This is a much delayed post...exactly two weeks late, pardon my tardiness!
I thought I could manage to squeeze in sometime to update my blog before we left for a short trip to Malaysia. Alas, I was so tight up with booking the accommodations, drawing up the itinerary, looking up google maps for addresses for places of interest and ploughing through websites and blogs to hunt down famous eating places along our drive up to Penang. I couldn't post this up soon after we were back home as I was busy cleaning up the house and washing and ironing loads after loads of laundry :(
Back to the theme of this post...
I have in mind to bake this classic chocolate torte for my cake friend just before the end of the school term. I thought it would be a good way for her to celebrate the start of the school holidays with her children. I was quite confident that even the most picky eater would not be able to reject a slice of chocolate cake :)
So far this is the 'safest', almost fool-proof cake for me to bake and give away.
The ingredients are simple enough...they are items that are easily retrieved from most home bakers' pantries.
The preparation method is almost similar to baking a chiffon cake...the only difference is, this cake is baked using a normal round cake pan.
There is no worry about the cake not rising tall and mighty in the oven, what we really want to achieve is a dense, sunken and cracked cake!
There is no frosting required to decorate the cake. Just a simple light dusting of icing sugar does the trick.
Even though I have not made this cake for ages, I was very satisfied with the result...at least it was something that I wasn't too shy to give away, especially to a fellow home baker.
This time I managed to deliver the cake in one piece :)
It was indeed a delight to hear that my cake friend liked it, and to top if off, this is the exact same cake
which brought her to my blog. She was wondering why someone would blog about a cracked and sunken cake (^^''')
After hearing from my friend how the texture of the cake turned out...smooth and soft...just the way it should be, I couldn't resist the temptation and went on to bake another one a few days later. This time it was for my husband when he came home to spend a week with us.
This second cake appeared to crack more than the previous one even though I didn't do anything different. The cake produced a nice dome while baking in the oven. Towards the end of the baking time, it started to sink. Upon cooling, the cake collapsed further forming a very sunken centre and kinked sides.
Don't be deceived by its ugly appearance...the cake was wonderfully moist and chocolatey. However, I must alert those with sweet tooth...the semi-sweet dark chocolates, with at least 60% cocoa content, plus the unsweetened cocoa powder I used, made this cake tasted a little bitter. But for those who prefer dark chocolates to milk chocolates, this is the cake to make whenever you crave for something with a very intense chocolate taste.
Although the cake looks dense and 'kueh-like', the texture is actually very smooth and soft, almost like eating a slice of cheesecake. I attribute the soft and fine crumbs to the minimal flour used in the recipe. This cake is best eaten at room temperature and as with most chocolate cakes, the cake tastes even better when left overnight. I have planned to submit this post for the last Aspiring Bakers event, but I didn't manage to meet the deadline, hope I am able to participate in the next round.
Classic Chocolate Torte
(make one 18cm cake)
150g dark chocolate
100g unsalted butter
3 egg yolks
20g caster sugar
30g cake flour
15g cocoa powder
3 egg whites
50g caster sugar
icing sugar for dusting
Recipe source: adapted from Delicious!! Baked Cakes
- Preheat oven to 170 degC. Line the bottom of an 18cm round pan (with removable base) with parchment paper. Grease and flour the sides. 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, twice, set aside.
- Melt dark chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water (make sure the bowl is able to sit above the water and it should cover the pot so that steam will not get inside the bowl). Remove from heat. Let cool.
- With a manual whisk, whisk egg yolks with 20g of the caster sugar, till the mixture turns pale, becomes thick and creamy. Add in the melted chocolate/butter mixture. Whisk till well mixed. Add in flour mixture and fold gently with a spatula. Set aside.
- In a clean, dry mixing bowl, beat egg whites with a handheld electric mixer on low speed until mixture becomes frothy and foamy. Add half of the sugar amount and turn to high speed and beat the mixture. Continue to add in the remaining sugar and 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.)
- Add the egg white to the egg yolk mixture in three addition. Each time, fold in gently with a spatula, making sure all the egg whites are incorporated into the batter. Note that any unmixed egg white lumps may cause holes in the final product.
- Pour batter into the prepared cake pan. Tap the cake pan slightly on tabletop a few times to release any trapped bubbles in the batter. Bake at 170 degC for 30 ~ 35 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with a few moist crumb. The cake surface will start to crack while still in the oven.
- Remove cake from oven, leave it in the pan for about 5mins. Unmould and let cool, right side up (do not invert) on wire rack. The cake is best eaten at room temperature. If stored in fridge, bring the cake to room temperature before serving.