|THE EASIEST CHOCOLATE FROSTING: JUST ADD SOUR CREAM|
I tell myself after Christmas that I am going to give myself some time before I mix up a combination of butter, sugar, eggs and flour again.
And then I go and do it all over again for New Year's Day.
I can't help myself.
It is only a simple chocolate cake with a simple frosting, but that is how I like it. I'm not big on cakes with lots of icing and fancy looking decorations like all those cupcakes that entice with the way they look but taste quite ordinary.
I like toppings that are baked on or into the cake, like streusel and fruit. The topping needs to add value to the cake and not simply be pretty.
There are a few toppings and cake fillings that I use over and over because they taste good and aren't very difficult to make.
I still don't have the perfect cream cheese icing, with just the right amount of sugar, and I never know when exactly to take caramelising sugar off the heat before it burns! Those are two of my quests for 2012.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting
Enough to fill and frost a two-layer 20cm cake
Perfect pairing: Any cake would be so lucky to have this frosting as a partner!
225g plain chocolate
¼ tsp salt
175g sour cream
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Cool slightly, then stir in the salt and sour cream. Use frosting immediately while it is still soft; it will get firmer when refrigerated.
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|Streusel-topped coffee cake|
For a 22cm round cake
Perfect pairing: Coffee cake, fruit crumbles
100g walnuts, finely chopped
50g soft brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
50g unsalted butter, diced
Mix walnuts, sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Add butter and cut into the mixture with a pastry cutter or two butter knives until it forms clumps. Sprinkle on top of cake batter/fruit fillings or between layers before baking.
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Chocolate Coconut Frosting
From Luscious Coconut Desserts by Lori Longbotham
For a 22cm round cake.
Perfect pairing: German chocolate cake
¾ cup evaporated milk
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
2 large egg yolks
Large pinch of salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
1½ cups dessicated or flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk together the evaporated milk, brown sugar, egg yolks, and salt just until smooth in a medium heavy saucepan. Put the saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and cocoa powder, and cook, whisking constantly, for about 5 minutes until the butter has melted and the mixture is slightly thickened; do not let the mixture boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat. With a rubber spatula, stir in the coconut, pecans and vanilla. Let cool to room temperature before spreading on the cake.
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|Speckled: Mille crepe cake with vanilla (seed) pastry cream between the layers|
Vanilla Pastry Cream
Makes about 2½ cups. Use as a filling; not suitable as frosting
Perfect pairing: Use to top a pavlova, or in a trifle, and between the pancakes in a mille crêpe cake.
120g caster sugar, divided
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean (preferable), or ½ tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
70g room temperature egg yolks (about 4)
Combine cream, milk, 60g caster sugar and vanilla seeds or extract in a medium saucepan. Place on the stove and bring to the boil.
Meanwhile, combine cornstarch, the remaining 60g caster sugar and salt in a large bowl and whisk in the egg yolks until smooth, thick and pale yellow.
When the milk/cream mixture starts to boil, pour ¾ of the mixture into the yolk mixture. Whisk lightly until smooth. Then pour it all back into the pot with the remaining cream. Whisk briskly over medium-high heat until thick. Pour into a shallow pan to cool.