When finally something went right - Eggless Chocolate Birthday Cake





Its said even a lie becomes a truth if spoken a thousand times. In my case few wise sayings have become the reality of life, with their precise accuracy and timely repetitions. And the most forceful one of them is "Life is what happens when you are planning other things".


I'm sure I can see heads nodding in agreement, as you must have as well experienced this irony of life some time or the other. But in my case, its become my ready reckoner.


So what was that I had planned so much, just to see it getting shredded mercilessly. Well, it was darling son's 3rd birthday last month. Something, which like all enthusiastic moms (in my case over enthusiastic), I too was overtly excited and wanted to make as a special day. And in accordance the planning started 3-4 weeks before the D day.

My son, Aarul's b'day was on 20th Oct, the time most of of our friends were about to leave for India for diwali. Hence the circle of invitees was not too long. So the first option of hosting the party at a party hall was ruled out. That meant I had to be the perfect hostess and plan everything at home, the way I had done last year for his birthday. 


But this time I too was traveling on 21st to India, so I decided to ease things by ordering the main course from outside and only doing the cake and starters at home. Yes the fun and exciting part. So started two parallel search - one for the menu for dinner, place to order etc and second one (my favourite) the cake I wanted to do.


Quite honestly I always knew it would be chocolate, but then it gave me so much of thrill to browse and shortlist cakes from the blogosphere, that very soon I had at least 10-12 cakes bookmarked for final selection - all rich, tiered and good looking. I also had decided to bake one for his school friends, which meant another cake to be decided upon..so my bookmarked list just grew further :)


Almost 20 days before the birthday, my husband caught eye infection in Dubai and had to travel back home. What we didn't realize was that this was quite severe and will take almost a month, before he could even face the sunlight. After a few consultations with eye specialists, he was a bit better and we thought it was time to finalise the party plan. Alas!!


10 days later both me and Aarul had caught the bug and were almost bed ridden with fever and swollen eyes. Still we were hopeful that all should be well by the D day. But then that's not how it was to be.  Even 2 days before the birthday, our eyes were blood red and very painful. So yes party was cancelled. But then I thought I can at least bake the cake that he had been seeing in my laptop for so many days. 


And yes amidst all this, 19th was to be "Ahoi asthami", a fast for kids. Not a big deal, since I could always bake at night. Only thing I had to do now was to cut the recipe in half or even a third. Added to th


Now came the final twist, 19th morning I got to know that the fast was now a day later, because of the celestial movements. Alas that meant, I had to be without water or food on the day of my son's birthday with sore eyes. Not at all a cheery picture.


Wait there's more to it, now because of the fast angle, though I could eat after sunset, but it had to be egg -free food. Which meant all my chosen recipes went down the drain for this occasion. And finally on 19th evening, I frantically searched for a good eggless chocolate cake, which would be firm enough to be tiered. Yes tiered, delicious and good looking it still had to be after all the changed plans.


In all this change of plans, I forgot to tell you Aarul's latest obssession with drums...yes so much that he wanted drums for his birthday gift. This made my life simpler, since I knew what the cake would be like. Thankfully I settled for this recipe, because of the ease and simple ingredients needed. Baked it at night in two batches and left it in fridge to cool overnight.







Thanks to the cake, all of us had smile on our faces, as we saw Aarul excited and oh so happy to see a drum shaped cake. And I was so glad that inspite of being eggless, it was firm enough for the fondant cover.





The cake had four components - an eggless chocolate cake, coffee flavoured sugar syrup, chocolate buttercream and rolled fondant for decor.













Eggless Chocolate Cake Recipe

Recipe Source: Passionate about Baking

(I halved the recipe to get a tiny layered cake)





Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 cups hot water

3/4 cup oil (I used a mixture of oil and butter)

2 tbsp distilled white vinegar

1 tbsp vanilla extract





Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180ºC with rack in the center. Line the bottom of a 9″ spring form pan or 2 9" pans. 

  • Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.

  • Combine water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla in a large measuring cup. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk just until combined. Even if few lumps remain, its fine. 

  • Turn batter into lined pan or divide between 2 pans. And bake for about 50-60 for 1 pan and 30-40 minutes for 2 pans. 

  • Check with a toothpick, if it comes clean from the centre, remove the cake from the oven and cool on a rack for about 15 mins, before inverting it on rack. 

  • Let it cool completely. I kept it in fridge for 2 hors before cutting in 3-4 tiers.



Coffee Flavoured Sugar Syrup
Coffee helps in bringing out the chocolate flavour, but if you prefer otherwise, you make a simple sugar syrup as well or add your chosen flavour to it.


Water - 3/4 cup
Sugar -  3 tbsp
Coffee powder - 2 tsp


Add sugar to water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, till all the sugar dissolves. Add coffee and let it blend, and the consistency thickens to a syrup form. Remove from heat and let it cool.


Chocolate Buttercream
Recipe Source: Divinetaste




Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter 


  • 3/4 cup) icing sugar

  • Pinch of salt

  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 to 2 tbsp milk



Method: Whisk all ingredients (except milk) in a bowl till well mixed. Add milk, starting from 1 tbsp and whisk well till smooth and blended.


Fondant - Wilton's ready to roll fondant packet and red food color


Assembling the cake
Lightly cut the top of the cooled cake to get an even top. Then cut it horizontally in 3-4 even layers (I only did 2, since mine was a tiny cake). Place the bottom layer on the serving tray with tissues below it. Now dip the pastry brush in sugar syrup and moisten the cake, till it looks replenished. Now place a generous amount of buttercream on the centre of the cake and spread it outside, leaving an inch on the border. Now place the second layer on it. Repeat the moistening process with this layer as well. Repeat the same with other 2 cake layers. 
Now when the top layer has been placed and moistened, spread a little buttercream evenly on all sides of the cake to 'seal' it. Let it cool for an hour or so, if using fondant.
Now roll the fondant on a work floor dusted with icing sugar to the desire circumference and the with very light hands, place it on the cake and lightly press to cover the sides. Don't press hard as it might break. Now do the decoration as per your liking or as per the demand of the birthday boy!!


Lesson learnt: There's a silver lining in every sad story, and that this is keeper of a recipe for an easy, tasty eggless layered cake. But unfortunately after cutting it, we got busy with other things, like teaching Aarul how to play his newly bought drums, to take any picture of the inside layers. Hopefully next time :)





Sharing it with Cooking concepts 5-holiday baking by Srav's Culinary Concepts, Abc series-cakes for christmas event by Ramya, Christmas Delicacy by erivumpuliyumm and Winter carnival also by Tickling Palates.


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