“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” - Julia Child
Happy Anniversary to my darling blog-baby ‘Cook-curry Nook’!
Yoohoo, lookie who’s back! I started the first year of CCN with a Chocolate fudge Brownie post, and I’m starting the second year with this dreamy ‘Dark Chocolate & Orange Gateau’ post! What’s the common aspect? Chocolate of course! What? You didn’t see that coming? Really? You’ve gotta be kidding me! Ok, let’s get back to what we have here. Remember ‘The Chocolate Fest‘ announcement? Yeah so…much as I would have loved to post a chocolate-y recipe everyday, I haven’t had the time, cos work’s been pretty demanding, what with long work hours and all that, it has really been hard to devote time to the blog. I know, I know, that is SUCH a bummer, really. Nonetheless, starting today, I hope I can take you all with me, for a dive into the pool of chocolate nirvana! Are you ready? Go on, raise your hands…let me see them. Aaaaah, there you go! Good, now come along in a single line and await your turn as each of us dives into the pool. OK, now I really sound more like a
college lecturer, physical training teacher, don’t I? Yeah I get it, work’s taking its toll on me, so you will pardon me won’t ya? So go ahead and ditch that stupid single line form, come running and jump into the pool of nirvana! Make a splash! And the one making the biggest, highest splash, wins a chance to make another, bigger, higher splash!! Ready? 1-2-3…get set…gooooooooooooooooooo!!
This mushy, heart-shaped Dark Chocolate & Orange Gateau was made for a cake order I had recently. Yes, I now do cake/pastry orders in Bangalore, thanks to all that motivation and support from family and friends. Thank you people! So if you are in Bangalore and need some piquant desserts, you know whom to contact, yeah? Of course it’s me silly! I also will have a separate blog up and running for the cake business pretty soon, and will share the link with y’all as soon as it’s ready, so keep your eyes peeled. So yes, no pictures of a slice of this cake since I didn’t get to cut it, however, I hope I can still have you drooling like a puppy! Go on, I give you the permission…drool away ;)
Before we get into the recipe, allow me to let you in on a small secret, no, make it a BIIIG secret. But it’s not a secret anymore if I’m going to tell you about it eh? So what’s the big deal about the BIIIG secret…it’s a G.I.V.E.A.W.A.Y!! Yoooooohoooooo, yessssssssssssssssss! Just a little something from me to you, to thank you for everything you have done to contribute to one great year CCN and I have had with you guys, and of course, we look forward to many more! So what is it you think? When I call for a Chocolate Fest, it’s only befitting that the giveaway be something to do with it yes? So here we go guys – I’m having a copy of ‘Chocolate Holidays’ by Alice Medrich to giveaway to one of you lucky guys out there! And how do we decide which one of you lady luck will favour? Easy! You send me your chocolate-y entry, and a random entry shall be picked by the end of the month. In keeping with this new announcement, Im extending the last date for sending in your entries to ‘The Chocolate Fest‘ till the 30th of November 2010. So that’s 15 more days than you first had. Go on, whip up those sinful delights, and send them over to the virtual party all this month!! Here’s the cover of the Giveaway Cookbook to help tempt you into making those treats more ;)
Fatless Chocolate Sponge
- All purpose flour/Maida – 1 cup + 1 tbsp (120 gms)
- Cocoa powder – 1/2 cup (30 gms)
- Sugar – 3/4 cup (150 gms)
- Eggs – 5 nos
- Baking powder – 1/2 tsp (2.5 gms)
- Warm water – 1 tbsp (15 ml)
- Vanilla extract – 1 tsp (I used 1 tsp of crushed Vanilla bean)
For the Filling:
- Whipping Cream – 1 cup (I used Goldtop)
- Chocolate emulsion – 2 tbsps
- Orange Juice (freshly squeezed) – 1/2 – 3/4th cup (do not sieve the juice, include some of the pulp)
- Powdered Sugar – 3-4 tbsps (to add to the orange juice, since the juice will not be very sweet by itself)
For the Frosting – Low-fat Ganache:
(Source: Suma of Cakes & More!!!)
- Low-fat Milk – 1/2 cup
- Dark Chocolate (chopped) / Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips – 2 cups (I used chopped dark chocolate)
- Unsalted Butter (optional) – 2 tbsps (this is what gives you the velvety glaze, so if you’re not particular about it, you can skip it)
- Vanilla essence - 1 tsp (at room temperature)
Fat-less Chocolate Sponge:
- Preheat oven to 200C/390F. Line and grease a 9 inch cake tin (I used a heart-shaped tin, as requested for the order).
- Put the eggs, sugar and vanilla essence in a bowl, and beat together till it forms soft peaks, about 10 minutes.
- Sieve the flour, cocoa and baking powder thrice.
- Fold in the flour mixture little by little into the egg mixture with a rubber spatula, taking care not to lose any volume, at the same time ensuring there are no lumps in the batter.
- Add the 1 tbsp of warm water, and mix lightly.
- Gently pour the batter into the readied tin.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. It took exactly 32 minutes in my oven.
- Remove from oven, and let it cool in the tin for 10 minutes, before you turn onto the wire-rack. Once you remove the cake from the tin, remove the lining as well, and allow to cool completely.
- Heat the milk and butter in a thick bottomed saucepan, and bring to a boil.
- Once it has started boiling, reduce heat to minimum and tip in the chocolate.
- Stir vigorously with a spatula and you’ll find the chocolate melts in just a few seconds.
- When the last of the chocolate is still melting, turn off the flame and continue stirring till you have a smooth, velvety mixture.
- Cover your pan with cling film, and allow the ganache to come to room temperature, about a couple of hours. In the meanwhile, get cracking on assembling your gateau.
- Once the gateau has come to room temperature, tip in your vanilla essence and give it a stir, and you’re good to go.
- Chill the whipping cream for at least 10-12 hours in the refrigerator. Also chill the beater blades and bowl in which you plan to whip the cream, about 2 hours atleast. Stainless steel bowls work best for this.
- Whip the cream along with Chocolate Emulsion on high for about 3-4 minutes, to a hard-peak stage (if you make a peak with a spoon, the peak should stay longer than 5 seconds). The whipped cream will be beige in colour (from the chocolate emulsion). Once done, set the bowl in the fridge.
- Now, get down to assembling the gateau. Here’s a trick to get a smooth finished gateau – use the bottom of the cake (that was in contact with the lining) for the top. So this means, the actual top of the cake goes to the bottom of the gateau. If the cake has risen too much in the centre, gently level it with a long, serrated knife and then turn upside down. (That way, you also have some cake crumbs to munch on while you work on the cake ).
- Nest, this is a very important step to get a flat surface on top of the frosted cake. Using some food colour (I chose yellow), dip a toothpick in the food colour and draw a line anywhere on the side of the cake, from top to bottom. This line will act as a reference when you have to assemble the slices, and the cake will sit perfectly in place, and give you a wonderful flat surface on top. Miss this step and you’ve got to be content with a shapeless, wobbly cake once done!
- Gently cut the cake into 2-3 slices horizontally (I cut mine into 2 slices).
- Place the bottom-most slice on a turn-table if you have one. I used a thick piece of cardboard covered with glossy silver paper (like they use in bakeries) for the base. I set this base on a high vessel/pan (whose mouth was narrower than the base was wide) that would rotate easily, and that became my cost-effective turn-table! Much as I would love to own one, who says you have to own an expensive turn-table to decorate your cakes?
- Drizzle the sweetened orange juice over the bottom layer of the cake. Ensure you cover all of the surface area.
- Using a palette knife/offset spatula spread some whipped cream generously over the bottom cake layer (don’t spread the cream too much to the edge since the next layer coming over it will push the cream to sides anyway). The more whipped cream you fill your layers with, the taller your gateau will get. But don’t overdo it, else, you’ll taste only cream in the end. Cream layers about 3/4th-inch thick should work just fine.
- Now place the second slice of cake over it (remember to match the slices by the yellow line you drew with the food colour), repeat with syrup and a thin layer of whipped cream on top, and finish the sides with a thin layer as well.
- Now sit the cake in the refrigerator for atleast a few hours. Mine was sitting inside for almost a day, and boy did it work wonders for the flavours! Sitting the cake in the refrigerator for as long as you can manage really helps the flavours to marry well.
- Once the cake has sat in the refrigerator for a good amount of time, get it out, and bring on the food porn! Of course, I meant the ganache! Pour the ganache over the top of the cake, and smoothen gently with an offset spatula to cover the entire surface.
- Carefully cover the sides of the cake also with the ganache. Dip your offset spatula in the ganache, bring it to the side of the cake, and turn gently to touch the sides of the cake. Work gently since there’s whipped cream on there already. Since the cake has been refrigerated for a while, the whipped cream will behave. If it doesn’t, you need to teach it to.
- Finish by decorating the top of the cake as per your choice. I made swirls on the side like a border. Then I sat 3 sugar roses to a side, and piped a random doodle onto the other side to create that aesthetic balance, and tada! I had a mushy, smug-looking, heart-shaped, dreamy gateau to deliver to my friends celebrating their wedding anniversary!
- Coconut Pedas
- Microwave Apple-Paneer Halwa
- Moong Daal Halwa
- Mysore Pak
- Puran Poli | Paruppu Poli | Bele Holige
or even something not-so-traditional like Home-made Chocolates & Chocolate-coated Biscuits for your Diwali giveaways.
Gosh, ok now, this was a really really long post…longer than I intended. But after 15 days of no talking to you guys, I sure had a lot to spill out!
So don’t forget to make all those yummy chocolate-y treats and send them over to the virtual party. Stay tuned for I have a lot of interesting stuff brewing in my cook-pot. Looking forward to another great year with all you foodies. Bon-Appetit!