I love birthdays for many reasons. I love making someone feel special on that one day a year, which, in addition to other thoughtful things, always involves baking a birthday cake. A birthday cake is something so central and almost vital on a birthday and getting one home-made...always a special treat!
Well today it was a friend’s birthday and I took the opportunity to try one of my old classic recipes: A rich chocolate cake. This was one of the first recipes I tried back in sixth grade and I have nothing but good memories. I remember this one baking experience in Germany where my cousin Lea and I chose to bake this chocolate cake for our grandmother. The recipe asks for rum or brandy. Full of confidence, we picked up a bottle from the alcohol cabinet that appeared alcoholic from the labeling. At that point in time, we weren't exactly experts when it came to our alcohol knowledge. After adding a good gulp of it into the mixture, we realised we had just poured home-made Bilberry Liquor (similar to Blueberry) instead of Brandy. Our baking skills were a disaster that day, as I can assure that we mixed up a few other things as well, but the cake magically still managed to taste amazing! So I decided to try it once more after several years. I figured things couldn't go as badly this time. To my pleasant surprise, the cake turned out absolutely perfect! A real beauty :)
Luckily once you pull the cake out of the oven (at which point the whole house smells amazing!), there is still the decorating to look forward to. I haven’t done much of it but am starting with cake decorating classes next week! Very exciting J I have some kisses and pink pearls, what more does a girl want on her chocolate cake?
And voila…Happy Birthday Kelsi!
Rich Chocolate Cake a la Stella
· 225gr butter
· 350gr dark Chocolate (chopped)
· 80ml warm water
· 5 eggs (separated)
· 280gr sugar
· 180gr ground almonds (I use closer to 120gr)
· 90gr Flour
· 1 Tbsp Rum or Brandy
· 1 tspn vanilla extract
· 200gr dark or semisweet chocolate
· 200gr butter
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 20cm springform and line with baking paper.
2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. Add the water and stir until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar, until light and thick (approx 3-4 min).
4. In a small bowl, mix the almonds and the flour (sieved).
5. Fold the chocolate under the egg/sugar mix and then add the dry ingredients. Give the mixture a good gentle stir until all ingredients are combined. Add the rum or brandy and the vanilla.
6. Beat the egg whites and fold into the chocolate batter. Pour the batter into the prepared form and smooth the top.
7. Bake for 1 hour. Cool for 20 min and remove cake onto racks to cool completely.
8. For the frosting, slowly melt the butter and the chocolate over simmering water. Cool the mixture until it has reached the right consistency to frost.