May 13, 2012

Chocolate cake "disasters"

Last year I made Mike a rainbow cake for his birthday. You really can't beat a rainbow cake. Once you've made a rainbow cake every mention of a cake there after resembles a "remember that time you made that amazing rainbow cake? That was so awesome!" So this year, I really couldn't top that again.

My intention was to make chocolate donuts. I had never made donuts before and had a hankering for them, but I didn't have a donut pan. Being the resourceful person I am (at least I like to think so) I thought they would work without having to buy yet another speciality pan. I mean, how hard could it be to make a hole in a cake? I thought some clever manoeuvring could manipulate the batter into thinking it was a donut, but alas, after baking them in a muffin pan they ended up completely not like donuts at all and more like mini cakes.

I think my first mistake was looking for "baked" donut recipes and not "fried." The recipe I used for Baked Chocolate Donuts with Chocolate Glaze seemed more like a cake recipe and not a traditional donut recipe. I tried cutting a whole in the middle of one as a tester, but it ended up crumbling to bits.

I made the chocolate glaze from the recipe, which seemed like the only part resembling an actual donut actually, and dipped each "cake" in the glaze then topped them with festive sprinkles. So they were more like mini cakes, and not even really like cupcakes either, but chocolate with chocolate sauce is alright by me.

This weekend I had a craving for cupcakes, so I decided to make another chocolate dessert and hopefully make up for my somewhat sad birthday creation. Instead of making mini cakes again I decided to make a whole cake instead. Why not?

Chocolate Espresso Bundt Cake (adapted from this recipe)

1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup hot coffee
1 cup milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350 F. Put the chocolate chips on a bowl with the hot coffee and stir until melted. In another bowl, whisk the milk with the vinegar and set aside for a few minutes. Add the oil, sugar, vanilla and mix.
In a large bowl sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the wet ingredients slowly and mix. Pour the batter into a greased bundt pan. Bake for 32-35 minutes.

For the icing, I used the Wilton Buttercream Icing recipe and added cocoa powder for the chocolate flavouring.

Just when I thought I had made a successful dessert, the cake fell out in three giant chunks onto my cooling rack when I went to lift it out of the pan. I managed to stick it back together with some strategically placed chocolate icing.

Even though it looked rather horrendous, it still tasted really light and fluffy with a hint of coffee flavouring. So my attempts at birthday desserts weren't what I was hoping, but that's the fun of learning how to cook and bake I suppose. At least you can cover up your mistakes with lots of icing and sprinkles and no one is the wiser.

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