Saturday, March 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Darling

What kind of cake do you bake for the love of your life when he says that he wants brownies for his birthday cake? Well, you could just make brownies but these don't usually come out of the pan and sit nicely atop a vintage cake stand. So you could amaze him with this simple recipe instead.

I found this version from Chocolate & Zucchini, who found it from someone else, and I thought it was helpful to read through the comments people left. Some of them encountered random problems when making this cake, but it came out perfectly for me. I think the trick is to use a gas oven and parchment paper, and to let it cool before attempting any flips.

All you need is:
  • 200 g butter, cubed (high-quality is suggested, I used stuff from the grocery store)
  • 200 g dark chocolate (at least 60%), roughly chopped
  • 200 g sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 rounded Tbsp all-purpose flour
Butter an 8 inch pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and butter the paper too. Melt the butter and chocolate together (I used a make-shift double-boiler but the microwave works well too, as long as you stop and stir frequently). Pour mixture into a different bowl and stir in sugar (the sugar should not melt - it will be gritty), allow to cool about 10 minutes. Using a spatula or wooden spoon gently mix in eggs one by one, being sure to incorporate each one fully before adding the next. Finally, stir in the flour until shiny and properly mixed (the batter thickens). Pour into prepared pan and bake at 180C (350F) for 30 minutes. Turn off the oven but leave the cake in for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely (the cake will sink a little) before inverting (remove parchment), and then reverting onto its final resting place.

This cake is better after it has rested for a day so make ahead of party time! I left it in the refrigerator overnight in the pan. Then I let it sit out on the counter for an hour before flipping it out (I placed a tinfoil-covered cutting board on top of the pan to flip, then put the cake stand on top of the cake and flipped again).

Now this isn't going to look like something from Martha Stewart. It's simple and modest, and best dressed with a dollop of homemade whipped cream. I made two flavors for variety - vanilla and Tia Maria (coffee liquor).

Vanilla Whipped Cream
  • 250 g. heavy cream
  • 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 2 T. powdered sugar
Using a hand-mixer, blend vanilla and cream, and add in sugar. Continue to blend on medium high speed for 3-5 minutes, until it reaches whipped cream consistency!

Tia Maria Whipped Cream
(you can also use Kahlua or any other coffee flavored liquor)
  • 250 g. heavy cream
  • 4 T. Tia Maria
  • 1 T. powdered sugar, if you prefer
Using a hand-mixer, blend booze and cream, and add in sugar. Continue to blend on medium high speed for 3-5 minutes, until it reaches whipped cream consistency!

If you're making this as a birthday cake, don't forget the super candle. Feliz Cumple!


Katie said...

Dear God, it's a brownie if I didn't already love brownies as it is! That looks so yummy. The Tia Maria whipped cream sounds awesome too.

I laughed when I read "don't forget the super candle." What's with those anyway? lol

meag said...

I don't know, but stand back. I have a feeling these are illegal in the states. But totally cool.

Julia said...

mmm i like to call it almost flourless chocolate cake. i've made it in cupcake tins, just as delicious. since i don't like whipped cream, i like to top with powdered sugar or honey and walnuts. happy birthday to guille!

Katie said...

Hey Meag,

I was poking around the Internet and I found this vegetarian food blog I thought you might like. Check it out:

meag said...

Thanks Katie! Added to the blog roll. :)