Ringing in the New Year

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Another year, another January 1st and another “something sweet”. For most of us, new year and cake are synomymous. For me particularly, new year and chocolate are synonymous. Additionally, I have a kind of madness for anything Italian and Indian, in different contexts.

So, when I decided to bake a cake this new year, I was sure I wanted to add something that I absolutely love into the cake. And coffee it was. This particular cake is quite addictive. It takes more than resistance to keep away from it.

It is called Dark-Chocolate-Expresso cake frosted with Strawberry buttercream icing. And as my friend said, “It looks good, but it sounds even better.”

A very rustic cake, even the frosting cannot be perfectly iced, and that’s the beauty and the deliciousness of it.  image    

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So, onto the ingredients:

  1. 180gm all purpose flour
  2. 140gm granulated sugar
  3. 40gm dark cocoa powder
  4. 1 tspn salt
  5. 140ml buttermilk
  6. 75ml vegetable oil
  7. 130ml expresso or strong brewed coffee
  8. 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
  9. 1-1.5 tspns pure vanilla extract

No need to cream the eggs and sugar or add the dry ingredients little by little. No sweat. I just did this.

–          Preheat your oven to 180 C; Butter/Oil/Grease your cake pan and dust it flour/cocoa powder. I used an 8 inch pan. You can use a smaller one, if you’d like.

–          In a large bowl, add in all the dry ingredients. For the pedantic, I’d say, sift in the dry ingredients. I for one can never sift so regularly for every single cake/recipe.

–          In another bowl add in all the wet ones, mix slightly till they combine, and then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones.

–          Mix well, fold well, till everything combines good. This process takes about 1 to 2 minutes.

–          Pour the runny batter into the cake pan and bake for about 50 min, rotating after 20 min.

–          The cake is set flat after it bakes.

–          Remove from the oven, and let it cool completely. I placed this cake in the fridge, after it reached room temp. But you can as well leave it outside for about 3 hrs, till it completely cools down and allows you to work with your frosting.

–          For the frosting what you need are absolutely simple ingredients. Depending on the size of your cake, you may want that much butter and sugar and strawberries.

  1. 100-150 gm unsalted butter at room temp
  2. 200-275 gm castor or confectioner’s sugar
  3. 1 tspn pure vanilla extract
  4. 6-8 strawberries hulled and pureed 80 percent

–          For the frosting, cream the butter with a hand whisk or an electric one. And add the sugar and cream again till the mixture is pale.

–          Now add in the vanilla and the puree and whisk again till everything reaches your favourite color –PINK!!

–          At this point, I leave it to set in the fridge – for about 20 min. But you can work with it immediately if you like.

After the cake has cooled down completely, cut it into half horizontally, with a serrated knife and work with the cut side up. Start frosting the centre, the sides, and everywhere else. After all, its strawberry buttercream frosting!

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