When a few girls get together, anything can happen. Some girls get together, go for a movie and dinner and paint the town red. Some girls get together and start a band and rename themselves with different spice names. Some girls get together and go save the world helping out calamity stuck nations. Some girls get together and solve mysteries and their stories appear in yellow hard covered book with a certain Drew as their lead girl. Some girls get together and just start their own reality show or fashion show or whatever.
But, what happens when a few girls who never met each other, ever, and who live in all different parts of the world meet together? They start talking about the one favorite passion they all share in common. They start sharing everything they have on that passion. And then one of them decides to get these girls in a group and start doing stuff together and share. I’m talking very much about food blogging here since that’s the passion all these girls share, well..so passionately.
One fine day in spring, Madhuri from Cook Curry Nook emailed us about this wonderful new group called Free-Spirit Bloggers. And here is what she came up with -for starts, Free-spirit Bloggers is a closed-group of 8 bloggers. Every month, the FSB group will pick a theme and share eight appropriate tongue-ticking recipes with you by the month-end. Be it dishes/bakes, we’re all going to be sharing different recipes each but we will still be sticking to the central premise of the theme that month. Let me give you examples of the kind of exciting themes you can look forward to in the coming months – We each pick a personal favourite Chef and cook a signature dish of his/her’s. We each share a family heirloom recipe. We each choose a personal vice and create a dish/bake based on it (How about a slow-cooker dish from the lazy-bum? Or an eye-popping chocolate treat from the sinner?!!). You get the drift? It IS different. The themes chosen will just act as a guide and not suffocate those creative juices. It also gives each blogger the flexibility to cook/bake according to their personal choice, style and palette so every month, we churn out a potpourri of veritable recipes for you guys to devour from. Sounds like fun? Each of us is working towards putting our best food forward for you guys every month, and I sure as shooting hope that you will all enjoy these bursts of ‘free-spirit’, blog-readers and bloggers alike. All of us on FSB are thrilled to bits, and we hope that you will encourage and motivate us like you always have. Who knows, if we get a good response from y’all out there, we could even maybe start taking ideas from you guys for our themes…somewhat like recipe requests, with a twist.
And do check out Madhuri's own detailed post on this event including all the members and their impressive profiles.
We had a list of more than a dozen different egg substitutes to pick from and bake our very own chocolate cake. Just the word chocolate had me going here. The rest just falls in place. And so, I picked Ricotta cheese. I also picked Pureed pears but haven’t gotten to making it yet. Once I do, you’ll know about that too.
This recipe uses a basic Chocolate Pound cake recipe provided by Mads. I made small tweaks to the recipe to reduce the sugar and butter quantity since Ricotta cheese itself has a little richness and I can always use a little less sugar.
Here’s the ingredient list –
All Purpose or Cake Flour – 2 cups
Sugar – 11/2 cups
Butter – 1 stick
Cocoa Powder – a little less than ½ cup. You can use ½ cup if you want it really chocolatey.
Eggs 4 – Substituted with Low fat Ricotta cheese – 1 cup
Baking Soda – 1 tsp
Baking Powder – ½ tsp
Salt – ¼ tsp
Vanilla Essence – 1 tsp
Milk – as required, to adjust batter to dropping consistency – max ½ cup
Take 2 cups of the all purpose or cake flour in a mixing bowl.
Add the cocoa powder. I used a little less than ½ cup – somewhere in the middle between ¼ and ½. Now, I hope that’s really clear..
Add 1 tsp of baking soda
And ½ tsp of baking powder
And about ¼ tsp of salt
Sieve all of these fry ingredients together for about 2-3 times so that you get an even smooth dry flour mix.
Measure out 1 ½ cups of granulated sugar.
Bring to room temperature or melt slightly about 1 stick of butter. Move the butter and sugar to a mixing bowl and beat together at a low-medium speed until combined together well.
Next, add the 1 cup of ricotta cheese on to the butter-sugar mixture and mix well in medium speed until all combined well. When done, add 1 tsp of vanilla essence and mix for a min.
On low speed, gently mix the dry ingredients a little at a time along with the wet ingredients and mix well to combine.
Finally, add a little bit of milk to the batter just enough to get a dropping consistency.
And there, lo and behold, is the batter. You can see that this is still thick but perfect to be dropped in a cake pan.
Butter and flour the cake pan. I actually just spray them with the baking spray and they turn out perfect each time. So if you don’t have one, get one of those sprays immediately – they cost like 2 dollars but is the best baking assistant you can buy off shelves!
Pour batter and spread out even on top. Bake in a pre heated oven at 350F for about 35 mins or so – until the toothpick test passes!
I think because my pan was a really wide pan, the top when done was a little cracked. But did I become really sad and cry my heart out. No. Never. Because I had a wicked plan. A wicked sinful plan to cover the whole cake with an awesome Coconut-Pecan frosting.
Like I said, this was wicked. I used a store bought frosting to cover the cake. Because a simple chocolate cake with a coconut pecan frosting is what the Germans like to eat. And so magically, my simple chocolate cake suddenly transformed into a German Chocolate Cake.
Sorry, I can’t resist showing you how wicked and sinful this frosting really is. And yes, I’m not sad anymore about the cracks on top. Who would even know?
So, now all that’s gotto be done is to slice up a piece of heaven, and add another few drops of heavenly chocolate sauce on top and serve with a couple of soft sweet strawberries. If this is not what heaven looks like, I don’t even want to go there ever. But I’m sure this is a pretty good idea of heaven. And when you eat this, you can actually go there and come back to earth. Cool, isn’t it!
I've got to tell you, this was a pretty dense but soft and really chocolatey cake. It was a perfect taste every time you bit into this. And I know how many times that was but not telling you all about it. The cake was not over the top sweet and felt like it just had the enough sweetness to complement the chocolate flavor. The frosting added all the extra sweetness for those with a really sweet tooth. I actually for once liked the cake better just by itself without the frosting. Yeah, maybe I’m getting old. Who cares though!
I actually packed this and took it for our camping trip to share with our friends. This just made the trip even more sweeter!
So make yourself some chocolate cake soon and enjoy the sweet things in life. Life is meant just for that.
This piece is for my other FSB Bloggers - Madhuri, Lata Raja, Nags, Deepti Pawar, Divya Karthik, Mrudu Mohan and Siri - its been fun baking with you and I'm looking forward to all our other adventures in the kitchen this year!
Enjoy. Peace Out!
Click here for Printable Recipe