Introduction: Snowy Chocolate Cake

About: The kitchen is my happy place- preferably with an oven lit to 350 degrees. There's nothing more satisfying than what I can only describe as that AH HA! moment when a cake comes together perfectly according to …

Finding a good recipe is a matter of luck and after finding the recipe for this chocolate cake I will never use another again. The cake is light and airy however at the same time perfectly moist- which anyone bakes knows is a rare and valuable combination. While this cake would be worth any effort, the batter is actually incredibly easy to make (it uses only one bowl and you don't even need to mess about putting butter out to soften in advance!). Not to mention all ingredients (including those for the decor) can be found at any supermarket.

I have also fallen in love with this minimalist and wintery decor. This cake is truly proof that you don't need to pour hours of time into making an impressive dessert. The fluffy whipped cream topping pairs perfectly with the richness chocolate of the cake, however feel free to use your favorite frosting recipe. Make this elegant and easy wintery cake this holiday season, it's a guaranteed show stopper!

Step 1: Ingredients

2 cups granulated sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup 100% cocoa powder (plus a bit extra for dusting the pan)

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 cup of milk

1 cup strong black coffee (slightly cooled)

1/2 cup vegetable (or canola/sunflower) oil (plus a bit extra for greasing the pan)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp unflavored gelatin

4 tsp ice cold water

1 cup of heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup of powder sugar (plus a bit extra for dusting)

Springs of rosemary (for decoration)

Step 2: How to Make the Cake

1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 Fahrenheit

2. In a large mixing bowl combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix until well combined.

3. To the dry ingredients add eggs, milk, coffee, oil and vanilla. Mix until well incorporated.

**The coffee brings out the flavor of the chocolate, however the actual taste of the coffee bakes off and can't be tasted in the final product.**

4. Grease pan by coating it with a thin layer of vegetable oil using a paper towel.

5. Dust the greased pan with cocoa powder, making sure the inside is completely coated. (We are using cocoa powder instead of flour to preserve the dark brown chocolatey look of the cake. Flour would leave white spots of the cake after it is baked)

6. Fill the pan about 3/4 full with the batter

7. Bake for 15-20 minutes (however bake time will vary based of size and shape of the pan and by the oven). You can tell when it is done when you stick a knife in it and it comes out clean.

8. Remove cake from oven and leave to cool until completely room temperature before removing from pan and frosting (If you are in a hurry you can place the cake in the freezer to cool faster.)

**Do not try to frost it when even remotely warm, it will melt any type of frosting**

Step 3: How to Make the Whipped Cream Topping

**If you are going to frost and immediately serve this cake then simply making normal whipping cream is absolutely fine for this recipe. However if you are planning on leaving the frosted cake for more than half an hour, the whipping cream could potentially go runny and make the cake go soggy all while ruining the aesthetic of it. To prevent this I am using gelatin to 'stabilize' the whipped cream. Note the gelatin will not effect the flavor of the cream. If you are vegetarian there are methods of stabilizing whipped cream using alternatives to gelatin that will be available on google. **

1.In a small bowl combine gelatin and ice water. Mix until well combined and set aside for 5 minutes to 'bloom'.

2. In the meantime, in a large bowl combine whipping cream and powdered sugar.

3. After 5 minutes microwave the gelatin mixture for 10 seconds. The mixture will become a liquid.

4. On high, whip the cream and sugar together for 1 minute

5. Continue mixing on high and very gradually pour in gelatin mixture

6.Continue whipping until stiff peaks form.

Step 4: How to Make the 'trees'

Cut springs of rosemary in between the leaves to varying sizes. Try to cut them at an angle to create a pointed top.

Step 5: Assembling the Cake

1. Pile the whipped cream topping generously on top of the cake.

2. Using an off-set spatula (or butter knife) spread the whipped cream around the cake as desired, making sure to leave the bottom of the cake exposed.

3. Arrange trees on top of the cake.

4. Sprinkle cake and trees with powder sugar

5. Transfer to a serving platter and enjoy!

** If you like the look of this cake please check out my Instagram: @Madebyizie

As an aspiring baker, feedback and positive reinforcements from fellow food enthusiasts really motivate me to keep putting my work out there.

Baking Contest 2016

Participated in the
Baking Contest 2016