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Dark Chocolate Cake for Diwali

>> Oct 18, 2009

Diwali or Deepavali in Sanskrit which means a row of lamps is celebrated by the Hindus. Here in Malaysia, we call it Deepavali, but recently the term Diwali is used widely, it means also a Festival of Lights. Many will return from near and afar to the family home to gather for family dinner either to their parents home or grand-parents home.

I usually will visit a few Indian friends on Diwali on their annual “Open House”, the same as I did visiting Muslim friends during Hari Raya Aidil-fitri and Chinese friends on Chinese Lunar New Year, something I have been doing since school-days. 

The hosts will be decked in their traditional fineries, punjabi suits, beautiful & colourful silver-threaded intricate designs, shimmering sarees. A Kolam, is sometimes made at the entrance which is a pattern made using colour-dyed rice grains, which brings spiritual and symbolic meanings. Some believed that the Kolam will invite the Goddes of Wealth, Lakshimi into the family home. I’ve seen one beautiful Kolam at Ikano Power Station (shopping centre) last weekend.

Guests are treated to a sumptious feast with tempting arrays of spicy chicken curries, mutton rendang, papadum, biryani rice, acar, dhall and some traditional sweets and snacks like ever-popular murruku, ladoo, coconut candies and barfi and some modern ones like cheesecake and pineapple tarts.

This year has been very special as it is the first time I’m meeting my friend after having found her through Facebook recently. We lost touch right after school… both of us were in the same Kindergarten and same class right up to High School… (sigh!), if only Facebook was available then. Never mind... we have finally met up… we have matured, we have aged, we have wrinkles, we have spare-tyres (they were over-shadowed by our hugs n excitements) we have lots of catch up on, our career, families and other schoolmates… We cried a little as we met face-to-face for the 1st time. No, it didn’t ruin our mascara. We just merely soaked up some tissues only. :-D

I thought I’ll bring a small little gift from My Kitchen. 

This is what I made for a very dear friend, Dark Chocolate Cake.

200g butter
190g sugar
180g flour
50g cocoa powder
3 eggs
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1½ tsp instant coffee granules dissolved in 2 tbsp boiling hot water (Optional)
200ml low-fat milk

Satiny Chocolate glazing
60g dark chocolate
30g butter
40g icing sugar
3 tsp whipping cream (warm)
1-2 tsp milk

I’ve been making this chocolate cake for many years for family, friends, birthdays, pot-luck and it’s well received as it’s moist. With the thick chocolate glazing, it’s really chocolate lovers’ cake, rich and chocolatey and perhaps a hint of coffee to bring out the strong chocolate aroma.

Line the base of an 8” round cake pan and light grease & flour the sides. Beat butter with sugar till light and creamy. Beat in 1 egg at a time and add in vanilla extract and cooled coffee mixture. Gently fold in the sieved dry ingredients alternating with milk, ending with dry ingredients. Pour into the pan and bake at 160°C for 1 hour.
It’s ready when cake skewer comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes and then set out to cool completely on wire tray.

For the glazing, sieve icing sugar into a small pyrex bowl, add in dark chocolate and butter. Pour in warm cream and stir till combined. Place the bowl in a warm water bath, stir chocolate mixture till well smooth. Slowly add milk to the mixture so the chocolate mixture can spread quite easily enough.

To decorate, ensure the cake surface is smooth and flat. Using a long serrated knife, slowly cut or shave across to get a level surface. Spoon chocolate glaze on the cake and slowly let it spread, and let it over-flow down the sides. Gently use a small plastic spatula to smooth the sides.

Decorate as desired with colourful sprinkles or stars or freshly toasted and chopped nuts.

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