Friday, February 18, 2011

glazed chocolate cake

Can you believe how much chocolate I've had in the past two weeks? It's unbelievable. But I couldn't resist baking this cake for my mother's birthday. She is a huge chocoholic and I knew this was the perfect cake to gift her.

When I had asked her if I could bake a cake for her birthday, she hesitantly agreed (thanks for having faith in me, mom!) I have never actually frosted a whole 9-inch cake. The closest I got to frosting was when I made this cake, which wasn't technically frosted, more of a glaze of cream smoothed on the top (which split on me twice and just held together the third time around, sigh). This cake was completely glazed from the top to the sides. 

I had done my homework on how to frost cakes so I was pretty confident going into this. Fortunately, it wasn't as hard as I thought it might be. Some of you might already know this, but just an fyi, always frost cake bottom side up because it's already even. But if the top is uneven, gently run a serrated knife over the surface to even it out and turn it upside down. Basically, the "bottom" of the cake (which is usually always better to line with parchment paper) is used as the "top". This applies to a one layer cake as well as multiple layer cakes.

All you need to get that smooth and glossy surface is a palette knife or an offset spatula and a cake stand. I don't have the latter so I "created" my very own cake stand with a plate and a glass (pictured below). It wasn't difficult to rotate and helped even out the frosting throughout the cake.

Apart from that, there's nothing worse than having splattered frosting all over the beautiful plate you want to present your cake in. To avoid this, cut 4 strips of rectangular parchment paper and place it on all sides of the plate (pictured above). This way the mess will be left on the parchment paper and once you're done frosting, gently remove the strips from the bottom of the cake. 

It really helps if you refrigerate or freeze your cake before frosting. Not only does this make frosting so much easier, it also makes the cake less fragile, hence, easier to handle. Gently cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 20 to 25 minutes (which was what I did) or freeze for about 10 minutes or so.

Keep in mind that this cake is covered with a glaze which is thinner than those frostings made with whipped cream. The glaze thickens with time but still remains as a glossy thin coating.

Now, let me tell you how the cake turned out. Moist. So moist with a smooth, glossy, rich, chocolatey glaze. The look on my mother's face when I brought the cake to her was priceless. I could tell she didn't think I would actually get this cake done but she was absolutely thrilled with the end result. I was suddenly reminded why I love doing this, seeing my mother's face light up with happiness and appreciation is ultimately the best feeling in the whole world.

The cake tasted even better the next day. I kept it wrapped in the refrigerator which lasted for 2 days. If you'd like, you could make this cake, unglazed, ahead of time and keep it in the freezer for emergency. Just thaw it out and glaze it before serving. Since this is a basic chocolate cake, you can use any of your favorite glaze or frosting recipe. Definitely a keeper!

Glazed Chocolate Cake with Sprinkles
by Lillian Chou from Gourmet Magazine

For cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (113g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature 30 mins
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk

For glaze:
1/4 cup heavy cream
3.5 oz bittersweet (not more than 60% cocoa), finely chopped
2 tsp light corn syrup 
Colorful sprinkles and/or nonpareils

a 9-by-2 inch round cake pan

Preheat oven 350F with rack in centre. Butter bottom and sides of cake pan, then line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. 

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl.

Beat butter and brown sugar in a large bowl at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to medium-low, add flour mixture and milk in 3 batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture (batter will appear curdled).

Transfer batter to pan and smooth top. Bake until cake begins to pull away from the sides or a toothpick inserted comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool cake in pan for 5 minutes. Invert onto a cooling rack and cool completely for about 1 hour.

Making the glaze:
Put finely chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring cream to a simmer in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Pour over chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute then whisk until smooth, stir in corn syrup. Cool completely, gently stirring occasionally for about 30 mins (glaze will thicken). Pour glaze onto centre of cake and spread to edges with a spatula. Decorate with sprinkles.


  1. You are so good Silkina! I need to bookmark this so I can make it <3 keep on cooking and baking!