Tuesday, August 31, 2010

                      Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate, Chocolate Cake

This cake is the first in line from my 'search for the best chocolate cake' challenge. I found it while hunting on You Tube and as soon as the video finished I was pumped and ready to make this wonderful looking cake. After searching for Hershey's chocolate, I finally grabbed a few small bars of dark chocolate from Hawker shop's which seemed to be one of the few dam places in Canberra you can actually get your hands on some. Hershey's coco powder isn't available in Canberra so I went with the next best thing, dutch coco from Cooking Co-coordinates at the Belconnen markets, you can get dutch coco from the supermarket too. The icing/frosting I used is made with Hershey's Dark chocolate.

So whats my verdict on Hershey's perfectly chocolate, chocolate cake. Well at risk of sounding premature as this is only the first cake I've  made from the series, it's bloody amazing, excuse my french. It is truly is, the texture was so incredibly moist, when cutting it, it made a sort of  smooshy sound that's difficult for me to describe to you. Just know that it is probably the most moist, soft, satisfying chocolate cake you will ever eat. That said, at the same time it's not so moist that it sticks to the roof of your mouth and feels suffocating. Simply put, to me, it was perfect.
I'm sure your reading this thinking " sure Jem, well that was a easy, the first cake you cooked was perfect, no need to keep searching now, lazy ". Well, as convinced as I am that this is the perfect chocolate cake I'm not about to throw in the tea towel and admit defeat.
I still vow to keep cooking my way though many chocolate cakes. The icing/frosting I made from the video was also very good, it was fluffy, creamy and went very well with the cake but again I'm still on the search for more icing/frosting recipes too.

So here's the link for  Hershey's, well technically I should say Perfect Dutch Coco Chocolate Cake:
In the video she puts it in the oven for 35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
When I cooked it it needed longer, 45-50 minutes at 176 degrees fan forced, keep an eye on it as ovens vary. Also in the video she uses Chisco shortening which we don't seem to have in Canberra or Australia for that matter but we do have Copha  which is the same thing but comes in a hard block.
You'll need to melt it down to liquid form first the leave it to set. Once set, just spoon it into the mixing bowl. You'll find Copha above the butter in the supermarket, it has a cute picture of a smiling cupcake on the side.

Here are some photos of me making the cake and frosting.

                                                      I used six of these in the frosting.

                                        Adding melted Hershey's dark chocolate to make thick frosting.

 The recipe said to add eight cups of icing sugar but used about six, there was soooo much frosting.
 The beaters found it challenging, they slowed down even when put on high speed due to the density.

                                                       The cake fresh out of the oven.

                   Here I'm cutting the cake in cake with a nifty tool I picked up at kitchen
                   Co-ordinate, I filled the middle with frosting too .



Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ham, Parmesan and Roasted Sweet Potato Quiche

* One packet of thin sliced or shaved ham (I like to use smoked ham) also ham off the bone is even better
* A hand full of packet shaved Parmesan.
* 9 eggs, free range, please don't used caged ones:(

* 1/3 of a cup of thicken cream

* 1 medium sweet potato

* 1 packet puff pastry

* medium brown or white onion

* Dried Italian herbs (optional)

*Salt & pepper

* 1/4 cup of vegetable or canola oil

Take the pastry out of the freezer and leave it to thaw. Preheat a fan forced oven to 250 degrees. Peel and cut the sweet potato into cubes. Place the cubes onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and cover with the oil, salt and pepper. Using your hands massage the oil and cubes together. Chuck the cubes into the oven for about forty minutes until brown, keep an eye on them as ovens vary. Next place one sheet of pastry on top of a quiche dish and smooch the pastry around the sides if the dish with you fingertips. If You need more for the sides just cut some extra pastry into stripes and again smooch the pastry around the sides. Using a fork, prick the bottom about seven times all over.

Preheat the oven to 200 drees. Chop the onion finely. Heat a pan until hot then add a slosh of oil until it smokes then add the chopped onion and keep stirring on high heat for a minute.
Turn down the heat and stir occasionally for another few minutes until they are soft and turn brown, leave to cool. Chop the ham roughly. Crack all the eggs into a bowl, add salt,pepper, Italian herbs and whisk, add the cream, onion,and whisk again until combined. Using your finger tips press down on all the sweet potato cubes. Next sprinkle the ham, cubes and Parmesan cheese evenly over the pastry covered dish. Pour the eggy mixture all over ingredients in the dish, sprinkle with extra Parmesan and pop into the oven for about forty five minutes, check it after thirty minutes. When it's golden on top and all puffed up it's ready.

Hope you enjoy, love Jem.