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.



 CAKE RECIPE
  • 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.





PRALINE
  • 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.


GARNISH
  • 1 punnet strawberries
  • 100g chocolate


ASSEMBLY

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)

4 comments:

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.