Dark, rich and insanely chocolatey chocolate cake. Sandwiched with luscious, creamy, light and smooth buttercream frosting…. Don’t tell me you haven’t fantasized about a layered chocolate cake while at work or while watching TV with your mind wandering off to bakery land. I might have fallen in love with baking and baking with chocolate every since I watched Nigella Lawson (fell in love with her too) smoothed a cake with her finger and licked the frosting off it. I’m getting carried away over here. All I’m saying is, a good layered chocolate cake is the most indulgent and decadent dream that makes one incredibly happy. This cake though is just as easy as dreaming of it.
As an adult (at least some think so), I still love the patterns in a marble cake. The anticipation of cutting the first slice to see how the marbling has turned out is joy that makes me feel like a little girl again. A good marble cake for me has to be moist, with lovely chocolate and vanilla swirls where you can taste their flavours separetely and not excruciatingly sweet. With this one however, I had a coffee swirl too. The flavour cushions of vanilla and chocolate ensures the coffee one is quite safe. As with any marble cake you simple divide the batter into two and mix cocoa into one half and then pour them into a baking tin before you swirl it with a knife or as in my case, a chopstick.
I’ve recently warmed up to pears and what I usually do is cut them up, squeeze a lemon and chill them in the fridge before eating. There was one large pear sitting in my fridge and I figured I’d bake with it. I’ve always loved how sliced fruit is arranged on top of the cake in absolute symmetry looking nothing short of perfect. No, mine didn’t look like that. But it sure tasted pretty prefect. I have also realized how cream cheese can keep a dry cake moist and not add any of its strong flavour into it. I’ve only used yoghurt previously for the same purpose.
I love banana bread. Pure and unadulterated love. I’ve made it multiple times with variations (recipes). It’s so easy to make and absolutely delicious. Legend has it that my banana hating friend also loved a slice of the good stuff. I rarely bake it the same way more than once. Mostly because there’s no limit to how you can alter the banana bread and give it a makeover every time. This time around I swirled some dulce de leche into the batter, didn’t use brown sugar, reduced the flour and omitted nuts. As always, it turned out great. It was more cake like than bread or muffin like in texture. I’m not complaining, though. The dulce de leche was the result of using them in my dulce de leche brownies. Leftovers are being used in various recipes and it’s pretty damn good.
Sounds really fancy, doesn’t it? It’s just brownies with thick luscious caramel swirled into it and drizzled on top. Dulce de leche is basically caramel made from condensed milk. Traditionally, condensed milk is cooked slowly till it becomes thick and brown in colour. It usually takes 8 hours to do this. Who has that kind of time today? Anyway, there’s a hack I learned years ago. Just pressure cook the can of condensed milk for 30-45 mins and ta-da! That’s about it. You can use this to make so many things. I just used a couple of table spoons of the stuff for these brownies. I’m going to be using the rest in a few other recipes, so watch this space in the coming days.
I did tweak the brownie recipe, too. I wanted a more gooey brownie. So gooey, it sticks to your fingers and the roof of your mouth. This recipe has chocolate as well as cocoa mixed with some coffee. You can omit the extras and stick to the basics.
Coconut cake was always on my to-do list and now I can strike it off and eat a slice. For this recipe you’ll need desiccated coconut. Although, next time around I’m going to mix it up and add a little freshly grated coconut too. This one sure belongs to the pound cake family and fits in great with the rest of them. It’s incredibly moist and will perfectly well with a cup of tea or coffee. For a loaf as big as this it doesn’t need too much butter either. Just half a cup. I found Nisa Homey’s recipe and altered it just a little.