My Dad always made fun of my pathetic attempts at baking and cooking when I was younger and for good reason. Coconut ice anyone? Even I couldn't force down a piece of that anymore.
But in the last five years or so, he's had a complete change of heart. Something about me actually being a pretty good cook when I put my mind to it. Nothing like blowing your own horn eh?
Still it seems once I got past the idea that food had to be expensive, elaborate and slaved over I started to cook well and more importantly, bake well.
My Dad is a baker. He works in a bakery. So he has really started to enjoy the things I make. I tend to make far too much as there are only three of us in the house so at least half of everything makes its way to his house.
My Dad has made a point the last few years to give me kitcheny items for birthday and Christmas presents. This year was no exception. He gave me a very large (I get the hint dad) cake tin. It's 28cm across and comes with two bases, one decorative ring mould base and one plain flat base. It would be about the size of the bottom layer of a pretty big wedding cake if I used the flat layer, so I didn't.
I've never baked in a decorative tin before, apart from Toots little teddy bear and butterfly silcone moulds, but nothing this size and I wanted to make sure the cake would come out of the tin in one piece.
Doesn't that just look (almost) too good to eat. Notice the huge slice taken out of it before I could even take the photo.
It's the simplest recipe to make as well.
One Bowl Chocolate Cake
Taken from a recipe on zaar called The Absolute Best Moist One-Bowl Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake. I can say that it definitely more than lives up to its name.
2/3 cup cocoa, sifted (I didn't bother)
2 1/4 cups plain flour
2 cups sugar (I used about 1 1/2)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt (I didn't use any)
1 1/2 tsp instant coffee granules
1 1/2 cups unsweetened orange juice (I only had sweetened and thats why i reduced the sugar and I used half orange and half water)
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil. (Actually you could probably replace some of this with apple sauce if the thought of all that oil puts you off)
Pre-heat oven to 180C (350F)
Generousy grease a bundt pan. (I would say this recipe would do three 8 inch cake tins or a 13 x 9 inch tin)
Put all ingredients in one large bowl and beat until well conbined. Pour into cake tin and bake for approximately 1 hour until done. Mine took just a little less than one hour, so probably best to test from about 45 minutes onwards.
If your using a 13 x 9 pan I would test from about 35-45 minutes and for the smaller 8 inch tins from about 25 minutes onwards.
Its best if you have moist crumbs left on the toothpick when testing for doneness, like brownie crumbs.
The recipe oon zaar also includes a recipe for a struesal, half fill the pan, sprinkle over the streusal and pour the rest of the batter over, but I didn't use it.
The glaze I used was just a simple ganache, equal quantities of double cream and dark chocolate. Heat the cream in a pan until just before boiling, add the chopped chocolate, let it sit for a minute or two and then stir until combined.
I should really have let the glaze cool a bit more before pouring it over but I just couldn't wait to try it so most of it wound up puddled on the plate.
Still good though.