowl, beat egg whites with a handheld electric mixer on high speed until mixture becomes frothy and foamy. Add the caster sugar in 3 separate additions, beat well after each addition. Continue to beat until the egg whites reaches the soft peak stage. The soft peak stage is reached when the peaks of the whites curl over and droop slightly. The egg whites should appear smooth and glossy. (Do not over beat the whites still stiff, it is better to beat the whites still soft peaks for easy folding with the yolk batter.)
  7. Add the egg white to the egg yolk mixture in 3 separate addition. Each time, fold in gently with a spatula, making sure all the egg whites are incorporated into the batter, take care not to deflate the batter. (Note: finished batter should be thick and flows like lava when pouring.)
  8. Pour batter into the prepared cake pan or ramekins (fill up to about 3/4 full). Tap the cake pan/ramekins gently on tabletop a few times to release any trapped bubbles in the batter. 
  9. Bake at 160 degC for 15 mins, turn down the heat to 140 degC and continue to bake for another 10 ~ 15 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with a few moist crumb. Do not over bake. 
  10. Remove from oven. If using ramekins, leave them to cool. If using cake pan, leave it in the pan for about 5mins. Unmould and let cool, right side up (do not invert) on wire rack. Decorate cake with berries (optional). The cake is best eaten at room temperature. If stored in fridge, bring the cake to room temperature (to soften) before serving.
Recipe source: 最適合新手的点心烘焙入门 by 隈部美千代


agapejen said...

This is so beautiful n I can imagine how yummilicious it s just by reading your description. Thanks for the post

Angel @ Cook.Bake.Love said...

I like berries on my cake too! Beautiful !

Unknown said...

Chocolate with berries must be taste very great! Like the last picture !

hanushi said...

Lovely... I love your chocolate dessert! :)

Gertrude said...

hahaha the last picture is really impressive in my opinion! sounds delicious and your ramekins are soooo cute @___@

(so happy you are posting more regularly of late! ^---^)

CY said...

I know what you mean, berries, cut fruit or cream can hide all cracks! Your little cakes still look awesome! :)

The Experimental Cook said...

Though I can't enjoy your cake, I certainly enjoyed your post. Any chance you will make molten lava chocolate cake next ? I'm eagerly waiting .. because I don't know how :-)

Gloria Baker said...

look amazing and love your ramekins!!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi agapejen, thanks for reading :):)

Angel @ Cook.Bake.Love, the berries taste better with the cake, the blueberries I bought are always very sour!

Vivian, thanks! makes me feel good to know that someone likes my photo ;)

hanushi, thanks for always taking time to leave your comments, I feel sorry that I have not been able to blog hop as much...

Gertrude, the ramekins are cheap stuff I bought from Phoon Huat and Daiso ;)

CY, thanks thanks!

The Experimental Cook, yes, I have plans to make molten lava choco cake next...wish me luck that mine would really flow like lava ;)

Gloria, I cant agree more, ramekins have got the power of making everything look pretty!

martina said...

I've recently discovered that a reason why cakes sink in the middle when cooling off could be there isn't not enough flour to keep it in shape. So maybe this is the culprit for this "failure" since usually in the little ramekin everything keeps a better shape! It seems yummilicious to me, too! Cheers Martina

Unknown said...

As always - yum.

Here's a little award for you for always making me drool:

Happy Homebaker said...

Thanks Martina! You are always go kind :)

Tracey M, thanks so much for the award! I feel so honoured :D

Yummy Bakes said...

Oooo they are dressed up so prettily. They look very delicious to me too.

WokandSpoon said...

Can't tell that they're sunken at all. They look lovely. Like the extra chocolate hit with the ice-cream!

AK said...

Is that 40 egg yolks a typo?!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi AK, yes it is a typo, it should be 40g egg yolks ;p

Anonymous said...

OMG i want to make this yay! thank you for posting such an amazing recipe for those of us who are always lost as to what to bake! this will make a perfect dessert for a dinner party

Fi Fi said...

Hi Dear, is there a reason why step 4 use manual whisk instead of electric mixer?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Fi Fi, you can use electric mixer for step 4, just dont over beat it. I use a manual whisk since I use my handheld electric whisk for beating the egg whites.