Friday, August 17, 2012

Donna Hay's Chocolate Layered Cake

Chocolate cake is always a winner with my nephew so it was only fitting that for his 7th birthday last weekend, I baked him one.  It's the first time I'd ever baked anything in his honour and I was only too happy to do so.  It's  funny how when my niece turned 7 some 5 years ago, that was when I first baked her a birthday cake so 7 seems to be the magical number for my niece and nephew to get a celebratory cake from their "favourite" aunt!

I opted for a chocolate layered cake and used a Donna Hay recipe which she used on Junior Masterchef some years ago.  I was supposed to only make two sponges and cut them horizontally so that I would end up with 4 layers, but for some reason, my cakes never rose and I ended up having to bake three separate layers.  I don’t understand how 8 year old contestants on Junior Masterchef can get it so right and I get it so wrong?! Anyway, I’ve decided to brush over the fact that junior masterchefs seem to have greater competency than me...!
The recipe also calls for a chocolate cream cheese frosting which is quite nice, but I think I prefer a simple chocolate ganache.  I drizzled chocolate ganache over the top of the cake and the idea was that the ganache would ooze sexily down the sides in large beautiful drips so that I would end up with a beautiful cake where you could clearly see the layers amongst the clearly defined chocolate drips, but unfortunately, I ended up with a clumsy chocolate mess.  
So at the very last minute, before I presented the cake to my nephew, I decided to make chocolate shards to cover up the horrible mess I’d made of the sides! If time permitted, I would definitely have attempted tempering chocolate. 

I think the saving grace of the cake (presentation wise) is the fresh strawberries which I decorated in a flower shape.  I couldn’t quite pinpoint what the flower was until my sister said it reminded her of a lotus. 
I have to admit that I was somewhat disappointed with the texture of this cake.  Although it is moist, it was quite dense. I followed the recipe to a tee so I believe it’s meant to be like this.  The disappointment lies in the fact that when I think of chocolate cake, I think of a cake that is really moist, yet light and fluffy.  So I am now on the hunt for that perfect chocolate cake recipe!

You can find the recipe for this cake here.

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