Baking and me never saw eye-to-eye. Not that I was alright with cooking, in general. But then after marriage, cooking became more of a necessity than an option, so eventually I came to terms with it. But baking was a different ball game altogether. You don’t need to bake to eat, right?! Exactly. I know I’ve mentioned it many places in this blog – in some of the blog posts related to baking, in the “about” section and so on…but I’m taking the liberty to say it again….till about a year back I was really skeptical about baking/grilling. Infact, I didn’t even wanna oopen the oven of my cooking range, let alone cook in it!
And today, not only do I love to bake and grill, but I also prefer baked /grilled foods. I love to experiment grilled dishes because the curry ones require a lot of time and effort in peeling, cutting, chopping and all the other works that come with it…..! Effortless cooking is baking/grilling, as per me.
Anyways coming back to today’s blog ( I know I wander off too often!).. this is the second time that I’m
experimenting baking a cake. The first one was a rainbow cake that I made using store-bought white cake mix (I wanted to play safe…first timer, you see?). To this I added all the possible food colors I could get off the store counter and made it look really psychedelic! It was more of a fun baking project for me and the toddler. But need to mention, the cake was a hit and super delicious! (will post the recipe soon).
This time around, having come a long way from my initial days of baking (I’ve now baked pasta to potatoes to cakes to steaks…and much more), I felt more confident about the whole process ( I get along pretty well with my oven and my Kitchen aid food processor :-)) and was willing to take the challenge of baking a cake from scratch. And that’s when I found this recipe online and knew I had to make it, immediately. And I did. It was nothing short of amazing. It was so soft, moist, delicious and was one hell of a comforting cake.
Need to mention, though I was pretty sure the recipe listed online was 100% failure-proof, I had my doubts on my “cake-baking” skills. And so while I was preparing myself with a proper excuse to give my husband, in case I burnt the kitchen down…I decided not to push my luck ! And so I took the easy route and got some store-bought ready made Vanilla frosting (yea.. I had to cheat somewhere! ;-)). I mean think about it – If the cake was going to be all burnt, I didn’t want to risk wasting my time, effort and ofcourse money,…doing extensive and expensive frosting, decorations, fondant and all that. Atleast, I can tell my husband, that though I burnt the kitchen down, I saved money on the frosting (silver lining to the dark cloud!). So you see… I was totally prepared for the disaster, incase.
But the outcome surprised me! As you can see, it was perfect. I have now made this cake twice, that too back to back, in the same week. The first time, I followed instructions to the T. Superb! And the second time I made this cake, it was for an elderly couple who’s a little sugar conscious and therefore modified it a wee bit to suit their diet. Again Superb! So here’s what I did….and the ones placed in brackets are the modified diet version.
CHOCOLATE YOGHURT CAKE
- 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for buttering pan (Or you could use 6 tablespoons canola oil)
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (Or 1 cup whole wheat flour and 3/4 cup all-purpose)
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder, plus additional for dusting pan
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup whole-milk plain yogurt ( or skimmed)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups sugar (2nd time round I used only 1 1/4 cup sugar)
- 2 large eggs
Put oven rack in middle position and pre-heat oven to 175° C (350°F). Grease your baking pan ( I used a 9 inch round one, you can use a loaf tin or a cake tray …but something that fits about 6 cups) with oil or butter and dust with cocoa powder, shaking out any excess.
Whisk together the yogurt, water and vanilla and set aside.
In another bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter with sugar at medium speed until it’s light and fluffy (you can even do it by hand…but that’s too much effort). Slowly add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
Add half the flour mixture and beat. Then add the yogurt and beat again. Add the rest of the flour mixture and beat again for about two minutes, till it’s all just combined.
Pour into pan, and bake for 40 -45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into center comes out clean.
Take it out and let it cool in the pan itself, on a rack for about 10 minutes. Then turn it out onto a cake stand to cool completely. I turn it out first onto a plate ( which would mean the bottom of the cake is now on the top) and then slowly take the cake using both my hands and turn it over once again and place it on the cake stand (now the top of the cake is your top again). Why? well that’s because I like the top part of the cake that has the smooth curve to be on top. It’s something I do… you don’t have to follow that.
And your tasty Chocolate Yoghurt cake is now ready to eat!! 🙂
When I was baking this cake for the relatives(the elderly couple,remember).. my toddler was so excited all throughout about the cake thinking he was going to eat it soon!! I was a little worried, honestly, as to how I was going to explain to him, as to why he can’t have the cake amma’s making.
And like a prayer answered, there was some extra cake batter that didn’t fit into my baking tray (surprisingly, it did fit perfectly the first time!!) So I poured the batter into muffin liners and baked it for about 20 minutes and Voila…we had some yummy muffins!! I was happy and the toddler super happy!
Note on the Frosting:
Just a reminder, You can eat the cake as is….it tastes really good this way too! But in case you want to make it more decorative and do a frosting, then, make sure that the cake has cooled completely. After that, slather generous portion of the ready-made store-bought frosting all around (like I did!). I even drizzled some sprinkles and put in some cherries too. Or you could put the frosting into a piping bag and pipe out a good writing, like “Happy Birthday”, “Congratulations!”….whatever you desire. You can be as creative as you want. If you don’t want to use the ready-made frosting, go ahead and make one…..maybe a Chocolate Cream frosting, or a Sour Cream one, or a Cream cheese frosting….anything. And if you don’t like sprinkles….then put M&M’s, chocolate chips or fresh grated chocolate on top. If you know how to work with fondants…then do that. The options are unlimited.
I’m only here to tell you the recipe to make this gorgeous Chocolate Yoghurt cake. How you decorate and with what …. is totally your call! 🙂