When I saw this recipe in Joy of Baking, I tried it out right away.
It is similar to the one I always make; this one here uses less fat, butter as fat, and water instead of buttermilk. One interesting time saver tip says that it can be mixed in the same pan which you are going to bake! That only help if you are baking it in a proper cake pan, and not cupcake!
Another thing to note here is the type of cocoa powder - natural vs. dutch processed. The recipe calls for natual cocoa powder (Hershey is commonly found in our supermarket) which would create chemical reaction with lemon juice to give a red tinge. In addition to the red undertone, it natural cocoa gives a more intense chocolatey flavour. I do not have Hershey at home, and having just bought a kilo-pack valrhona, I do not want to create another SKU in my tiny kitchen. But I would certainly try bake this with Hershey same day!
1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
1/4 cup (25 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed), sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (75 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup (240 ml) warm water (I used black expresso to balance out the sweetness)
1 tablespoon lemon juice (or vinegar)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven.
- In an ungreased 8”(20 cm) square cake pan, stir together the flour, sugar, sifted cocoa powder, b.powder, b.soda, and salt.
- Add the melted butter, water, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. With a fork, mix all the ingredients together until well blended.
- Bake in preheated oven for about 35 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
- It takes 18min for my cupcake. But time will vary depending on the size of cupcake case.
6 ounces (170 grams) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy cream (I use President Whipping Cream)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temp
- Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. (see notes below)
- Let the ganache sit at room temperature until slightly firm (about one hour) and then beat the ganache until creamy smooth and light. With an offset spatula or knife spread the ganache over the cooled cake.
My Notes :
- What I did was to place the cream into a stainless steel bowl (or any heatproof bowl will do). When the cake is baked and taken out of the oven I put the cream into the oven, using only the balance heat. About 15min later, I put in the chopped chocolate and goes back to the oven again for 5min. By then the cream is warm enough to melt the chocolate.
- Made frosting with Valrhona Araguani – very strong couverture but personally I find there’s some trace of acidity in the chocolate. Went googled and found this review :
"Valrhona Grand Cru Araguani is an extraordinary bittersweet couverture chocolate made from a blend of the best Criollo and Trinitario cocoa beans from Venezuela. With a 72% cocoa content, Valrhona's Araguani is perfect for the bittersweet chocolate needs for home pastry chefs and professionals alike - it has a powerfully bitter base with strong liquorice, raisin and chestnut notes and the use of brown sugar has given it notes of dark honey. Araguani also has a higher than typical amount of cocoa butter to give your desserts and truffles a silky mouth finish. It is suitable for pastry, chocolate fillings, molding, enrobing, and icing. The Valrhona "feves" are small oval disks that are easier to work with than large industrial size block. It all started in 1924 a pastry chef from Tournon created a chocolate factory, which eventually achieved a worldwide recognition, and in 1984 became the first to offer a chocolate with 70% cocoa. Valrhona in Tain l'Hermitage is considered by most pastry chefs and chocolatiers as the premier chocolate company in the world. Their focus is solely on their chocolate, and to ensure the highest quality, and optimum flavor, they grow their own cocoa beans, their own cane sugar, and their own vanilla on plantations all around the world - now that's quality control. Valrhona has finally begun to offer its professional products, cocoa and couvertures, packaged for the home pastry enthusiast, a palette of subtle flavors, to create and elaborate delicious chocolate preparations. Araguani is a couverture with 72% cocoa content (with 27% Sugar and 43.5% cocoa butter).
Source : http://www.amazon.com/Valrhona-Araguani-Dark-Chocolate-ChefShop-com/dp/B000UZT6XC
Haha, the info didn't help a thing right! Perhaps the less I know, the better I will be.
Anyway, I made everyone in the office so happy with these cuppies:
After seeing all the creations by some fellow bloggers, I resolute to put in as much effort in frosting... afterall we eat with our eye first!
My piping skills are still raw, but I am working on it:
Using Wilton tip 2C: