Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Swiss Chocolate Cream Cake

Recipe No: 300
On May 10th 2012 ‘A Tasty Challenge’ celebrated its 2nd birthday. I have a great satisfaction when I think of the very first post I published two years back. I thank all my friends and family who supported me in this venture….
This is also the 300th recipe I am posting, (Including the ones that I left uncounted when I did the 262 recipe challenge) and to make the occasion special I made this Swiss Chocolate Cream Cake. Even though the steps in making this Cake are simple, it takes a bit of time to reach the point where you can eat the Cake. But once you taste it you will feel like you are paid for your patience.
Ingredients                                        Serves 14-16
To make the Sponge Cake (You can use Sponge Fingers/ Lady fingers instead)
  • Eggs………………........3
  • Sugar………………......1/2 Cup
  • Vanilla Essence……..1/2 Teaspoon
  • All Purpose Flour…..2/3 Cup (Maida)
  • Corn Starch/ Flour…2 Tablespoons
  • Salt………………….…...a pinch
  • Baking Powder….…..1/3 Teaspoon
  • Baking Soda……….…1/4 Teaspoon
  • Butter…………………..2 Tablespoons
  • Milk………………….….3 Tablespoons
To make the Chocolate Cream
  • Chocolate Chips…............2/3 Cup (I used Semisweet Chocolate;100 grams/ 4 oz)
  • Instant Coffee Powder….1/4 Teaspoon
  • Milk…………………………...1/3 Cup
  • Butter………………………...6 Tablespoons (1/3 Cup)
  • Powdered/Icing Sugar...3/4 Cup
  • Egg Yolk………………….....1
  • Vanilla Essence…………...1/4 Teaspoon
To make the Whipped Cream
  • Heavy Cream……………….1 ¼ Cup
  • Powdered/ Icing Sugar…1/4 Cup
  • Vanilla Essence…………....1/4 Teaspoon
For Decoration
  • Sweetened Whipped Cream 
  • Chopped Nuts or Grated Chocolate
Method of Preparation
To make the Cake
  1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and grease it. Alternately apply a thin layer of Butter and dust it with Flour.
  2. Sift together All Purpose Flour, Corn Starch/ Corn Flour, Salt, Baking Powder and Baking Soda. Keep it aside till ready to be used.
  3. Preheat the oven to 320˚F/ 160˚C.
  4. Beat together Eggs and Sugar till it is tripled in volume and attains a pale yellow color. (Please refer the picture to see the volume attained.) I did it in a stand mixer. But if you are using a hand mixer or an Egg Beater, please do this step on a double boiler as it makes the whipping easy (This is mentioned in the 'Notes' section for Jam Roll). Add the Vanilla Essence in between.
  5. Heat Milk with Butter till it starts to simmer along the edges (I heated it in the microwave for 20 seconds.) and pour it into the Egg mixture while the beater is still on. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Sift the Flour mixture once more on to the top of the whipped Egg mixture and fold/ mix very gently to combine. Do this process with utmost care as we don’t want to destroy the volume attained; but everything should be combined well. It is better to do this with a spatula.
  7. Pour this mixer into the greased baking tray and bake in a preheated oven for 20-23 minutes.
  8. Once the Cake is spongy and an inserted tooth pick comes out clean, remove it from the oven; tap it twice on the counter; keep the pan upside down on a cooling rack and leave it there to cool.
  9. Once cooled, cut this horizontally into three equal parts and keep it aside till ready to be used.
  • Corn Flour/ Corn Starch is different from Corn Meal and you cannot substitute Corn Flour with Corn Meal.
  • When the Egg reaches its full volume it should be homogenous. The non aerated fluid like portion, if present in the bottom, will make the Cake hard.
  • Tapping the baked Cake on the counter and leaving it upside down to cool can help the cake from falling.
  • Don’t open the oven until the last few minutes of baking or the Cake might fall (sink in the middle).
  • You can avoid the whole step of making this sponge Cake and use Lady Finger Cake/ Sponge fingers instead. (I just want to make sure that my readers can make this even if the Lady/ Sponge Fingers are not readily available in their place.)
  • This Sponge cake recipe can be used for most of the pastries.
To make the Chocolate Cream
  1. Melt the Chocolate Chips and Instant Coffee granules along with half of the Milk in a double boiler (the bowl containing the Chocolate Chips placed in a pan with simmering Water without its bottom touching the Water). When the Chips are melted, remove it from the double boiler and mix in the remaining Milk. Keep it aside till ready to be used.
  2. In the same double boiler, place a bowl with the Egg Yolk and a tablespoon of Water; keep on beating with a whisk until the Yolk is frothy and hot to touch. (Place a finger in the Yolk mixture and make sure it is nicely warm but not too hot; please refer the picture to see  before and after.) Keep on stirring during this process or it will form lumps from the cooked Egg Yolk. Let this cool down a bit.
  3. Cream/ mix together Butter, Powdered Sugar and Vanilla Essence until smooth.
  4. Add the Egg Yolk mixture and the Chocolate mixture to the creamed Butter. Combine this mixture for 4-5 minutes on medium speed or until it is really smooth, creamy, thick and lighter in color. Keep this aside till you are ready to assemble the cake.
  • Let the Chocolate and the Egg mixture cool down before adding into the Butter mixture or the heat will start to melt the Butter making it soupy.
To Make Whipped Cream
  1. Whip together Cream, Sugar and Vanilla Essence till the Cream is stiff. (Meaning the Cream should hold the peak when you take the beater out.)
  • It is good to use Icing/ Confectioner’s Sugar while whipping the Cream, as the Corn Starch present in the Icing Sugar can slightly stabilize (hold the shape) the Cream.
To Assemble the Cake
  1. Line a loaf pan (same one we made the Cake in) with Parchment paper in such a way that there is excess paper on both sides for easy lifting. (Don’t grease the paper now.)
  2. Pour 1/3rd of the Chocolate mixture on the bottom of the tin and cover with a layer of sponge Cake/ fingers and then 1/3rd of the Sweetened Whipped Cream.
  3. Repeat layering in the same order ending with Whipped Cream. Chill this thoroughly for at least 8 hours. (Overnight is the best.)
  4. Turn the Cake upside down on a nice plate; peel off the parchment paper, cover with Sweetened Whipped Cream; decorate as you wish (with Chopped Nuts, Chocolate curls, Chocolate rectangles, Chocolate Wafer cookies or Chocolate Cylinder Cookies) and serve cold.
  • Chilling the Cake is important here, as it will give time for the moisture from the Chocolate filling and the Whipped Cream to sweep into the Cake, making it soft and moist. (I prefer to chill it overnight; finish decorating and Chill again for another 8 hours. The waiting period is the hardest in making this Cake, but it is totally worthy…)
To make the Decorations
  1. It is up to you to decide what to decorate the Cake with. Here are some of the suggestions…
  •  Sweetened Whipped Cream (Make it the same way we made Whipped Cream for layering) to cover the Cake with.
  • Chocolate Curls. To make it, melt Semisweet Chocolate Chips until smooth and spread thinly (If it is thick it won't form curls) on the back of a parchment paper lined (use a tape to fix the paper) cookie sheet. Chill it for a few minutes (like 4-5 minutes) and scrape off the Chocolate curls with a knife as shown in the picture.
  • Marbled Chocolate pieces. Spread the (spread it thicker than Chocolate curls) melted White and Semisweet Chocolate on the back of a parchment paper lined (use a tape to fix the paper) cookie sheet so that it makes a marbled design; (please refer the picture) chill it for 1 minute (not more); make cutting marks on the Chocolate with a knife (Make the cuts while the Chocolate is still soft) and let it cool completely in the fridge for at least an hour. Take it out and separate the pieces. (If you try to cut the pieces after the Chocolate solidifies, the Chocolate will break off easily; so make the marks before cooling the chocolate.)

Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and
serve it to your family with love…


Julie said...

Lot of effort put in assembling,hats off to your patience & hard work..Fabulous cake!!
Congrats on your 300th post,keep up the good work as always..Congrats again on your blog's birthday too!!Join me(Erivum Puliyum)
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Tina said...

Wow..Beautiful..Cake looks perfect and tempting.

Rajeswari said...

when talent exposed n those talents when loved n praised by others we get a satisfaction...........hope u feel that immensely...u r an excellent cook...keep going my warm wishes to yur tasty challenge. hows leah mollu....any paintings? any recipe of hers? post them n show her our comments would encourage her..............

Lavanya said...

looks great :)

Shabbu said...

yummy and perfect cake,...
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Priya Suresh said...

Happy birthday to ur blog baby, cake looks simply gorgeous, can see your efforts,well done.

sojo said...

Asha, awesome as always.. Iam more proud of ur blog than mine,really... any recipe someone asks me, I give ur url.. (sathyam) Happy Birthday to u and ur lovely lovely blog(belated tho) loved the cake....

Sayantani Mahapatra Mudi said...

love this pretty cake. looks decadent,

Faseela said...

awesome cake dear.....great effort n patience brought a fantastic outcome......superb

Spice up the Curry said...

this cake is looking so beautiful. love this

Unknown said...

yummy cake dear.. glad to follow you.. do visit mine when u are free..

Unknown said...

Yummy n beautiful cake.

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Mouth watering cake .. Great Asha:)

Ramesh Krishnamoorthy said...

262 recipes in 365 days!!.

I want to taste all these 262 recipes in 100 days :)

Good work...Looking forward to see more...

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am amazed at the number of cakes u have got here. All gorgeous. Gald to have visited ur space. :-)

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Osm cake dear...

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Absolutely stunning cake!!!

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Unknown said...

can someone pls tel me wher to get whipped cream from?

Asha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Asha said...

Noora, You can buy heavy whipping cream and whip it yourself. Whipping Cream is available in most of the grocery stores in the fresh milk aisle if you are in US or Europe (In that case already whipped Cream is also available.) If you are in India you can get Fresh Cream from Amul in most of the moderate to big grocery stores...and you can whip it. Well in India Whipping Cream powder is also available to which you can add cold milk and whip. Hope this helps you...

Unknown said...

thanks a lot asha..:) wil definitely try it...

Unknown said...

Hii delicious food guide!! Thanks for putting this, I think it will help me out in future.

Unknown said...

Hi, I'm new to your site & just started learning to cook. Your recipes r amazing &
Inspires me a lot. Thanks for sharing all your recipes.
I've a doubt, do you bake all the cakes in convection microwave?

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I and my friends are regulars at your blog and we love trying out your recipes, however this is the first time I'm posting a comment here.. Yesterday I baked this cake for our wedding anniversary celebrations and everyone loved it, and even asked for seconds.. so thanks a bunch for your wonderful blog and recipes. and why have you stopped blogging? we all miss your lovely recipes, so please do continue!

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