Sunday, 5 February 2012

Devil's Food Cake

In most of the books about depression that I've come across, one of the key things to do in order to beat depression is regular exercise.

Ahhh... fuck.

At the beginning of the year, weighing 89.7kg (198lbs) and at a UK size 16-18 for clothes, I was at the heaviest and largest I have ever been in my life. I've managed to lose 2kg (5lbs) in about 5 weeks from just avoiding comfort eating. Not a big loss, but it's a start.

You see, I've always been a fatty. Even when I was at my smallest, a UK size 10-12 and wearing small to medium clothes, weighing 152lbs, I was still a fatty. My butt was too big and my stomach was just... anyway. I don't know if it's a distorted view of myself when I looked in the mirror, but all I saw were the bulges.

Anyway, with the realization that I've gained nearly a whole third of my original body weight, I decided that something had to be done. However, I refuse to give up baking, as it's my current form of therapy. There's just something about the systematic way of doing things, and watching your creation form into something visually, olfactorily and gustatorily pleasing that I find soothing.

So, I need to find the will-power to put my running shoes on and get out there again. I also need to get some discipline to curb the sweet-toothed monster within. Does anyone know where I can easily buy will-power and discipline? I think they forgot to give me even just a shred or sprinkling of either when I was being created.

I thought today's recipe title is so apt for my rant above.

For the cake, you'll be needing:
 180g butter
 1 3/4 cups caster sugar
 3 eggs
 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
 1/2 cup plain flour
 1/2 tsp baking soda
 2/3 cup cocoa
 3 tsp dry instant coffee
 1/2 tsp red food colouring
 1/2 cup water
 1/2 cup milk

Line 2 round cake pans with baking paper. Preheat oven to 175C.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add your eggs in one at a time, making sure it's well blended before adding in the next egg.

In a separate bowl, sift flours, cocoa, baking soda.

In another separate bowl, mix together coffee powder, food colouring, water and milk.

I was having a duh! moment and thought I had a big enough bowl.

Anyway, in two batches, fold in dry ingredients and coloured coffee mixture into your butter mixture. Keep folding until there are no more lumps left. If you see some left no matter how many times you've folded, don't sweat. Because I did, and it didn't matter in the end anyway.

Transfer your cake batter on to the 2 pre-prepared baking pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

For the dark chocolate icing, you'll need:
60g dark chocolate
60g unsalted butter

While the cakes are baking in the oven, place a heat-proof bowl in a pot of boiling water, and melt the unsalted butter and dark chocolate. Once it's all melted, take it off the heat and kept stirring.

Note: to be honest, I wasn't a big fan of the taste. The dark chocolate I got was too bitter and strong. So, I mixed in cream and icing sugar, a little at a time, until I got the taste I wanted. 

Let the chocolate icing cool, but make sure to come back to it from time to time and stir. Don't worry, the mixture will eventually thicken to a spreadable consistency.

Once the cakes are baked and have cooled down, whip some cream in the electric mixer, and spread it on to the top of one of the cakes.

Sandwich the cream with the second cake layer. When your chocolate icing is thick enough, spread it on with a spatula.

She's a bit crumbly, but moist. The cream and icing may look thin but they're just right to compliment the cake.

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