So many wonderful moments in life = So many opportunities to eat cake.
And I'm glad ..really glad to have three opportunities to eat this awesome cake here.
First, my friend's sister is getting engaged next week and of course, we had to have cake at our Ladies Sangeet party for her! And she loves chocolate too..so I picked this just for her. Wishing you Sumi and your darling a Very Sweet and Happy Life together! God Bless the both of you and may you have many many opportunities to eat more cake together!
And then, I also promised our Madhuri of Cook Curry Nook that I'd send along something chocolatey to her 'The Chocolate Fest' event over at her blog. Maddy - first I thought, I'll bake cookies..they were too thin. Then I thought maybe brownies, there were too small. Then I thought just cake..that wasn't enough oomph. So, here you go - many many layers of chocolate cake and chocolatey goodness...all coming your way. Now, I just wish both of us could sit together and dig into this..maybe while getting a pedicure! LOL! So, here it is gal pal..for your special event! Hope its chocolatey enough for you.
And also - well, technically I ate the cake before the opportunity ever arised..but no one's checking. So, here's another reason for a sweet blog post today. The blog's Facebook fan page just got liked by its 400th fan! It is truly a joy for me and at the same time very humbling. Thank you to each and every one of you that ever stopped by here to look at pictures, read my lectures or leave me a kind comment. You all have touched my life in a wonderful way and I'm very grateful to you for that. Thank you.
Moving on to the trifle, this is a black forest trifle. Its basically all we do in a black forest cake - but done in layers in a pretty trifle bowl. The best thing is that you get to customize how pretty it could look - how many layers you need etc. Well, that's probably not the best thing....but its really getting to eat this after its done. But, you get my drift.
If you want a short cut method to make this but still make a grand entrance at your party - go ahead and use a cake mix. Or if you're like me..and would rather spend your saturday morning baking..do what I did. Bake a cake from scratch - the smell and the effort is just therapeutic. You'll find all the stress from the last 5 days of your working week just melt away in the smell of chocolate cake baking in the oven.
The cake I chose to bake for the trifle came from the Eagle Brand Condensed milk website, their Black forest Chocolate Cake. I tweaked it a little bit. And used fat free condensed milk to bake the cake. All the goodness of condensed milk minus a few calories my body would not miss.
Here's a pictorial mis en place. The recipe uses shortening which I swapped with regular unsalted butter - I was going to say substituted - but that word feels like you have to use for it for something that is not as rich. And since that was not the case - I just swapped.
Before you start the cake, get some chocolate pudding done. You could entirely skip this - but it does taste good so if you can, just add it in there.
I used good ol' Jello instant pudding. 3 cups of cold milk + Jello powder. Whisk well for 3 mins and let it sit. The pudding is set in about 6-8 mins. But, I just let it sit in the fridge until needed.
My little one was almost ready to start the party with just this!
Now for the cake part.
Sieve together all the dry ingredients and set aside.
13/4 cup All purpose flour - I used the Softasilk cake flour.
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsps baking powder
2 tsps baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
In a mixing bowl, add the wet ingredients -
2 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
1 can fat-free condensed milk.
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
Whisk together in medium speed and when most of it looks combined well, add 1 tsp of vanilla extract.
Gently add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and keep mixing in low speed.
When all the flour mix is combined well, add 1/4 cup of hot water to the batter.
Remove the mixing bowl from the base if using an electric mixer. Add 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips to the cake batter. Stir in with the batter.
I used a 11-inch spring foam pan. You could use 2 8-inch pans for two individual cakes.
Butter and grease the pan well before adding the batter in. Bake in a pre heated oven at 350F for about 35-40 mins or until the cake passes the toothpick test.
This one here just passed the test.
With flying colors!
Once the cake has completely cooled down, using a serrated knife, cut the cake into two halves. Cut further and make small pieces out of each halves. Try to keep the curved edges, so its easier to fit into the trifle bowl.
Here's the cherry filling - just regular cherry pie filling.
And the pudding.
Start the base with a layer of the chocolate cake. Make sure you press it down so that its an even layer and there are no empty spaces in between. Once the cake layer is done, take little of the pudding and spread it around evenly. Make about a 1/4 inch layer of the pudding .
Here's the trick to a good looking trifle - as you keep adding layers, wipe down the sides so that the next layer sits on a clean rim. Especially because there's going to be white whipped cream involved, you don't want the white to be a little red or a little brown. You want it white, right? That's why this step helps. Just use a small bit of paper towel to wipe down.
Next layer would be the cherries. Dump a generous amount of cherries in the middle.
Then, gently with the spatula, arrange the cherries in a neat order along the walls of the bowl - so when you view from the outside you see a line of cherries. Pretty, right?
Here comes the extra kick. Chocolate shavings - of plain old hersheys! Just use a peeler - works great!
Fill up a little in the middle.
And then cover with a layer of whipped cream. I used Lite Cool Whip, the low fat version. Smoothen the layer and wipe down the sides again as before.
Followed by one other layer of chocolate cake.
And more cherries. This time I gave a double wall of cherries on the side. Just for more prettiness.
And since a double wall of cherries creates a perfect pit - dump in more chocolate cake in there.
Finally cover with whipped cream and smoothen it completely.
Top with more chocolate curls and garnish with pretty maraschino cherries.
Like this. Like it?
Well. Look once more.
Looks pretty on the other side too.
One trifle. Many reasons to enjoy it. Or sometime just no reason at all. Isn't this reason enough?
Enjoy. Peace Out.