I've spent the past few days with my Nanna in Maryborough. We've been speaking chinese (badly, on my behalf), eating, gardening and shopping. Today, on St Valentine's Day, I made the journey back home. As soon as I hopped off the cramped train, I was off to the supermarket to get my cake ingredients. Yes despite my tiredness, I felt compelled to get my "baking" fix as soon as possible, as well as satisfy my desire to make a "Valetine's Day" themed cake. A few hours later, I had my cake in the oven and sugar covered pink petals in hand. But then trobule struck. My sugar had gotten clumpy because of humidity. Worse, still, the top layer of my cake crumbled when I went assemble it. But as I said - love prevails when it comes to baking - so I quickly cut the bottom layer again into 2; filled it with strawberries and cream, and topped it with chocolate and sugar petals. Valetine's Day success guaranteed.
Ingredients for Cake
185g unsalted butter
330g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, room temperature
75g self-raising flour
225g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
90g unsweetened cocoa powder
280mL buttermilk (or half greek yoghurt/half milk)
+ love heart shaped tin
Ingredients for Icing
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
2/3 cup quality cocoa
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp butter, soft
Ingredients for Filling
125mL thickened cream, whipped
8 strawberries, halved and hulled
Ingredients for Sugar Petals
12-14 pink petals, non toxic
1 egg white
1/4 cup caster sugar
Method for Cake, Icing and Assemblage
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (fan-forced) and grease and line a love heart shaped tin. In a bowl, beat together the butter and sugar. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beat well after each addition. Sift flour, bicarb soda, cocoa powder over this egg/butter mixture. Don't stir yet. Pour in the buttermilk; now stir all with a metal spoon or electric mixer. Spoon smooth mixture into tin. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Leave cake in tin for 5 - 10 minutes. Carefully lift out. Once completely cool, cut the cake in half to form 2 separate cakes. Meanwhile, make icing (method below) and whip the cream.
To make the icing, beat together all ingredients until smooth.
To whip the cream, beat with cold mixer and cold bowl until thickened. Approx 5 min.
To assemble, lay one of the chocolate sponge on a plate. Top this with whipped cream. Lay the halved strawberries on top of the cream; ensure some strawberries can be seen from the edge. Now place next chocolate sponge layer on top. Smooth the chocolate icing on top of this layer. Top with pink sugar petals (method below).
Method for Sugar Petals
Lay a small baking tray out and cover with baking paper. Get 12 - 14 pink petals and brush each one with egg white; both side. Sprinkle with caster sugar until completely covered; tap excess off. Lay on tray for a few hours (or overnight) in a dry, warm place. Petals should harden. Top chocolate layer cake with pink petals.
|Would you like a corner piece? Cream? Strawberry? The lot?|
Happy Valentine's Day to my dear readers!