Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Free and Easy Bake-Along #25 - Bake-Along 1st Anniversary Layer Cake

Bake-Along is one year old! I can't believe  that it has been one year since my first Bake-Along with Lena! This Bake-Along idea was first started when I realized that I needed that "push" to encourage me to bake from my ever increasing collection of cookbooks. There are times when I look through my cookbooks and decided on a bake, when another one caught my eye, and another one, and another one! Most of the times I could not make up my mind and these are pushed back to later and sometimes forgotten until something or someone sort of reminded me of my bookmarked recipes. So in order to commit myself to bake from my many cookbooks, I decided to have someone to bake together with me. That leads me to Lena of Frozen Wings, (Hi Lena!), I noticed that she has made several recipes from the same books that I have. And she seems nice, which she is! So I sent an email to Lena about my idea of a Bake-Along, I was ready to be rejected! LOL! I was feeling a little foolish sending her an email about this crazy idea of mine, when she does not even know me! After all, we do not know each other very well and the only correspondence we had was through our comments in each other's blog, and we have just recently knew each other through blogging! Imagine my surprise and excitement when Lena replied that yes, she is interested! Gosh, someone actually is interested in this crazy idea of mine! She must be as crazy as me, looks like we will get along fine after all! (wink! wink!)

That settles it! We emailed each other almost every other day to discuss on this Bake-Along. Finally our first Bake-Along, chosen by Lena, was posted on 19th May 2011, Streusel Pizza. It feels nice to have a partner in baking, especially when that recipe was bookmarked and I never did came round to make it, which I finally did. Then Lena suggested inviting Zoe of Bake For Happy Kids, whom I am not familiar with, but that was taken care of soon enough. And Zoe joined us in our second Bake-Along. (Hi, Zoe!). 

Now a year later, with 24 bakes behind us, I am really happy to have Lena and Zoe as my baking partners.  I did manage to crossed off about 20 recipes from my cookbooks for our Bake-Along, YAY!! During the months of Bake-Along, we have received some enquiries from our blogger friends who has shown interest to follow along. Of course, we are very happy and thrilled that Bake-Along has sparked an interest in some of our blogger pals, and we took a step further to start the linky tools so that anyone who is interested can join and blog-hop along with us. And we include a theme bake each month, so that it is easier for our friends to join us, as not everyone may have the same cookbooks. During this one year journey of Bake-Along, I have the pleasure to know some awesome home-bakers and their wonderful blogs (Hi, ladies, you know who you are!! :). I deeply appreciate your constant support! Thank you for baking along with us! 

Today's post is "Bake-Along 1st Anniversary Layer Cake". Layer cake is something that I very seldom make, mostly because I am totally lousy at frosting and decorating any cake!  But then again, I would prefer to eat plain cakes without any frosting, so that is why I keep away from frosting most of the time. So I made a simple chocolate cake layered with chocolate ganache and top with the same ganache at the last minute, last evening! Yup, I was usually so organized when it comes to our Bake-Along, was ready at least a week in advance, but not this time! I was busy the last couple of weeks and was not around during the weekends, so this is my simple layer cake. I did plan on making something else but have to settle with this instead.

I made half the recipe, so this is a rather small cake, only 7". Since I do not have any other things in my pantry except the coloured sprinkles and white choc chips, I used that to decorate the sides and top. Haha, looks kinda funny!! See what I mean with my cake decorating skills???  

 Putting aside the unattractive look, this cake is really moist and chocolaty with intense chocolate flavour.

Happy 1st Anniverysary, Bake-Along!
A special Thank You to everyone!

Please visit Lena and Zoe and our friends who has baked along with us in the linky below.


Be sure to join us in our next Bake-Along, where we will be baking Pear and Maple Crumble from Bon Appetit Dessert Cookbook, page 409, or you may get the recipe here, and post it on 12 June. The linky will stay open until 18 Jun. See you!

Chocolate Cake
(source from "Delicious Cakes" by Amy Heng)
Ingredients :
250gm butter
370gm soft brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 eggs, lightly beaten
320gm plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
100gm cocoa powder (dissolved in 280ml hot water)

Chocolate Ganache
300ml whipping cream
600gm cooking chocolate (chopped)
  1. Line and grease a 10" round baking pan. Preheat oven to 170C.
  2. Sieve plain flour, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine.
  3. In an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla essence until light and fluffy. Gradually add in eggs and mix until well combined.
  4. Add in one third of flour mixture alternately with half of dissolved cocoa on low speed until combined, repeat with remaining flour and cocoa mixture.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour or until done. Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes and turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Slice cooled cake into 3 layers horizontally and spread with ganache. Pour ganache over cake, letting it coat around sides of cake. 
  7. Decorate as desired.

To make Chocolate Ganache :
Heat cream in double boiler until hot. Add in chocolate and stir until smooth. Cool until chocolate has thickened slightly before using.

Kitchen Flavour notes :
~ made half the recipe using a 7" round cake pan, baked at 170C for 38 minutes.

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  1. Hi Joyce,

    Love your super fudgy and moist chocolate cake. This celebration cake is great!

    Glad that I was thick-skinned at first to introduce myself to Lena first, then you! I can't imagine without baking-along with us for the entire last year. I don't think any words can be enough how happy I am that I could bake-along with you and Lena. Most amazingly is the gain of having you and Lena to be my close friends through this bake-along event.
    This is truly happy baking :D


  2. Did someone say Chocolate Cake??? You better not let Janet see this cake Joyce. You know how she gets when Dying for Chocolate, lol...Actually, I wouldn't mind a nibble myself:) Great job and Congrats on 1 year of Baking Fun!!!

    Thanks for sharing...

  3. congrats. nice cake dear. I love chocolate

  4. That chocolate cake is moist and fudgy. I love it. Amy Heng's recipe from the Delicious Cakes really good right? I also follow one of her recipe there...soming soon. Still busy with my office work no time to blog about it yet

  5. good morning joyce, it was not foolish at all for you to send me that email but really, i think that time we just knew each other just after a few comments in each other's blogs. I'm happy that we have gotten this far. It's totally not a crazy idea for starting this but just crazy to have so many cookbooks! i also have this amy heng's book, did i tell you that? i feel so 'dangerous' talking to you about cookbooks, you influence and always tempt me to buy more cookbooks! LOL! hey, your choc cake looks wonderful, who can resist a chocolate cake? i just read your comment in my post, yeha, there are many times we think alike..see all of us are putting candles on our cakes? Cheers to our bake along!!

  6. Happy 1st anniversary to you guys. Your chocolate cake makes me wanna bake this again for my boy :) Well done ! A toast you , Zoe and Lena :)

  7. What a sinfully delicious chocolate cake! Looks so moist and tempting (yes, I'm dying for a piece)~

  8. Happy first anniversary to your bake-along!

  9. Congratulations. Love this rich and moist chocolate cake.

  10. Happy 1st anniversary & what a lovely chocolate cake! So moist & fudgy, really decadent with the lovely white chocolate ganache! YUM! This time I'm gonna join in the fun! I just love anniversary & birthday! I'm sure all of you will have a good laugh when you see mine! No kidding! I think I let my imagination ran too wild! LOL Have a lovely week, Joyce! :)

  11. Happy 1st Anniversary to your Bake-Along! Sorry that I've missed joining in the past. Will definitely try to :)

  12. eileen@hundred eighty degreesTuesday, May 29, 2012

    Now I know how bake along was first started and evolved. Congrats to you, Lena and Zoe. Wish you all many more milestones in the years ahead. Happy 1st Anniversary. Your cake looks awesome, simplicity= beauty.

  13. Happy first anniversary!!!!yay!! you guys are great and constant source of inspiration to bake new goodies :D.
    Your chocolate cake looks sinfully delicious and I think the choco chips look kinda cute so stop fidgeting about your decorating skills, your cake looks pretty!

  14. Happy 1st Anniversary to Bake Along! Your chocolate cake looks so moist, chocolaty and delicious! Yum!

  15. Joyce, that's such a sinful looking chocolate cake! It's been fun baking along with you, Lena and Zoe, I'm sure there'd be many more to come! :)

  16. Wow thats a fabulous,gorgeous cake..Congrats to you all for crossing a year.

  17. Hi Joyce, the ganache on your cake looks so beautiful! Coincidentally, I made a layer cake recently, so I submitted it for the Bake Along. Thanks for organising such wonderful baking events.

  18. hi Joyce, what a moist chocolate cake u made, yum yum... my kind of chocolate cake!
    and the ganache is so wonderful, not only the look but i'm sure the taste too
    happy anniversary to Bake Along! :)

  19. Happy birthday!!! This cake looks really good, really chocolaty!!!
    Hope u continue this for many many years!

  20. happy anniversary... the cake looks divine.. lovely dark colour..
    Noel collections

  21. What a nice story to share with us, Joyce! I bet that this means so much to 3 of you by now!

    I first heard of this Bake Along from Zoe, she always mentioned about this with you & Lena, so at first, I thought that 3 of you are living in Melbourne. Then, I cleared things out but later, I got mix-up again & thought that your girls live together, haha, I'm such a blur queen!

    Anyway, Happy 1st birthday to Bake Along!

  22. lovely fun cake! happy anniversary!
    Mary x

  23. This is a very lovely looking cake, so moist! Very innovative of you to use available ingredients to decorate, I too am not good at frostings as I don't do it often too, simply for the reason that cakes are already very rich and sinful without the frosting!

  24. A very beautiful and perfect cake for the celebration. Well done!

  25. look amazing!! happy anniversary dear!

  26. Happy Anniversary. That is a lovely cake. We got back from NYC yesterday so now I have a lot of catching up to do.

  27. Congratulations on your anniversary. your chocolate cake is the perfect tool to celebrate.Keep blogging!

  28. Happy 1st Anniversary to your Bake-Along! This cake looks really good, really chocolaty!


  29. Congrats, and love that rich color of the cake..

  30. I will try this too. Thanks for the recipe.

  31. It's nice to have baking buddies. I hoped to join the event, but I just can't cope with the deadlines. Usually I do things months ahead.

    Bake Along is a very good event and I like the topics suggested, it does give some good challenge and some brain juices to be squeezed.
    Happy Big 1 to Bake Along and I believe there'll be more to come

    Oh yeah, nice cake!

  32. JOyce, it looks so rich... must be yummy, & its colorful too... great for the kids:)

  33. hahaha so cute. happy anniversary to bake along's founder and all its members!!

  34. Happy Birthday to Bake Along...

    Loved the intense look of your choc cake..wow!!!!

  35. Happy anniversary to everyone.

    This is one happy birthday cake with that beautiful chocolate frosting, yes beautiful. I think,you did a great job.

  36. Feliz aniversario mi querida buenos augurios ,muy linda torta,abrazos hugs,hugs.

  37. that looks great! i'd love a piece right now!

  38. Oh it's great that you gave us a little history about how this bake along came about! I did wonder how you ladies came up with this fun bake along! I'm so glad I finally join in this time...makes me feel part of a big family! Btw, I love chocolate and ur cake looks awesome! Yums!

  39. i always love fudgy chocolate cakes, so this is definitely going into my bookmarks! and i'm a 'late joiner' but i hope to continue with it! i too need a push to try different recipes but no oomph sometimes!