My experience of baking cake goes way back to my school days. I guess that was the first thing i ever cooked(does baking cake counts as cooking??) for so many years & loved it. It use to be basic cup-a-cake, no frosting & i use to do it in the old fashion way with no oven, yes you read it right, No Oven. So what's the secret, "cooker", that's how i learned it from one of my friend's mom and that's how i made it for years before my mom got the oven & even after that. That was then but what about now, I still loves to make cakes but now they are mainly in the form of cup cakes(hello....I've kids & who doesn't like to get the whole cake & sometime two....it's a different kind of satisfaction).
But now with the experience i try my hands on different kinds of cakes mainly eggless & less butter & sometime butterless. Now what's with this cake.... O.k it was my hubby's birthday past week & my daughter was saying can u make a real cake.....means cake with layers & frosting(which i usually don't do). Birthday boy wanted it to be something like he saw on the food network a day before, a "German Chocolate Cake with Nuts" & he really wanted it to be full of nuts. The moment he described his desire for the cake, dear "R" announced if you put nuts in it I'm gonna take them out from my share. Well I myself, was looking more towards "German Black Forest Cake" from past few days. So 3 different tastes to cater but one common thing : "Chocolate".
So the solution, half side of the cake was decorated with the coarsely chopped roasted almonds & rest half with the sprinkles. Icing was basic chocolate icing. I did put some whip cream & a cherry on the top for my satisfaction that it has some touch of Black Forest plus a lot of whip cream on the side.I did do a little bit of cheating from R, while putting the layers together i added chopped almonds to the chocolate filling. While eating she thought that those were chocolate chips...ha...ha...ha..
End Results : One Tasty & good looking Cake + One Happy Family.
Before you read this recipe I have to tell you, this is not how i make my usual cakes, normally i use very very less fat in my cakes but this is after a long long time that i used this much butter but then i really really wanted to make something like this & then it's a four layer cake also.But one good thing it's eggless and c'mon it's not bad to indulge yourself occasionally & believe me this was really really Moist Soft Rich & Tasty Cake. I'm gonna make it again but may be with half the butter & if u want sugar can also be reduced in case if icing is to be done, so u can eat it guilt free.
- All purpose flour : 2 cups
- Unsweetened Cocoa powder : 3/4 cup
- Baking Powder : 1 tsp.
- Baking Soda : 2 tsp.
- Salt : a pinch
- Unsalted Butter : 1/2 cup (1stick) at room temp.
- Buttermilk : 1 cup at room temp.
- Milk(i used 1%) : 3/4 cup at room temp.
- Vanilla Extract : 1 tsp.
- Sugar : 2 cup (can be reduced up to 1& 1/2 cup)
- Roasted almonds(chopped) : 1 cup or more(plain & not salted) (optional)
- Semi-sweet choc. chips : 1/2 cup
- Milk for choc. filling : 3-5 tblsp. (2% or full cream)
1. Sift first 5 ingredients together to make sure that there are no lumps.
2. Take a large mixing bowl & beat the butter in it, add sugar & keep beating. Once the sugar is mixed nicely with the butter it's time to add buttermilk.Now add the milk.While mixing the batter remember to mix it in one direction only.
3. Next add the dry ingredients in batches. At this stage if batter is of little tight consistency add 2 more tblsp. of the milk, mix it well & repeat the process till u get nice cake like batter.Add vanilla mix it nicely.
4. Grease 2 round baking pans with little butter & dust with some all purpose flour. Shake the extra flour off the pans by turning them upside down.Pour the cake batter evenly in both the pans.Bake these at 350 degree oven for roughly 30 minutes (mine were done in around 28 min.). As time & temp. varies from oven to oven so i always give it a check after first 25 minutes & after that go accordingly.
5. Once they are done(do the toothpick check-toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean) let them cool on the shelf for around 20 min. or so. To take them out of the pan run a knife around the sides of the pan to make them slightly loose & then put a plate on top of the pan & while holding it together turn it upside down & very gently shake it. Now let the cakes cool down completely.
6. Time to assemble the cake : first make the chocolate filling, microwave the choc. chips with 3 tblsps. of the milk for 20 sec. stir them again microwave for another 10 sec. stir it. Keep repeating the process till choc. chips are melted. Also you might need to add more milk but 1 tblsp. at a time only. This filling gonna be of smooth & thick consistency(it should coat the back of the spoon ). in case of it getting too liquidy you can always add more choc. chips but that will add to the quantity of filling at the end.So go slow on the milk.
7. Once the chocolate is melted add half of the almonds to it & mix them well so that they are fully coated with the choc.
8. As i wanted to make it 4 layer cake i had each cake cut into two circles so that I've 4 cake rounds. Now take the first cake put it on a flat surface & spread the chocolate almond filling on it, top it with the other cake & repeat the process for all the 3 layers. Top it with the final(4th) layer.
9. Now finally cover the whole cake with the basic choc. frosting. Spread rest of the almonds on the top & you can also put them on to the sides as the icing will hold the almonds, you might have to press them a little bit......messy but a tasty job.
10. Let it set in the fridge for at least 20 min. but only if you could wait that long. In our case we (me & my daughter) did till step 8 in the afternoon & put it back in the cooler box(yeap i mean fridge) and when we were doing final decoration my dear hubby came & we forced him to cut the cake quickly so that we can feast on it.Yummmmmmm.
Note : I will post the Basic Chocolate frosting recipe also in few days.