This was just the kind of Sunday I had hoped for in a long long time. Last week, four of us from our gang of girls of eight from college got together for lunch hosted by me. I had begun menu planning a week ahead and snuck in time during lunch hours at office to google recipes for desserts on my phone. Whether I’m making them or simply eating them, I will always have a soft spot for desserts. Eventually I decided to make a simple two- layered chocolate cake with chocolate ganache frosting. Cakes are meant for celebrations and a chocolate cake was apt since it was a bridal shower for two of my friends who would be married in the next couple of months.
The evening before I went ingredient shopping with mum and began making the cake at 9. The non functional oven wasn’t a deterrent, as my sister had once standardized a protocol for making cakes in the pressure cooker (!). We finished the baking process by 12 and I was too excited to sleep to taste the finished cake the next day. The next day mum and me began preparing lunch, and it turned out to be a race against time. By the end of it, we had managed to assemble a delightful Indian meal of sprouted beans salad, spinach-moong dal pakoras, Koftas in tomato-onion gravy, a simple potato sabzi on the side, Yellow Dal Tadka, Peas Pulao, Buttermilk spiked with coriander and curry leaves and an Eggless chocolate cake with chocolate ganache icing.
After a hearty meal and endless gossip we settled comfortably on the sofas only to gossip more. It was time for dessert and though I was bit skeptical at first, the cake turned out to be a winner.
I was happy to be amongst people I can call my own, warm genuine people – my friends and family who have been there for me and I’m sure will always be there for me. A loud cheer to friendship and all that it brings along – warmth, laughter and true happiness !
Eggless Chocolate cake with chocolate ganache icing
Recipe adapted from Divinetaste
For the cake
200 gm (1 1/2 cups) plain flour or maida
50 gm (1/4 cup) good quality cocoa powder 2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda/ sodium bicarbonate
1 tin/400gm sweetened condensed milk
150 g butter melted
2 tsp good quality vanilla essence
150 ml milk
For the sugar syrup.
2 parts sugar and 1part water
For the chocolate ganache icing
200 ml cream (I used Amul cream)
160 g cooking chocolate (I used Morde dark compound)
For the cake
Grease the bottom of two 7” round cake tins with butter or one 9” cake tin. Dust it with flour and tap the tin to remove any excess flour. In a bowl, assemble the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda, mix with a spoon and sieve once to make the mixture uniform. Add in the condensed milk, melted butter, vanilla essence and milk. Beat with an electric hand mixer, whisk or spoon just until the mixture is uniform and smooth and there are no lumps. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for an hour at 150 degree centigrade. For the cooker method, use a cooker which can accomodate a 7” round cake tin. Place a cook top ring at the bottom of the cooker and position the cake tin on it. Close the cooker lid without the pressure and heat it on low flame for 45 minutes- 1 hour. You can easily detect whether the cake is done by the wonderful smell it emanates when its almost done. If you are not sure, just remove the cooker from the flame and check the centre of the cake with a knife or skewer. Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing it in two halves.
For the chocolate ganache
Chop the chocolate in even pieces. Heat the cream and when it starts scalding remove it from the flame and pour it over the chopped chocolate. Wait as the chocolate melts on its own. Begin stirring with a spoon or whisk in small circles till the chocolate has completely melted. Allow it to cool completely.
For the sugar syrup
Heat 1 part water and 2 parts sugar till all the sugar dissolves. You can add a few drops of lemon juice at the end to get a clear syrup.
To assemble the cake
Soak the two cake halves with sugar syrup. Be careful not to make them too soggy. Now cover the top of the lower half of the cake with a generous coat of ganache. Place the upper half of the cake on the lower. Now cover the entire cake with the rest of the ganache. You could use chocolate sprinkles or chocolate curls to decorate the cake. I used a butter knife to make the cloud pattern.