The most beautiful thing in this world is to see your parents smiling, and knowing that you are behind that smile.
It is almost next to impossible to match all that your parents have done for you in their lifetime, but even a little something that can bring a smile to their faces makes the effort worth it.
It was my parents anniversary last month and and I had the opportunity to make their anniversary cake for them, a cake which I wanted to be really special.Any birthdays or anniversaries in our family and it has to be, without a doubt, a chocolate cake. So at least that part was decided. Searching for a good recipe for a chocolate cake I hit upon the 'Chocolate and Peanut butter Dream Cake' on The Novice Chef's blog. Dream Cake!! the very name of the cake sounded intriguing. I read through the recipe and found it different from any other chocolate cake recipe I had ever tried before and interesting enough to make me want to try it.
I wasn't sure if mom and dad would be too keen on the peanut butter flavor so I decided to play it safe and do a simple whipped cream and chocolate ganache icing to decorate the cake.
I had finished the final chocolate ganache layer on the cake, when on an impulse I decided to make a chocolate lace border around the cake. How difficult could it be? I had seen Deeba from Passionate about baking use these beautiful delicate chocolate lace borders quite often for decorating her cakes and they looked absolutely stunning. I have been enticed with these borders since a long time and finally decided to take the plunge and try my hand at making them.
I carefully read and followed the instructions on Deeba's blog and to my utter surprise found that the border was a breeze to make. It was so simple to make yet made a world of difference to the final look of the cake. The border added finesse and elegance to the cake, taking the cake to a whole new classy level.
I was mighty pleased with how my had cake turned out - a fitting tribute for my parent's anniversary and seeing the smile on my parents face on seeing the cake, I knew I had nailed it.
And to add to my happiness the cake tasted as good as it looked. A perfect dream cake!!
IngredientsFor the Chocolate Cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
140 gms dark chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
For the Filling
2 cups whipped cream
1 cup chocolate ganache
1/2 cup dulce de leche (optional) -I had some leftover from the banoffee pie. Recipe here
To make the Chocolate Ganache
150 ml cream (I used Amul)
200 gms dark chocolate
For the Chocolate lace border
100 gms dark chocolate
To make the cake
Preheat oven to 180 C.
Sieve together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
In a medium sauce pan, combine water and sugar over medium heat.
Bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves about 1 minute.
Remove from heat and add chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally, until melted.
Whisk in vegetable oil and vanilla extract.
Quickly beat in the eggs (do this quickly so that the eggs do not cook) into the chocolate mixture until combined.
Whisk in dry ingredients, until smooth.
Divide batter evenly between two pans and bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the cakes cool in the pans completely before frosting.
Now that your cakes are baked and cooled completely it is time to assemble them.
First make the chocolate ganache. Place the cream and chocolate over medium heat and stir until the chocolate is melted. Take it off heat and whisk with a spoon till smooth and shiny. Keep aside. It will thicken as it cools.
Whisk together the chocolate ganache with the dulce de leche till smooth and well mixed.
Now cover one half of the cake with a thick layer of the ganache mixture.
Spoon a generous dollop of whipped cream over the ganache and smoothen to cover completely.
Place the other cake layer on top of the cream and press gently to make it level. With a small spatula, spread the cake with 1 1/2 cups more of whipped cream and spread it to cover completely the top and sides of the cake. Don't worry about it being too smooth right now as it has to be covered with some more yumminess (drool!!). Freeze for 30 minutes.
Pour the warm chocolate ganache (heat it slightly if it has thickened) over the top of the chilled cake - allowing it to drizzle over the sides. With a spatula or a flat knife quickly run around the edges of the cake to give a smooth finish.
Let the glaze harden for 30 minutes.
Decorate with piped swirls and serve.
Or if you feel like being a little adventurous like me, make this chocolate lace border to place around your cake. Believe me it is amazingly simple and elevates your decorated cake to a whole new level.
To make the chocolate lace border :
Cut the butter paper according to the height of the border you would like.
For the circumference just measure around the baking tin you baked your cake in.
Melt the chocolate for about 2 minutes in your microwave.
Put the melted chocolate in a piping bag and make a spiral design (I made a random freehand squiggle. You can trace a design on the paper if you want something specific)
Wait for it to almost set (It will take less than a minute to set so you have to work quickly before it hardens).
Then wrap it around the cake and press gently to the sides of the iced cake.
Gently peel off the paper.
And Voila!! You have a masterpiece on your hands.
My Parents by Brittany S. Wright
(Source: Love Poem For Parents, )
You are both special in every way,
Encouraging me more & more each passing day.
You both are the reason why I'm so strong,
With you two a the helm not a thing could go wrong.
You've both helped me through many trials & tribulations,
You’ve made things better in every situation.
Thank you both for always being there,
And showing me that you truly care.
Words could never explain how I feel about you,