Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Year of The Rabbit!

Ordinarily, I don't celebrate the Chinese New Year but seeing as how I have two little bunny children that I love to bits, it only seems fitting that I do. First, introductions:

Meet Tidbit, my tiny Netherland Dwarf, she's barely 3 pounds.

This is Toby, my blind, one-eyed Dutch Cross guy
They have custody of different parts of the apartment. Tidbit reigns over the living, dining and kitchen areas, while Toby's domain is the office and the master bedroom. I have to keep them separated because Tidbit tries to kill Toby -who is twice her size, while Toby loves to torment Tidbit by his presence. In honour of my bunnies, I decided to celebrate by making my first chocolate cake from scratch. Inspiration for this cake came from this gorgeous blog called Paris Pastry, who's drool-worthy desserts give me a sugar rush just from the pictures. It's actually a Martha Stewart Chocolate Cake Recipe.
Chocolate Cake:

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
 ½ cup whole milk
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks, plus 1 large egg white, room temperature (otherwise it won't stiffen)
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup packed light-brown sugar
½ teaspoon pure almond extract (this is the best thing ever, I wish I smelled like it)
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Spray your cake pan (I used a 9", but the recipe calls for an 8" pan) with cooking spray, and cut a round of parchment paper to place in your pan. Spray the parchment paper as well. Lightly dust it with flour.

 In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking soda.

I used Ghirardelli chocolate and cocoa.

In your double boiler, or a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, mix the chocolate, ¼ cup milk, granulated sugar and 1 egg yolk. Stir until thickened and set aside

In your electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream your brown sugar with the butter. Add the remaining yolk. Mix in your flour mixture in batches, alternating with ¼ cup water, ¼ cup milk, and almond and vanilla extracts. Next add your chocolate mixture.

In another bowl, and using your hand mixer, beat the egg whites until it becomes peaky.

Fold the egg whites gently into your batter with a spatula. Pour into pan and bake for 25 - 30 minutes. Mine was ready in exactly 25. Stick a cake tester in the centre to see if it comes out clean. If it does, it's ready!

It kinda looks like it has melanoma

Let it cool for 20 minutes or so, and then flip it out onto a cooling rack to further cool down completely. You can now remove the parchment paper.

Tidbit coming over to investigate the kitchen activity

Once your cake is completely cool (I waited 45 minutes), use a very sharp bread knife to slice the cake clear in half. Easy does it!

Cross-section of chocolate cake
Chocolate Frosting:

1 ½ cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
⅔ cup sour cream

Sift together your confectioners sugar, cocoa powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside. Using your electric mixer with the paddle attachment (I hope you were cleaning your tools while the cake was baking and cooling!) mix together your cream cheese and butter until it's nice and fluffy. Slowly add the sugar, chocolate, and finally the sour cream.

Use 1 cup of your frosting to frost the entire first layer. Then lay the top part of the cake over the frosted part. Continue to frost the whole cake.

Chocolate cake heaven.
And that is how we decided to ring in the Rabbit New Year in the Wilson household! Too bad bunnies don't eat chocolate.


  1. OMG this look sooo yummy!
    And how cute are Tids and Toblerone?!
    I miss them so.

  2. oh that looks so good!!! I really wish I was pregnant so I could justify making one of those and just eating the whole. :)