Portuguese food

The food of Portugal is rich, & has a depth of intensity just like its people.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chocolate Cake with Praline

My birthday & my friends son's birthday are only 3 days apart. I wanted to make a cake for myself this year & decided that I'd make it for his birthday party, as I wasn't having one this year, turning 41 isn't anything to celebrate, & it's been a terrible year.
Two days after turning 40, which I did celebrate, I came down with glandular fever & well I've been sick ever since, so it wasn't the best year I've ever had.

It was meant to start out as just a small chocolate cake, but for those of you that know me, know I don't do anything small, even when I try it just goes out of control, this cake grew to gigantic, humongous proportions. This 1 cake grew to 2 cakes & both had 4 layers each.
I showed up to the party with with two cakes in toe, & huge they were.

One cake was for the kiddies, chocolate cake with ganache throughout the layers as well as the icing & then decorated with strawberries. The other one was for the adults & it was the same chocolate cake & ganache but I added  peanut praline & topped off with strawberries.

  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups caster sugar 
  • 250g butter,softened
  • 4 tab cocoa powder
  • 3 cups self raising flour
  • 4 eggs
Grease 2 deep 22cm round cake pan, line base & side with baking paper.
Beat the butter & sugar with an electric mixer until pale, then add the eggs one at a time.
Then fold in the cocoa & flour. Once combined add the warm water & vanilla essence.

Pour the batter into the 2 prepared cake tins & bake for 40 min at 180 degrees.
Once the cakes have cooked let the cake sit in the pan for 10 min then turn the cake onto a wire rack to further cool.

GANACHE ( FILLING & FROSTING) This recipe is from Donna Hay's book Modern Classics 2
  • 750g dark chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cup cream
  • 210g unsalted butter
Place chocolate bits in a bowl add the butter & cream & place on a pot of simmering water.
Stir until melted & smooth.Set aside to cool completely then beat with electric beaters until thick & fluffy.Spread over chilled cake.

  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup salted peanuts
Line a tray with grease proof paper & add the peanuts. In a pan place sugar & water & dissolve over high heat cook until a golden brown colour.
Remove from heat & pour the caramel over the peanuts.
When set, break into pieces & place in a food processor  till it's a fine powder.

  • 1 punnet strawberries
  • 100g chocolate


Have all the above ingredients ready.
  • Once the cake has cooled, slice each cake in half. Spread 1/2 a cup of ganach onto each layer & sprinkle some praline on top. Sandwich the layers, there should be 4 layers with 3 layers of ganach & praline filling.

  • Then cover the cake with the frosting, using a flat spatula. Start at the top, placing 2 cups of frosting on the top of the cake & then work the frosting around the cake pushing the frosting down wards. Place a bit extra around the sides & work the spatula around the sides.
  • To get a better finish on the cake it's best to work top down, meaning place lots of frosting on the top of a cake & work it down.

  •  Once the cake is covered, fill some ganach mixture into a piping bag with a star nozzle & pipe rosettes around the cake.Place strawberries on top of the rosettes & sprinkle praline mixture in the center of the cake.
  • Melt 100g of chocolate & place in a small piping bag, pipe onto the strawberries.

 This cake has no praline (kiddies safe)


Rosalind Rosewarne said...

gorgeous looking cake Anna! have you checked out the brown eyed bakers blog? worth a look :)

belnboo said...

Beautiful cake & delicious as well

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Sorry to hear that your year hasn't been great but it's a stunning cake! Beautiful job! :)

Portuguese Kitchen said...

Hi Rosalind- Thanks for your comments,no I had never known the Brown Eyed Bakers blog. I checked it out though & it's great.

Hi Belnboo- so glad you liked it, it was tasty.

Hi Lorraine-It's improving every day, I am getting better.Thanks, I'm so happy you like the cake.