Sometimes I'm just too good at putting things off.....
....and completely forgetting about them.
Replying texts, facebook messages or emails is the first thing which comes to mind, closely followed by chores which I promise my mum I'd do (sorry mum!). And it's not just things I don't particularly like doing- this bear cake is a rather embarrassing example of this, as I'd promised my sister I'd make this cake for birthday..............2 birthdays ago!
I've been thinking of the reasons why it's taken me so long to finally get around to making this cake and I still can't completely explain why. It's not because I didn't want to make this cake, or that I had better things to make.............. it just never ended up happening
I'm thinking that it may have partly been because of the effort I know it would require- though the design is quite simple, it's still more complex than just baking a cake and eating it as is (hence the lack of iced and decorated cakes on this blog). I've been quite lazy this year, and have often found myself ambitiously planning to bake some time consuming things over the weekend, only to give up from lack of motivation when the weekend comes rolling around.
I guess it's sort of like the reason I don't blog that often- though I love it, it takes a lot of effort for me to write up a post. I was never any good at writing anything, and it takes a lot of deleting, writing and deleting before I can come up with something I wouldn't mind sharing with others.
Sometimes I think of how much easier it would be if I just posted pictures and a recipe. I'd certainly have a lot more posts on my blog right now.
But that wouldn't' be as fun, would it?
Despite my slow progress, I have finally reached the milestone of 100 posts today. Ok, so maybe I may have cheated a little bit and also included my first ever 'hello' post (which consists of 3 sentences) in the count. And, it may come after 2 years and 3 months of blogging (yes, I'm well aware that most people reach this milestone before, or within close proximity of their 1st blogiversary). But hey, I got there ;)
And like my second blogiversary, I'm celebrating with chocolate cake. From the exact same recipe, to be exact. This delicious beetroot chocolate cake has become my go-to recipe for chocolate cake- it's moist and chocolatey like mudcake, but with the subtle, underlying natural sweetness of beetroot. I know everyone already has their favourite chocolate cake recipe, but if you're ever looking for a new one to try, I'd strongly recommend this one.
The design for this cake is taken from the 'naughty bear' cake at 85 degrees cake shop. It caught my attention, not because I thought it was particularly interesting design (when compared to the other beautiful cakes the bakery produces), but because of its simplicity- I was pretty sure I could pull off something like this at home.And so I showed it to my sister, who liked it as well and promised her I'd make it for her birthday.........
The original cake was sponge cake and was covered in chocolate shavings but I thought my sister would like this cake better. I couldn't be bothered making chocolate shavings to cover this cake, so I covered it with cake crumbs instead- an idea I got from Zoe's blog (my cake looks quite similar to hers....don't you think?). I personally think it looks better than the chocolate shavings because it makes the bear look more 'furry'.....or is that just my imagination?
Well, it's still months from my sister's next birthday (I guess I'll have to try harder to be on time next time!!), but I think all was forgiven once this cake was made- my family thought it looked and tasted great! I immediately received requests to make it again, since the 15cm cake was quickly devoured, and my sister even wanted me to teach her how to make it :)
And in case you were wondering, we couldn't bear to cut its face into pieces.....
So we took its facial features off first!! ;)
'Naughty Bear' Chocolate Cake Recipe
For the cake
adapted from Veggie Belly
Original Recipe from Ross Burden
makes a 15cm cake
60g dark chocolate
2 medium eggs
100ml sunflower or vegetable oil
200g cooked and pureed beets
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
20g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Pre heat oven to 350 f.
2. Melt the chocolate (for the cake) over a double boiler. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and oil. Slowly add the cooked milk, beet puree , the melted chocolate and vanilla into the egg mixture. Beat just untill combined.
3. Sift the cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt. Add this to the beet batter. Fold just untill everything is combined. Dont over work or over mix the batter.
4. Spread a teaspoon of butter or oil over the surface of a 15cm cake pan. Sprinkle some flour all over, and tap out the excess. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin. Bake for about 45 minutes, or till a tooth pick or skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Baking time may vary depending on the pan and oven you are using. (mine took around 1.5 hours)
5. When the cake is done, cool it on a wire rack.
For the chocolate ganache
150g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
150ml heavy cream
1. Place the chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream in a sauce pan, just till it starts to barely boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk till it forms a smooth sauce. Chill in the fridge until spreadable.
1. Slice off the top of the cake using a knife, to create a flat surface
2. Using the cake scraps, process them in a blender to create fine crumbs.
3. Place the base layer on a plate and cover with ganache. Cover with the second layer and spread the remaining ganache over the top and sides of the cake.
4. Sprinkle the cake crumbs of the top and sides of the cake to completely cover the icing
5. Place chocolate decorations (eyes, mouth etc) onto the cake :P
Note: For the eyes, I used chocolate buttons and spread some (melted) white chocolate onto them.
For the nose/mouth, I used an egg ring to mould a white chocolate disc, a chocolate button for the nose and piped the mouth onto it.