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a baker-holic, choc fanatic, dessert-freak.. yeah and i'm south asian :). A happy member of the Fuqua Class of 2011.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Celebratory MBA chocolate cake!!!

There are various kinds of chocolate cakes - there's the kind you crave for at midnight, then the one you crave after lunch, the one you crave when you're feeling low, the kind you crave when you want to reminisce about your childhood... and finally, there's the one you crave while enjoying your pre-MBA celebrations :)

So here it is! For me, this is it - the cake I'd have (and have had...yummm!) to celebrate my MBA. I can just taste the rich chocolatey icing, the nicely textured cakey slice, the intense chocolate after-taste, and the ensuing feeling of satiety. 
This is a tried-and-tested recipe. I (and many others) have made it for many many years now - it's a safe, chocolate bet. Follow the recipe and trust me, you won't go wrong. Oh, one more thing, i hate cake recipes that use 'xox cake mixes, instant puddings and so on'.  I like cakes that are made from scratch - you feel a greater sense of achievement :D
So, without much ado, here it is:
(Source: Hamlyn's cookbook)
4 oz. plain flour
1.5 tea spoon baking powder
0.25 tea spoon salt
1.5 oz. cocoa
4 oz. butter
4 oz sugar
2 eggs, blended
1 tablespoon milk
For icing:
1.5 oz butter
1 oz cocoa
3-4 tablespoons milk
4 oz. icing sugar
(The picture I took of the cake I made, utilized 2 times this recipe). 
Sieve together flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add eggs a little at a time, beating well. Fold sieved ingredients into mixture with milk. Mix well. Turn into greased tin. Bake for about 40-45 minutes at 170-180 C/ 375 F until centre of sponge springs back when lightly pressed (you can stick a fork in to test if done - if fork comes out clean, then cake is ready). 
Icing: Melt butter for icing. Add cocoa. Cook over low heat for 1-1.5 minutes. Add milk and sugar, and cook over low heat until you get a creamyish icing. Note: Add the sugar to suit your taste, as 4 oz may be too excessive. I usually go with about 2-2.5 oz  sugar for the icing.
Spread the slightly warm icing on the relatively cooled down cake. ENJOY!!


Andrew said...

Can't thank you enough for this award winning post, and congratulations on your new journey via Duke!

I'm going to try this tomorrow, I'll let you know how it went.

I said I would give you the "skinny" on the best bakery in the Durham area, and there really is only one - Guglhupf at guglhupf.com.

Everything one can buy there is absolutely top notch. They have the best chocolate croissants outside of Paris, and their other ingredients are no less supreme.

It's not far from Duke's campus, has free wi-fi and is an amazing environment. They do brunch, lunch, inside and al fresco, and also have an off-sales bakery.

It was started by two Duke alumni from Germany, who wanted to open a place that made authentic European pastries and bread. That was 1998.

The Durham/Chapel Hill area has some good food, but also a lot of places that appeal to the untraveled, i.e. they say it is good, but it is often over priced and underwhelming. It is almost impossible to find decent bread, and in terms of baked goods that don't have High Fructose Corn Syrup and other nonsense in them, forget it, this is where Guglhupf comes to the rescue.

If you value your bread, 9th St bakery is a local bakery with strictly natural ingredients. They sell via their Durham bakery, or through supermarkets like Harris Teeter. It was started by the founder of the California Zen Centre, and uses the same recipes.

If you're not careful here, you could easily put on 10 pounds or more, just due to the poor ingredients and everything being reliant on corn and sugar here in the US. If you are skeptical about what I say, read the book by Michael Pollen, called "The Omnivore's Dilemma" it is a fascinating insight into the food chain here. I'd be happy to send you an audio file on it.

Let me know if you want more details on other decent goods, or indeed anything else about the area.

Thanks again for the fab chocolate cake. As someone else said of you here, you rock!

Choc Heaven said...

Andrew- wow thats great info on the Guglhulpf bakery! thanks :) no problem about the recipe - hope your cake comes out great! and will let you know if i need more info on eateries! i'll check out the book you mentioned, seems interesting... and oh yes, things in the US are so fattening, so i'm def going to watch my weight. but what the heck, we only live once right.. mm those chocolate croissants sound great , i had some in Paris many years ago and can still recall their taste.

Sarah said...

Thanks! I'm not a good baker, but I'll definitely try this one. Yum!

ahembeea said...

Yum! Case of baking the cake and having it too :)

Andrew said...

I Mixed! I Baked! I Conquered!

Thanks to to Chocolate Girl, owner of this post, I baked this delightful cake last night, and it was splendid. The chocolicity was intense, and the non-nonsense ingredients did what they should have, submitted to the superior leadership of the chocolate.

It was, by far, the best I've tasted in ages. My better half, used her PhD level analytical judgment during tasting, and agreed 100%, which is no mean feat when dealing with a scientist.

Being a cynic, I made the amount as quoted in the original rather than doubling, something which I now regret.

I reduced the baking time to 25 minutes, as 40-45 seemed too long for the smaller cake. This was perfect, and even 20 might do it for this size, so be aware.

I stuck to the recipe, verbatim, until making the icing, when I was suddenly overcome with naughtiness, and so whilst melting the butter, I added 1oz of Cadbury plain chocolate. It's called Royal Dark here in the US, but I recall being astounded to find that Tesco's Value Line plain chocolate (in the blue and white stripey pajamas) is the very same, excellent quality, stuff.

The Cocoa powder I used was excellent quality, Green & Blacks Organic, (same name here and in the UK/Europe).

The whole recipe is incredibly simple, and can be done by hand, with simple equipment and utensils, and takes no longer than 15 minutes prep, and 20 minutes + to bake. The flavors, though, will even fool your own brain into thinking that you must have procured the cake from the best patisserie in town!

Wow! I can't thank you enough Chocolate loving MBA girl! (You note that you are nameless, so this will have to suffice).

Andrew said...

A very important factor for chocolate lovers is to only use 2oz of sugar in the icing. I did this and it allowed the chocolate to prevail.

Choc Heaven said...

Andrew, i'm so glad your cake came out well! Kudos to the recipe - it's so remarkably simple and yet unbeatable, isn't it! No wonder, i often end up having chocolate cakes in my dreams! hehe enjoy the cake - it tastes just as good/even better overnight (or so i feel)..

Sarah said...

Mine was yummy but the cake was dry. I forgot to adjust the time - I think you are right, 20 minutes for the standard recipe posted, longer for the double by Choc Heaven. Still, this is my first one, and I will cherish the recipe. Thank you Choc Heaven!

Dipesh said...

My roommate and I made this today, and now I'm addicted. Simple yet wonderful. Thanks!