I thought that chocolate would be a safe bet as it's pretty much liked by everyone, and cos we're heading out for dinner before going for drinks, anything mousse-y or melt-y is outta the question. I was searching for a good chocolate cake recipe, when I noticed a pattern. A lot of the websites seem to have variations of a similar Hershey's recipe that called for using a cup of hot coffee in the batter. The online community sings praises that the cake was moist, and best tasting and other great comments. Intrigued, I decide to settle on it, and I got my recipe from here.
As there was only a small group of us, I didn't want to make such a big cake, so I settled on using a square cake tin that was slightly bigger than what I had in mind, so I can cut out a smaller square after. The batter seemed a little runny, but all was good when the final cake emerged from the oven.
After waiting for it to cool down, I used a square cake board to gauge, and sliced up a smaller square cake. The cake scraps were enough to make a super mini rectangular cake, and I just dumped whatever cake bits and pieces into some glasses for layered dessert cups. I whipped up some chocolate mousse, and sandwiched it between the cake layers, before pouring on a chocolate ganache glaze. As I had predicted, the sides of the main birthday cake were looking a little rough and tumble, and cover ups were needed. So, earlier on, I toasted some hazelnuts and chopped them up, and then stuck them to the sides while the chocolate ganache was still warm.I popped it into the fridge and did the same for the miniature rectangular cake. Then I just tossed whatever I had leftover (cake scraps, mousse, chopped nuts) into the cups. The cups make easy peasy desserts for entertaining as they still look kinda pretty. ;)
70% Lindt; Leftover cups
Oh my god. As many other people had mentioned, I was a little apprehensive that the flavour would be inclined more towards coffee as the whole cup of coffee was added. However, it wasn't the case. The cake was really really good. Moist and flavourful. I imagine if Valhrona cocoa was used, the cake would be even better (I used Hershey's), I'll definitely be making this recipe again with Valhrona cocoa. The mousse was also amazing, but I forgot where I got the recipe from already, so I can't really credit it properly. Together, this made for one really chocolately cake.
I sliced up the mini rectangular cake for photo taking purposes, and there were just three slices. See how tiny they really are! One of my aunts was at my place, and she tried it and asked for the recipe cos she said it was the best chocolate cake she's ever eaten. Wow. The friends tried it that night and seemed to like the cake too, giving it the thumbs up. The next day, another aunt was visiting and she tried another of the mini slices, and also immediately got me to write the recipe for her cos she also liked it tremendously. Ah. This shows that the cake is really good yes? (:
I still have a long way to go to improve my birthday cake decorating skills cos I really suck at it. But compared to the last cake I made hmmm, I think it's slightly less messy? Probably also due to the fact that the previous cake involved chantilly cream (that sadly, weeped) and my cake layers were a little lopsided. Hoho. Must improve!!!