Launching a new website. Pretty exciting. We were debating on which would be the first recipe we will post for the launch. And since the objective is to try, test and then finalize the recipe, we started debating what to try. Sonshine suggested that I make a cake. That reminded me of the first ever cake I tried to bake.
The first ever cake I made (or rather tried to make) was based on my mom-in-law’s recipe. She made it all the time when my husband and my sister-in-law were kids and they were asked to help with the process. They did not have any fancy gadgets at that time and everything was whipped by hand. Imagine the effort it took. But what kept the kids motivated was the end-product: the super delicious cake. Mom-in-law tells me that she even used to make butter from scratch to make the butter-cream frosting. Talk about the hard work! She gave me the recipe and said it was super easy. 🙂
After I found out that cakes can be made at home, I went ahead and got myself an oven - a microwave one with convection as well. [Well, now I wonder why I let the salesperson talk me into buying an expensive Microwave oven with convection instead of simple convection oven - half the price].
I had everything I need to make the cake. Eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla essence, etc - everything was ready. The batter looked so yummy, that I thought maybe we can eat it (why bother to bake it). I was hoping to impress everyone with my first cake.
I waited for 40 minutes – exactly like the recipe said. And the end result was - Wait for it - An icky-pooey-gooey mess! The only thing I could do with that was dump it in the trash can. I could not figure out what went wrong that day. I tried many recipes in that oven after that day. None of them came right. And my hubby kept reminding me that a bad cook blames her tools. Ahem!
And that’s when I became friends with Shree (my cake Guru, Sonshine even calls her 'cake aunty') - more about her in my other posts. She told me what books to read, demonstrated how to make whipped cream frosting and 'ordered' (in her own sweet way) me to buy an OTG (Oven-Toaster-Grill). I did just as she ordered and got my OTG. Armed with the new toy, I baked my first not-a-flop-show Black Forest cake and when it came out perfect – I was in seventh heaven. I had found my new love - Baking!!!
To celebrate the launch of my first ever website, I made this wonderful Chocolate Cake With Strawberry Compote Filling. Its semi-homemade - I used a store bought cake mix to make the cake. I was looking at different options to make the filling and realized that I had some strawberry compote lying around (some leftover stuff after making strawberry cheesecake) and decided to use that as the filling. My design was inspired by this beautiful cake.
- 1 box Milk Chocolate Cake Mix
- 5 tbsp Strawberry Compote
- 1 pint Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
- 4 tbsp Sugar
- Sliced Almonds
Strawberry Compote (this recipe is adapted from a Sanjeev Kapoor recipe)
- 2 cups Strawberries chopped
- 1 cup Sugar
- Make the milk chocolate cake as directed in the box.
- Cool on a wire rack.
- Once the cake is completely cooled down, level the cake using a sharp knife. Cut the cake horizontally into two halves.
- Keep the bottom layer on the serving plate. Spread the strawberry compote on the layer. (If the strawberry compote is too hard to spread, microwave it for 10 seconds or so. This will help it spread evenly).
- In a big mixing bowl, beat heavy whipping cream, sugar and vanilla essence till soft peaks form.
- Spread about 4 tbsp of this whipped cream on the bottom layer of the cake.
- Gently, position the top layer of the cake on the bottom layer.
- Spread the whipped cream evenly on the cake. Smooth-en it out.
- Decorate using blueberries, raspberries and sliced almonds.
- Refrigerate overnight before serving.
- Heat a sauce pan over medium heat and add the chopped strawberries and sugar. Mix well.
- Cook the strawberries in sugar till the sugar completely dissolves.
- Keep stirring the mixture at regular intervals. Remove from heat when the mixture turns a deep red color. Cool to room temperature. Keep refrigerated if not using immediately.