Aging perks /-/ Giant Chocolate freckle cake


The questions that buzz around my brain are complex but always have good intentions behind them; you could say my blog is my vent for these things. So if you want to skip this tiny thought process, go ahead but for you who would like a bit of night time reading. Proceed.

 

 Not many people would see getting older as something to be proud of or even look forward to. The advancement in age, especially if you are woman, means becoming invisible to the world. Declining in health is inevitable no matter how much you prepare for it; you can try to but it won't work. Society is counting the days to your death where most will be cremated to save space and place in a little jar just like any other ordinary display item. Yes death is an uncomfortable topic. 

I admit getting older did scare me as I think about stuff like this.

 Did I make use of the many decades? 
Could of done something in or improve what I did in those decades? 
I am planning a future for myself that will allow me to fulfill my “full Potential”? 
Did I pass all the mile stones in life that I should of have passed?” 




 
However what comes with age also comes freedom, wisdom and in my case spontaneity. My fear of getting older (well past the 50 stage) has reduced with age. Getting closer to that number has relaxed me.


I guess I take on a Utilitarian perspective whenever I make a decisions in life. Even though I am still quite young (21 if you call that young), I have never had an impulsive streak. Yep, I have never done anything spontaneous or “stupid” in the moment things. Everything in my life has had SOME though placed behind it even if it as simple as buying groceries from the supermarket. 




Now you can understand when I finally have done something I never thought I would do. Once I finished University I expected to go out in to the world, become a health professional and help others. I actually wanted to become an occupational therapist; the idea of helping someone to live a better life by planning makes me happy but unfulfilled. This means the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people. Nope not doing that anymore!

For once in my life I am being incredibly selfish, spontaneous even, and taking time to get my skills in commercial patisserie up to industry standards so in hope one day I can fulfill my individual dream of working as one. This is huge change for me as I have been very book smart for many years, also other than my dad; skill based learning has never been a bit part of childhood. The spontaneous risks of taking up a trade used to make me comfortable as I felt it would not benefit enough people if I did baking as a job. Really this was naïve thinking. 




I discovered during a day of random thought processing, baking well-made baked good and giving them to people can make them incredibly happy. While it might not be the same benefits as the medical field, it is more about the emotional connections you can tap into when you bake a cake that is just right or recreate their family favorite that has been lost for many years. Chefs always talk about food memories right? So Why can I not help others to reclaim theirs in my job? 



Getting old is not always bad as you can see. Other thing about getting old is that you have permission to have nostalgic. I might have forgotten about this candy but it is in every Australian’s childhood at least once. 


For Australia day last month I did this cake inspired by the Aussie favorite of the chocolate freckle. For you guys in the northern hemisphere; it is basically a hard plastic looking piece of chocolate covered in sprinkles. Yes it is not the tastiest candy in the world but it was something I look forward to getting in the lolly bag mix. If I eat one now; it is really plain. Seriously sometimes I think I would have better memories of this candy if I left it to my childhood taste buds but back then it was the sweetest and pretties chocolate I have ever seen. 



 

I have been craving chocolate cake lately and on that day I was feeling particularly childish. The base of this 7 layered tower is a chocolate cola cake. This was the first time I have ever come across of such a recipe but for you Americans it is very traditional. Curiosity got the best of me and Duh! I had to make it. Not only for its novelty value but the flavors of coke (lime, cinnamon, star anise and bitters) would make for an instant indulgent paring with chocolate. Also the carbonation in the drink helps to keep is crumb soft and light but without being dry. BIG thumbs up for Australia right now; because this a winner of chocolate cake and I would have no problem with using this again. So thank you! 


 

This cake is covered in a layer of German butter cream. If you have not heard of it; really make some for yourself and you experience a butter cream of unparalleled smoothness and addictiveness. Flavoured with chocolate malted milk (milo), this cake combines all the child hood treats in a cake that is also as “arty” as Andy Warhol. Can you see the big chocolate circles on the top? Yep they are all made by me in a graded pattern (so the big one at the top then trailing down to the little one). 


 

I used 15cm pans for this cake but feel free to use bigger ones if you want. You will just need more cake batter (no problems here with a batter this edible). For the snap of the chocolate you will need to temper it but really it is not necessary; I tempered here but that is because I wanted to eat big circles of sprinkles (happy baker with snappy chocolate). No one is ever too old for chocolate cake especially this one! 




Giant chocolate freckle cake 

Makes 4 x15 cm pans (double recipe) 
Sourced directly from Food republic, originally from Annie Bell's Baking Bible

240ml Coca-Cola
255g unsalted butter, diced
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
280 self-rising flour, sifted
30g cocoa powder, sifted
300g superfine sugar
2 large eggs
120ml buttermilk 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium sauce pan on low, bring the coke to a boil with the butter. One melted together stir in the baking soda, which will fizz, and set aside for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to180C. Grease and line your cake tins.

Combine the flour, cocoa and sugar in a large bowl, add the cola mixture and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the buttermilk and vanilla. Pour in the flour mixture and beat everything to combine.

Pour the mixture to the prepared pan and tap to even the. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until risen and set and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Run a knife around the inner and outer edges of the pan and set aside to cool for about 30 minutes. Place a cake stand or plate on top of the pan and invert it, and leave to cool completely.

German milo butter cream
Recipe adapted from Bravetart


230ml whole milk  

35g milo powder
1 vanilla bean pods, split and scraped, seeds reserved for another use
100g sugar
20 custard powder
1.5 whole eggs
400g unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste

In a medium pot, bring the milk to a simmer along with the vanilla bean pods. Turn off the heat and set aside to steep for at least one hour. Dissolve milo in the sauce pan while still warm.

Strain the milk mixture into another bowl but reserves the vanilla pods. Scrap out the vnilla pods and set the goo aside.. Return the milk to a simmer. Whisk together the sugar, reserved vanilla bean scrapings, custard powder and eggs medium bowl.

Temper the milk in the egg mixture by pouring a steady thin stream of hot milk into the egg mix while whisking. Return the tempered egg/milk mixture back into the pot.Turn the heat to medium and whisk until the mixture begins to thicken and bubble sluggishly. From that point, continue whisking and cooking for a full minute more; use a timer or you run the risk of not fully cooking out the cornstarch. When the minute is up, pour the custard into a large mixing bowl.

In a stand mixer, beat it with the mixer paddle until room temp. This will take a while like 25 minutes. Beat it till it is creamy and stable.

Cut you butter into a small dice. Proceeded to add in the butter, one tablespoon at a time. Add the salt and continue to whip until the mixture is creamy and homogenous.

Use immediately or refrigerate until needed. When ready to use, whip until creamy before proceeding.


Assemby

2 recipes of the cola cake 

1 recipe of the butter cream 
400g dark chocolate 
~200g sprinkles 
Baking tray 
Baking paper


For the tempered giant freckles melt your 1/3 chocolate till it reaches 47C. After dump in the remaining 2/3 and continue string for half an hour until it gets to 26C. Bring it back up to 30C to working stages.

After spread well the chocolate on a baking sheet; before it sets sprinkles the sprinkles on the chocolate. Allow to set. Once set cut out circles in any size. Save remaining scrapes of chocolate for the sides of the cake.

Place your cake on your cake broad. Trim and cut off the domes of the cakes; then divide in half. Fill and crumb ice each cake with German butter cream. Set in fridge for 1 hour. Once cool, press in your chocolate sprinkle circles in a graded order and cover the sides with left over chocolate sprinkle scrapes. Set in the fridge for 2 hours then serve.

25 comments:

  1. Seriously I cannot stop looking at this cake and thinking, "Wow, gorgeous." I know what you mean about thinking about the process of aging -- it can be daunting to think about the woulda/shoulda/couldas. But I think you've got some great goals in mind, and just from the look of this cake alone, you're well on your way to success. :)

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    1. Thank you for your faith in me. It is so lovely to hear feedback about the designs; it really helps me not doubt myself. You are too kind and as always a big inspiration for me and blog.
      Cheers Steph!

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  2. This cake is beautiful! I just love the layers upon layers upon layers. The chocolate reminds me of the chocolate birthday cakes my mom would make for me for my birthdays growing up. Sprinkle perfection!

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    1. Yep the sprinkles and chocolate are the best part about this cake; I really hope you give it go! The layers are not that hard because the cake is really steady.

      Thanks love for commenting

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  3. I am officially obsessed with your blog - your cakes are so deliciously beautiful! How long does it take you to make each one? Keep it up!

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    1. Not that long actually. I do it in stages to make life easier; so it might take me two days to do this cake. An obsessed fan? I am blushing Shikha; I hope I can keep up with the expections!

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  4. Replies
    1. Thank you love it is always nice to see you comment. I hope you loved this cake

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  5. Such a great post. Really great to hear someone going through the same thing - can I justify dedicating my life to baking?... Or do I go to Uni (two years late at 20) and do what is sensible?

    As someone once said, sometimes all you need to hear is "Yeah, me too."

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    1. I hope you an take something form this post Beanie to follow your own dreams too. I l know we can do with another keen baker in the world.

      Thanks Beanie

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  6. Beautiful post. This cake looks amazing!

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    1. Thanks you Cheri, you words are very reassuring for me. I hope you can give this ago one day.

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  7. Doing what you love is the most important thing! How exciting patisserie sounds like the perfect thing to pursue :) And judging by this cake you will be amazing at it! I can't wait for a birthday party as an excuse to try this cake :)

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    1. Thanks Lilli. I am really enjoying it. The learning experience is so refreshing

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  8. I'm totally speechless here, Belinda! How do I describe this cake besides gorgeous, amazing, beautiful and all those words... I don't think I have enough English vocabulary to express how amazing this cake is!!!!! It took my breath away. Completely.

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  9. Hello my dear! I would just like to say that I stumbled on your blog (reading food blogs is a guilty pleasure of mine - and I loove yours already). I love this entry, it really spoke to me. I just graduated college in May and even though I got a wonderful job in my field of study working in a highly regarded museum (we currently have an Andy Warhol exhibit here so I loved your Warhol reference!) I am feeling so unfulfilled. I'm feeling old at 22 and that's not how it should be. I love that you are going to pursue your dreams and passions!! I sincerely wish you all the best! We only get one life to live and think the only regrets we will have will be those missed opportunities and not driving into something we are passionate about and taking a leap of faith. I would loove to open a bakery - or a cafe serving all my favorite food :)

    Your cake is absolutely unbelievable - the photography is beautiful as well.

    I truly wish you all best!!

    Jessica

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    1. You long comment not only made me so proud of this blog but I can see that going in this direction is not as risky as I first thought. Thank you for commenting jessica because you have given that little more confidence to follow my dreams. I hope you do that same too.

      Thank you jessica for all your kind words

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  10. lols you're a faker!
    DOYOUEVENBAKEBRO!?

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    1. Keep it to ypurself! I'm sure you use the microwave 24/7!! LOL!!

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  11. My dog could pipe better then you

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    1. DOGS DON'T PIPE FROSTING GO TO SCHOOL!!!!!!!11111

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  12. Just double checking is the recipe as written enough for the 4x15cm pans or did It need to be doubled for the 4x15? Not that leftover cake is a bad thing:)

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    1. You will need to double the recipe. You might get a bit more but bake them into cupcakes!

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    2. Cheers, Is it 20 grams of custard powder in the butter cream?

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