Rich and Moist Chocolate Cake

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Long years back I had partaken of some sinful, beautifully moist chocolate cake sourced from The Rajputana Sheraton at Jaipur and the taste of that stayed with me for years. I am not a huge chocolate fan, but that was an excellent specimen!

Since then I tried a taste of chocolate cake at several places, only finding it to be falling short compared to the one in my memory.

I saw this cake called Moist Chocolate Cake by Blessy Bless on my food group Chef at large, and was reminded of the wonder I had eaten at the Rajputana !
I ended up baking both the versions of it- with egg and without!  At last my soul was at peace! Here is Blessy’s wonderful recipe. I added a teaspoonful of coffee to the hot water and did a marbled dark and white chocolate ganache frosting.
Heaven!
A big shout of thanks to you Blessy, for making my dream cake real ❤
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Ingredients

For the cake:
2 eggs
2 cups (400 grams) powdered sugar
1 3/4 (about 220 grams) cups all purpose Flour, sifted
3/4 cup Cocoa powder (90 grams)
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
1 1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup (240 mils) milk
1/2 cup (120 mils)  Oil
2 tsp Vanilla extract
1 cup (240 mils)  hot Water + 1 tsp coffee powder

For the ganache:

2 cups (240 mils) heavy cream/whipping cream (I used Rich cream)
125 gms (about a cup) white chocolate chips or grated white chocolate
125 gms (about a cup) dark/milk chocolate chips or grated dark/milk chocolate
1 tbsp butter

Preheat your oven to 175°C. Grease and line a 9×9 inch baking pan.
Stir together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
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In another bowl add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and whisk well.
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Add the boiling water to the wet ingredients.
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Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine. It will be a thin runny batter.
Transfer the batter to the greased and lined pan.
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Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick or a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes and then remove the cake from the pans to wire racks to cool completely before frosting with the ganache.
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This batter can be used for an 8 inch cake pan plus about 6 cupcakes.

For the ganache
Heat the cream and pour half over the grated white chocolate and half over the grated dark/milk chocolate. Add half a tbsp butter to each of the mixes. Leave covered for about five minutes. Whisk well till it gets nice and shiny.
Pour once cooled to get a smooth finish or refrigerate for a few hours to use as frosting.
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I poked some holes all over the top of the cake with a toothpick and poured the dark ganache while still warm.
Spread a thick layer of dark ganache over the top of the cake.
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Then pour some white chocolate ganache and run a fork through then ganache crating the marble effect.
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Top with white and dark chocolate flakes.
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Let it sit in the refrigerator for about an hour before serving.

A summer idea  to serve it is with some mango roses. I saw the technique here and had fun making them.
17416_10153140373973563_4722077765532586545_nNot perfect, but looked pretty nevertheless. Pardon the runny ganache. To meet the sudden demand of my teenager, used clotted cream off the milk/malai to make it 😀
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Here is the eggless version

Ingredients

For the cake:

1 3/4 cups all purpose Flour, sifted
3/4 cup Cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
1 1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp Salt
1 tin Nestle Milkmaid
Ripe Bananas 2 medium
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup Oil
2 tsp Vanilla extract
1 cup hot Water

Directions

Heat your oven to 175°C.
Grease and line a 9×9 inch baking pan.
Stir together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
In another bowl add the Milkmaid, mashed bananas, milk, oil and vanilla and whisk at medium speed for about 2 minutes.
Stir in the boiling water to make a thin batter.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick or a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and then remove the cake from the pan to wire racks to cool completely.

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Choco-Orange Zebra Cake

Celebrating my 50th blog post with my first ever zebra cake! The joy of attempting a  bake with some amount of trepidation and getting it right! 🙂
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I am a newbie in the world of baking, barely three months old. Been doing quite a few breads but cakes still make me a little nervous. Looking at perfect zebra and rainbow cakes, I was a bit in awe and wondered if I would ever get there! Was very skeptical when I started off, all prepared for a leopard in case the zebra didn’t play 😀
But the cake when sliced made me smile wide.

I made a chocolate and an orange zebra and loved the stripes. It is a beautiful, dramatic tea cake and not at all difficult to make! And so very moist! I am going to play with the rainbow soon.

Makes one 9-inch (23 cm) cake
INGREDIENTS
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (8 oz / 250 g) powdered sugar
1 cup (8 fl oz / 250 ml) milk, at room temperature
1 cup (8 fl oz / 250 ml) oil (corn, vegetable or canola is fine) (I used a little less than a cup, about 2 Tbsp less)
2 cups (10 oz / 300 g) all-purpose flour
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
1 tablespoon (equals 3 teaspoons) baking powder (if not available, substitute with 1 teaspoon baking soda)
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
1 Tbsp orange zest (skip it to make a vanilla chocolate zebra)

Preparer a baking tin by lining with parchment or butter paper.
Mix the flour and baking powder and sift twice.
Mix eggs and sugar and beat well till light and creamy.
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Add ¾ cup of the milk and the oil and beat till all is well combined. Add in the vanilla extract.
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Add the flour mix to the wet ingredients  and mix it till just well comnbined. Do NOT overbeat or overmix.
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The batter should be a medium dropping  consistency. Neither too thick , nor too runny.  Add more milk if it is too thick. Add some flour if the batter is too thin.
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Divide the batter into two.
Add the cocoa to one and the orange zest to the other half.(You may add a few drops of orange colour if desired. I didn’t)
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Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Now to the assembling,which needs to done carefully as this actually creates the zebra pattern.
Take two equal sized ladles. Each should be able to hold three tablespoons of batter. Or use 3 Tbsp fulls of  batter for each addition. It is easier to do with a ladle.
Add a ladle of the chocolate batter to the middle of the baking pan.
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Quickly follow with a ladle of the orange  batter dropping it over the chocolate batter ,right in the middle.
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Continue doing this alternating the batters, till both the batters are used up.

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So a ladle of chocolate followed by a ladle of orange and then chocolate again and so on! What fun! Felt like I was back in my craft class 😀
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Do not stop and wait for the batters to spread. Keep going. They will spread on their own. And this is what will form the pattern. Do not tap or tilt the tin.

Bake at 180C for 40-45 minutes. Do not open the oven for the first 20-25 minutes else the cake will shrink and not rise. Check by inserting a toothpick after 35 minutes or so.
Cool completely and slice wedges and see the lovely zebra pattern emerge!
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This recipe is from Suma’s wonderful blog here that I often visit to get clarity on all matters baking.
Happy Zebras! ❤

Sharing an eggless recipe that works beautifully for zebra and rainbow cakes. It is a tried and tested, super simple recipe. Recipe credits are Ruchi Jain’s.
She is a very close , school time buddy. Thanks Ruchi  🙂

Ingredients
Malai/Heavy cream- 1 cup
Powdered Sugar- 1 cup
All purpose flour- 1 ½ cup
Baking powder- 1 tsp
Baking soda- ¼ tsp
Vanilla extract- 1 tsp
Cocoa- 2 Tbsp/ colors as desired for a rainbow cake.

Mix all ingredients apart from the cocoa(or colors, if using them)
Divide the mixture into 2 parts.
Add cocoa to one and orange zest to the other to make the cake above.
Follow instructions as given above for assembling the cake batter.
Bake in a preheated oven at 220°C for 40-45 minutes till done.
Here is a tricolor cake Ruchi did for Independence Day using this recipe.
Happy Baking  ❤

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Another look at the Zebra
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Choco-Date Cranberry Bars

Raksha Bandhan signifies sibling love and care and like all Indian festivals is accompanied by sweet goodies and desserts. Sisters tie bands around their brothers’ wrists and these bands are called Rakhis.
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I made some  baby  Gulab Jamuns  to celebrate the occasion. These are mini balls of cottage cheese and khoya, soaked in sugar syrup.  Find the recipe for gulab jamuns here. These are just a baby version of the large ones. I like them better as they get done in a jiffy as they are quicker to fry and soak syrup much faster- a veritable blessing during the extended cooking hours on festive occasions.
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I also baked these sinful gooey Choco-date cranberry bars topped with chocolate ganache. Well, there is no such thing as too much chocolate, is there!
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Choco-date Cranberry Bars

All Purpose Flour/Maida- 1 ½  Cup+1 Tsp (for dusting the fruit and nut mixture)
Cocoa powder- ½ cup
Baking Powder- 2 tsp
Eggs, at room temperature- 2
Powdered sugar- 1 Cup
Oil/Butter, room temperature- 160 grams
Vanilla extract- 2 Tsp
Dates and cranberries, chopped roughly- 1 cup
Milk, at room temperature- ½ cup (use only if needed)

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Preheat the oven to 180 degree C and prepare a cake tin by lining and greasing. I always line my pan for ease of removing the cakes from the pan, specially the nutty ones.
Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder thrice and set aside.
Mix the cranberries and dates and sprinkle a tsp of APF/Maida and mix well coating them. This will ensure that they do not sink to the bottom on baking.
Take sugar and oil/butter in a medium size bowl and beat with an electric beater till light and fluffy.
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Add the eggs and beat till well incorporated
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Add in the vanilla essence and mix once.
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Fold in the flour mixture with a spatula.
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If the batter is too thick, add some milk. I needed to add about ½ cup. We need a thick dropping consistency batter.
Gently fold in the dates and cranberries.
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Bake on 180C for 30- 40 minutes or till a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Oven temperatures vary, so please check after 30 minutes.
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I topped it with chocolate ganache and some grated chocolate and silver balls.

Chocolate Ganache 
The recipe is from here

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup heavy cream (I used malai and it worked beautifully)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used Amul)

Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl, set aside.
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Place cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Pour over chocolate and let stand until chocolate has softened, about 5 minutes.
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Add butter and stir until smooth. Let cool slightly before using.
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Spread over the cake. Top with grated chocolate and sugar balls or simply dust with some powdered sugar.
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Slice into bars or squares and serve. Microwave them for about 20 seconds just before serving for a heavenly gooey chocolate burst on the palate 😀
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I am taking this Gooey Goodness to Angie’s Fiesta Friday. Thank you so much Margot and Saucy for co-hosting the wonderful event again this week ❤

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