Thursday, October 30, 2014

Nigella Lawson's Old Fashioned Chocolate Cup(cake)

It's been a long time since I've blogged here. I am still baking actually, passionately but I don't have the time to write my post here. The passion of baking continues.... Let me share with you my favourite chocolate cup(cake).

Nigella Lawson's recipes have always gives me a 99.9% - 100% proven sucessful result. I have baked her chocolate cupcake and fall in love with it immediately. I've baked a lot of chocolate cup(cakes) before but this one is the best I've ever baked. The method of baking is so easy. You just need to put all your ingredients into a food processor / blender and mix them together. That's what you need to do. It is so simple but yet the result is guaranteed satisfy you.

The magic ingredient of this recipe is the sour cream. You can't skip this otherwise the cakes won't turn out nice. Try it out one day, you'll know what I meant. I am not a person who likes icing so I didn't make the icing for my cupcakes. Share with me your opinions if you make this icing.

Enjoy your baking!

(100% from Nigella Lawson
Makes about 8 slices (or about 12 cupcakes).

For the cake
- 200g plain flour
- 200g caster sugar (I cut down to 180g)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 40g best quality cocoa (I used Valrhona for best results)
- 175g soft unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs (or 3 medium eggs like I did)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 150ml sour cream

For the icing
- 75g unsalted butter
- 175g best quality dark chocolate, broken into small pieces (I used Valrhona Caraïbe 66%)
- 300g icing sugar
- 1 tbsp golden syrup (this gives the lovely sheen to the icing but it is optional)
- 125ml sour cream
- 1 tsp 
vanilla extract
- Sugar flowers, optional

1. Take everything out of the fridge so that all the ingredients can come to room temperature.

2. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C. If you are baking a two tier cakes, line and butter two 20cm sandwich tins with removable bases. For cupcakes, prepare a 12-cupcake muffin size trays with cupcake liners.

3. Now all you have to do is put all the cake ingredients - flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarb, cocoa, butter, eggs, vanilla and sour cream - into a food processor and process until you have a smooth, thick batter. If you want to go the long way around, just mix the flour, sugar and leavening agents in a large bowl and beat in the soft butter until you have a combined and creamy mixture. Now whisk together the cocoa, sour cream, vanilla and eggs and beat this into your bowl of mixture.

4. Divide this batter, using a rubber spatula to help you scrape and spread, into the prepared tins and bake until a cake tester, or a thin skewer, comes out clean, which should be about 35 minutes, but it is wise to start checking at 25. Also, it might make sense to switch the two cakes around in the oven halfway through cooking time. If you want to make a cupcake version, you should start checking at the 12-minute mark (especially if you need to rotate the muffins tins).

5. Remove the cakes, in their tins, to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before turning out of their tins. Don't worry about any cracks as they will easily be covered by the icing later.

6. To make this icing, melt the butter and chocolate in a good-sized bowl either in the microwave or suspended over a pan of simmering water. Go slowly either way: you don't want any burning or seizing.

7. While the chocolate and butter are cooling a little, sieve the icing sugar into another bowl. Or, easier still, put the icing sugar into the food processor and blitz. This is by far and away the least tedious way of removing lumps.

8. Add the golden syrup to the cooled chocolate mixture, followed by the sour cream and vanilla and then when all this is combined whisk in the sieved icing sugar. Or just pour this mixture down the funnel of the food processor on to the icing sugar, with the motor running.

9. When you've done, you may need to add a little boiling water - say a teaspoon or so - or indeed some more icing sugar: it depends on whether you need the icing to be runnier or thicker; or indeed it may be right as it is. It should be liquid enough to coat easily, but thick enough not to drip off.

9. Choose your cake stand or plate and cut out four strips of baking parchment to form a square outline on it (this stops the icing running on to the plate). Then sit one of the cakes, uppermost (ie slightly domed) side down.

10. Spoon about a third of the icing on to the centre of the cake half and spread with a knife or spatula until you cover the top of it evenly. Sit the other cake on top, normal way up, pressing gently to sandwich the two together.

11. Spoon another third of the icing on to the top of the cake and spread it in a swirly, textured way (though you can go for a smooth finish if you prefer, and have the patience). Spread the sides of the cake with the remaining icing and leave a few minutes till set, then carefully pull away the paper strips.

12. I love to dot the top of this with sugar pansies - and you must admit, they do look enchanting - but there really is no need to make a shopping expedition out of it. Anything, or indeed nothing, will do.

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