A post of many firsts

It's my brother's 10th birthday tomorrow, but like I was told recently "You don't need an excuse, Nabs." So I'm going to say this upfront, as much as I love this kid and love spoiling him with sweets, I baked a cake today for my own satisfaction and not really for him. Does that make me a horrible person?
Not that I baked a cake for me to eat, just to enjoy the process of turning seemingly unrelated ingredients into a proper cake. And he's totally going to eat the whole thing anyway, so win-win?
Today was my first attempt at making frosting and a layered cake. It REALLY wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be!
My favourite chocolate cake has always been my aunt Rosa's chocolate cake, and she used to bake my chocolate cakes every single year until my family moved to Gabon for dad's work. Anyhoo, I finally got the recipe for her cake and decided to give it a shot. It didn't turn out as great as hers (obviously, she's a gourmet chef!) but from snacking on the pieces that I cut off (I know, I know... that's horrible but allow me my guilty pleasures) I think it turned out pretty damn good!
As for the buttercream, who knew it would be so simple? I did get a bit worried when I realised how much sugar I kept "gradually" adding to the mix... is that really how much sugar I take in from my regular desserts? Also, I made the rookie mistake of popping my completed frosting into the fridge to preserve it while my cake baked and cooled. BAD IDEA, NABS! I panicked, and thanks to my cooling oven, I managed to get my frosting back in working order by holding the bowl in the open oven to just let it thaw.
Look at that? Doesn't that just look luscious?
Excuse my n00by frosting, like I said, frosting virgin, yadayada. Anyhoo, recipe time:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder (we've always liked Van Houten)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup maple syrup (room temperature)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla (as always, triple this if you want to!)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
  1. Preheat the oven at 170 degrees Celcius, grease and lightly flour your baking pan (I used a small, 6-inch pan this time around)
  2. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl (See the blue bowl I'm using here? I just got it today lol)
  3. In a separate bowl whisk the butter and maple syrup. Then whisk in the eggs, vanilla, and the milk
  4. Pour the wet mixture over the flour mixture and stir until barely combined
  5. Add the chocolate and stir until integrated
  6. Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake for 30 - 40 minutes (I went three times to make my three layers)
For this cake, I had to cut the top of the cakes off to level the layers and then allowed them to cool completely before laying on the frosting. For which, the recipe is as below:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam (try getting seedless jam, I couldn't today)
  • 1 16oz packet of powdered sugar
  1. Whisk the butter and jam together until thoroughly mixed
  2. Gradually stir in the sugar until creamy
  3. Finally, to get my frosting as pink as it is, I added three drops of pink colouring
If you have the time, I hope you give this a shot cos chocolate and raspberry is SO good together! OMNOMNOM.

x Nabs

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