Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Viral Chocolate Cake

I learnt something last night. Chocolate cakes trump adorable puppies.

I don't think I've ever had such a big reaction on Facebook even when Toby was the cutest thing in the whole wide world.

The big response was because of this -

Just a little chocolate cake I whipped up for the family. As you do, when you've got a few moments spare on the weekend.

I like to make pretty things. And I like to make surprising cakes so when my sister, Julie sent me this picture ...

... I decided to give it a go. But in chocolate because everything's better in chocolate. And I have a great chocolate cake recipe - also given to me by Julie. She got it from a workmate at her hospital who apparently got it off the Cadbury's cocoa packet. We didn't actually know that at the time so instead of being known as the Cadbury Family Chocolate Cake, it's known in our family as Abdul's Chocolate Cake after Abdul her workmate. And I'm going to share it here because a good chocolate cake recipe will go a long way in promoting family harmony, building friendships and ending war. 

Abdul's Chocolate Cake

125 gm butter
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tbsp cocoa
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
2 eggs.

Put the butter, water, sugar, cocoa and bicarb soda into a saucepan over moderately hot heat and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Once the mixture starts to boil take it off the heat and allow to cool a little while. Then gradually whisk in the flour a bit at a time and finally beat in the eggs.

Bake at 160C (fan-forced) until cake springs back under finger pressure. Approx 50mins for this amount of cake mix.

For this cake I tripled the recipe because I wanted four layers and this was enough to make the layers and about 10 extra cupcakes. And because I wanted fairly thin layers so the cake wasn't sky-scraper height and needing an engineer and a building permit to assemble, I used cake tins that were only 2 inches/5cm high and made sure to spray them with oil spray then dust them with flour to prevent sticking. The cakes only needed about 40 mins in the oven.

Once they were fully cool (This took a read of the paper, successfully completing the hard sudoku and a crossword puzzle, having a 2 hour, drool-on-the-pillow sleep and a cup of tea) I got them out of their pans, levelled the top of three of the cakes and then used a big circular cutter to cut holes in the centre of two of the layers. And then I had to make the icing - Chocolate Buttercream

Chocolate Buttercream

340g butter
3 tbsp double cream
1/2 cup cocoa 
4 cups icing mixture

Beat the softened butter for 8-10 minutes with an electric mixer until the butter goes pale. Add in the cream and the sifted dry ingredients and beat on slow speed until the ingredients are mixed in then beat on high to make light and fluffy.

Once the icing was made I assembled it - levelled layer, icing, holey layer, icing, holey layer, icing, fill with lollies/chocolates, then final layer. Then I covered the sides and top with a layer of icing and smoothed the sides. And finally I decorated with rose swirls, sugar flowers, chocolate coated peanuts and tiny silver sprinkles. 

And there was enough icing to decorate the extra cupcakes.

Cake assembly and decoration took about an hour. And then the cake just sat there for a couple of days until I couldn't stand it any longer and cut it open just to take a picture.

Yep, it had worked just like the original photo inspiration.

I put the picture up on Facebook and within an hour there was a tapping at our door. Iven looked at me quizzically because we rarely get evening visitors that aren't expected. But I knew who it was - Coach Chris hadn't been able to resist the lure of all that chocolatey goodness (oh who am I fooling - it's all bad but in a delicious way) and I'd offered him a piece earlier that day. Heaven knows, though, I should have refused him entry after the torturous speed session he'd inflicted earlier that day but my devious mind has me thinking that I can use the cake as bribery to get slightly longer recoveries when we do 400m reps. 50m recovery is not quite long enough.


  1. OK - I knew you were a great runner, a great seamstress and a baker but this is beyond impressive!!! I'm in complete awe (and a little sad that I don't have any of that cake!).

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  3. Gorgeous! the only thing I don't understand is when you say the cake sat there for a couple of days. Huh???? How????

  4. I saw it on FB too and it looks so so delicious but also so very pretty. I'd only wish I could make such beautiful cakes. And I'd wish I was coach Chris' neighbour so I cold have come with him for a piece. I love chocolate pie.

  5. So you were waiting for me to pop over ant eat the cake with you... Well as tempting as it might be it's just a little far to go...

  6. Sorry Toby but that cake is one of the best pictures I've ever seen on Facebook or Blogger. If I can ever be bothered I'm definitely going to try making one - I showed the photo to the kids and they're excited already...

  7. I could never ever make that cake because I would eat the whole thing, the only picture that would make it to FB would be crumbs .... I like your train of thought with trying to get longer recoveries though - no harm in trying ;-)

  8. That is fantastic! I need to make it! Maybe for Thing 1's birthday. But I need you shipped over with your swirly decorating tip because I'd never be able to make anything so beautiful!

  9. Just awesome! And I am such a sucker for chocolate cake. I so wish I was closer to you!

  10. Ok, Toby is REALLY cute I must say!! :-)

    And a huge THANK YOU for sharing this recipe. As soon as I saw that picture on FB I was hoping to get the recipe! I'm sure mine will look no where even remotely as good as yours but I am all for giving it a try!

  11. That looks wonderful but Toby is cuter! We saw a cute puppy at the marathon that looked like a younger Toby. Cute cute cute.

  12. Too funny that your coach came knocking. It does look amazing--you have a real talent. Wish I was closer...

  13. That is an amazing cake Char!

  14. I shared it on FB and noticed that several of my friends shared it too!!!

    'Twas (is) AMAZING!

    1. Twas is more accurate now. Only a little bit left :-)


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