I have limited experience with cakes. Vanilla? Doable. Date/khajur cake? I can ace at. Ragi and chocolate cake? Cheat day indulgence.
But a normal, basic chocolate cake? … Hellooo, there, anxiety!
It was my cousin’s birthday and I just knew I had to bake a cake that was none of the 3 aforementioned doables. So, that day at gym, I finish my workout, wait for sis to be done with hers and sit down in a corner glued to YouTube. I watched a few videos, gained a couple of ideas, methods, all of which were alien to me. Then, on our way back home we collected all the required ingredients. I make some breakfast, sit down with some chai, and try not to freak out.
I had 3 hours and a stomache full of anxiety to work with. I could do this, right? Right? RIGHT?!
Well, quite miraculously, I… did.
And the result of the experiment blew everyone’s cake stuffed minds. Even mine own.
Here’s how I went about it.
For the cake:
- 1 cup all purpose flour (maida)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/5 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons melted butter or cooking oil
- 1/2 cup sugar, powdered
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
For the ganache and topping:
- 1/2 cup chocolate
- 2-3 tablespoons milk or cream
- 10 Oreo cookies (I used two small packs of 5 cookies each)
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt. Keep it aside.
- In a larger bowl, chuck in all the wet ingredients and stir till everything’s well incorporated and the powdered sugar has dissolved.
- Add a third of the flour mix to the wet and fold the batter. Add another third, combine. And the last third. Make sure there are no lumps.
- Preheat oven to 200ºC and prepare your baking tray. I oil mine then sprinkle some flour and tap it around and remove the excess.
- Prepare a water bath for the cake to bake in. You can skip this, but baking in a water bath makes the cake extremely moist. I used a 7″x7″inch square for the water bath. BASICALLY, you pour your batter to your baking pan (I used a rectangular 3″x5″ pan) then place it in a bigger pan and pour hot water in the larger pan up till the water level is 2 inches high. Then you bake it. That’s all!
- Bake it for 30-35 minutes or till the top has cracked and an inserted pin comes out clean.
Ganache and topping prep:
- Microwave the chocolate and milk/cream on reheat mode for 10 seconds. OR put them in a bowl and put that bowl in a larger bowl of hot water. Leave it for a minute or two.
- Once everything has softened up, stir till it’s nice and thick.
- Refrigerate for 15 minutes, take it out, stir. Then refrigerate for another 15 minutes and stir. This way, it cools down evenly and you need a ganache that’s thick enough to be spooned out without it running down in drips and runny enough to hold on to the cake.
- Chop the Oreo cookies with a knife. Please, don’t break them with your hand. I tried with a couple of cookies and it gets messy because of the cream filling. Knife makes it neater.
[I couldn’t refrigerate it for long enough and you can see in the picture that it dripped down a bit.]
- Carefully slice the cake horizontally. and in equal halves.
- Pour almost half of the ganache on the bottom half and spread it. Sprinkle half of the chopped oreos.
- Take the top half, and on the side that’s been cut and smeared just a spoonful or two of ganache, so, it sticks to the oreo and stays put when you place it on top.
- Place the top half on the bottom. Pour the remaining ganache. Spread it a bit but let the natural drips take place. Add the oreos.
- And most importantly, avoid having it all right away, because trust me on this, it’s very hard to resist!
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