"This is a journey of my life since I was all of 12 yrs when I started my hand in cooking to now with displays of my learning and creations of recipes from around the world. My inspiration and role model has always been my Mum who has always created dishes from around the world and excellently well. I do not believe I would ever match to her culinary skills. I remember the times she could cook and bake almost 4-5 dishes in one go without ever letting one go under cooked or burnt! I was born and raised in Dubai, UAE and recently moved to India for family reasons. Kitchenette just means that over the decades, my kitchen has changed from that of my mum's to my uncle and aunt's, to my home in UAE and now in India. Pala't'te, describes both global cuisines ('Palatte'-diverse flavours) and pleasing diverse 'Palates'."

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Celebrating over 10,000 blog visits and over 100 likes on Facebook (gginaflavorspalatte) - Red Velvet Chocolate Lava Cupcakes and Cake - An Anniversary Special

Thank you dear readers, fellow bloggers, friends and family for making this milestone possible! G'Gina's Kitchenette has had over 10000 visits and the facebook page has over 100 likes. I am thrilled and humbled at the same time for having achieved this milestone which at one time I must admit I thought was never possible! I would like to apologise for the delay in this blog post as our family has been grieving the loss of my dear aunt (God rest her soul!). She was an excellent cook and hostess as well! I will miss her very dearly.

I started this blog with friends insisting that I should publish my food creations and hope one day that dream would be realised in print and other wise. I am thankful most especially to 'my mum' who unknowingly has inspired me as a child to create cuisines from all over the world - be it Indian, English, American, Italian or Mediterranean. For those of you who do not know this, this is how I christened the theme of my blog - 'Flavors from around the world'. Mum always was and will always be my mentor, guide and more. The love she puts into the food she creates has always touched our hearts (through our tummies of course ;-) ). The one thing I learnt from Mum is that always cook for 4 even if there are only 2 guests, you never know as more may drop in. (She actually got that from my granddad (God rest his soul!). Which has always been the case with Mum, there were always additional guests to share in the wonderful meals she cooked. Not only has she been an excellent cook, she is an excellent hostess as well. 
Thank you dear readers, family and friends! Immensely grateful!

Now let me get right to the recipe. I had created this recipe for our 4th Wedding Anniversary which was on April 19th. 4 years flew past and we have a wonderful daughter, who I must say enjoyed this creation. So your little ones would definitely enjoy this make.

Red Velvet Cake is normally made with cream cheese topping but I could not do that as the icing needs to be firm and for the chocolate lava cake, it needs to be served almost immediately out of the oven to get that gooey effect. So there was a slight glitch in my first batch. I have served this with a white chocolate cream topping and the chocolate I used for the lava was also white chocolate.

You need:
  • 4 cups of all purpose flour / Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 cups of castor sugar/powdered sugar
  • 2 cups of butter/vegetable oil (1/2 tsp salt in case of unsalted butter)
  • 1 tsp distilled vinegar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract/essence
  • 5 large eggs or 7 small-medium farm eggs
For the chocolate lava:
  • 300 grams of cold white chocolate, crushed in bits (using fine knife)
  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter
For the fruit syrup(food colour):
  • 2 tsp red food colour or  any red fruit(s) ( I used strawberries and ground and strained pomegranate, if you have cranberries or cherries, then please use them. You can use a combination of red berries/fruits that would give you the red colour syrup)
  • 3 tbsp sugar (for the fruit syrup)
  • Drinking Water (quantity to half cover the fruits at surface)
For the cake topping:
  • 400 ml cold fresh cream
  • 200 grams of cold white chocolate, crushed in bits using fine knife
  • 100 gms unsalted butter, at room temperature (this was missing in my recipe and hence the outcome was a slightly runny topping, which I firmed up later in the refrigerator)
  • Sprinkles of your (or your little one's) choice

The Make

Makes 6 cupcakes and 1 cake (medium sized - 1.25 kgs) | Cooking Time: 45 minutes | Preparation Time: 15 minutes

1.  Half grind the fruits with a tad bit of water (esp if you are using cherries or cranberries). Place the crushed fruits, water and sugar in a deep-bottomed pan on medium-low heat. Stir and allow the fruits to bring out the color in the syrup. This takes about 8-10 minutes. Strain and set aside to cool. You can pre-make this syrup a day in advance as well and refrigerate.

2. Whisk the cream and add in the chocolate pieces and butter. Melt in a double boiler, whisking well to avoid any lumps. Strain and set aside and refrigerate. I would suggest to make this half a day in advance esp. during summer.

3. In a double boiler, melt the white chocolate and butter stick for the chocolate lava and refrigerate. You can choose to prepare this overnight or 8 hours prior of making the cake.

4. Preheat the over to 180°C and grease the cake pan and muffin tray with oil and dust some flour as well to avoid sticking to the bottom. Knock off any excess flour by tapping the tray upside down. You can also layer the muffin tray with cupcake paper holders and butter paper for the cake pan or foil paper. Just make sure if you are using foil paper to lightly oil the foil paper after neatly layering the tray. I would suggest to otherwise use a spring cake tray with butter paper.

5. In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and cocoa powder and set aside.

6. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, oil,  vinegar,fruit (food) color and vanilla extract. Vinegar aids in the cake rising process.

7. Bit by bit, add the wet mix to the flour mix and whisk well. Set aside to stand for 5-10 minutes.

8. Pour the cake mix in the prepared cake tin and muffin tray and set in the oven (either one after the other or  together depending on the type of the oven you have) at 200°C. It will take the cake a max of 35-40 minutes to cook through. The muffins would take 15 minutes.

9. In the  last minutes 10 minutes of the rising process or before the cake top stiffens, add the lava chocolate in the center of the cake and return the cake tin back to the oven. For the muffins, add the lava chocolate in the last 5 minutes of the rising process or before the muffins rise fully.

10. Check with a skewer to see if the cake is cooked. The skewer must come clean. Check on the sides of the cake and the center. The center should return with white chocolate or a slight reddish-brown with white chocolate tinge. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.

11. Once cooled, top generously with the cooled cake topping and sprinkles if desired. This cake also tastes good if refrigerated however the lava would not be as flowing as desired.

This creation would be enjoyed by both adults and kids alike. If you have any queries/clarifications or suggestions, do add in the comments section below. Also if you decide to make this recipe creation, do write to me on gginazkitchenette@gmail.com regarding your experience. Also do not forget to add a photo(s) of your creation.

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