Saturday, January 29, 2011

Miss CoCo's Chocolate Buttercream Birthday Cake

I got this fabulous chocolate buttercream sponge cake from Baking Library and it was GREAT! Definitely a must-try for anyone who loves a good chocolate cake with rich chocolate frosting and yet, not too sweet or heavy.

As it was my very 1st attempt in making an actual birthday cake, and it was for my darling baby girl's birthday party, I wanted to give the recipe a try 1st. So I made one earlier half the size.

I even tried doing some simple piping with the extra buttercream. Haha...

I noticed that if it's too small, the sponge cake have trouble holding up at the sides while cooling. But I just wanted to try out the taste, and it was definitely a PASS for me!

So this is the full size portion...

Chocolate Sponge Cake :
70g egg yolks, room temperature
50g caster sugar
4 tbs vegetable oil
4 tbs water
80g cake flour
15g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
145g egg whites, room temperature
50g caster sugar

Swiss Meringue Chocolate Buttercream: (about 840g)
195g egg whites
220g caster sugar
385g unsalted butter, softened but still cold
100g cocoa powder (I used Hershey's)

Making the Chocolate Sponge Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.
  2. Whisk sifted flour, sifted cocoa powder and sifted baking powder in a large bowl to combine.
  3. Place egg yolks, 50g caster sugar, oil and water in a large bowl. Mix well with a wire whisk untill the mixture is evenly mixed. Add the flour mixture in and whisk to obtain a smooth and thick chocolatey batter.
  4. Next, whisk egg whites on low speed. Increase speed slowly to medium-high and beat untill egg whites are at soft peaks. Add 50g of sugar gradually and beat untill egg whites are just stiff and still moist. This is when the beaters are lifted, the egg whites will form peaks that are upright and not drooping slightly. Egg whites will resemble whipped cream.The entire bowl of whites will not drop out when the bowl is overturned. Do not beat until the egg whites are dry and clumpy.
  5. Fold one third of beaten egg whites into egg yolk batter gently to lighten and combine. Fold in the rest of the beaten whites to combine. Final batter should be foamy and uniform in colour with no streaks of egg white present.
  6. Pour batter into 2 greased and lined 8 x 3 inch round pans and bake at 160 degrees C for 25 -35 minutes. Test doneness using a skewer or toothpick. The highest part of the cake should rise up to 4/5 or nearly the full height of the tin. When the cake is done, the inserted skewer will come out clean.
  7. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for a short while. Cake will shrink from edges on cooling. (happens everything, it is normal) When the cake is no longer shrinking, unmould from pan, remove parchment/baking paper and turn the cake out to cool.

Preparing the Swiss Meringue Chocolate Buttercream:

  1. Place 195 egg whites and 220g granulated sugar in a heatproof bowl. Sit the heatproof bowl on a saucepan filled with water. The base of the bowl should not be in contact with the water. This is known as a double boiler. Bring the water in the saucepan to a slight simmer. Use a balloon whisk and stir the egg whites and sugar constantly until the sugar has fully dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch (test by inserting your finger).
  2. Remove the heatproof bowl and beat the warm egg white mixture on medium high speed to obtain stiff peaks using an electric beater. (It takes a longer time when sugar is added.) At stiff peaks, the beaten egg whites will not budge when bowl is overturned. When the beaters are lifted from the beaten egg whites, the surface of the egg whites should form stiff upright peaks (not drooping peaks). The beaten egg whites should be cool to the touch (room temperature), not warm like when it was removed from the saucepan.
  3. Beat in 385g butter into the beaten egg whites in 3 batches, ensuring each batch is incorporated before adding the next. The egg whites will deflate furiously when butter is added. Continue beating until the mixture is creamy and fluffy (Initially when the butter is added, the mixture may become watery. As more butter is added, the buttercream thickens up).
  4. Lastly, sift in 100g cocoa powder and continue beating to obtain a smooth chocolate buttercream.

  • I just sandwich some buttercream between the 2 sponge cakes and frost the whole cake with buttercream.
  • My hubby suggested adding some nuts to the cake, so I added some crushed hazelnuts to the side. The nuts really complement the chocolate very well!
  • I wanted to add some colour to the cake, so I topped it with some sweet Korean strawberries.
  • I wanted it to be more kiddy, so the train candle holder I found at Phoon Huat was perfect. :)

I was so busy bringing out the cake that I forgot to take a good photo of my greatest creation! Too bad, I just too 2 pictures hastily and did some cropping from the group photos. :P

So happy and proud... :))

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