Thursday, July 8, 2010

my award winning chocolate cake

I entered my city's baking contest during "Cedar Hills Days" about 2 weeks ago and ended up winning 3rd place for my cake. This was kind of a surprise-- to be honest I was expecting my cookies would be the one to place (if I placed at all). The cake is kind of a work in progress, (I don't have it exactly where I want it yet), I didn't start the cake until 11 the night before, so it was very close to being scrapped all together, also- I couldn't find hazelnuts anywhere and I thought they would be very important to a "Hazelnut Cake". I ended up baking it anyway and simply calling it "chocolate cake". Here is the cake and the cookies:The cake looked embarrassing to tell you the truth- it was a little slanted (which happens to me when I put them together at 2 in the morning). Also, the decor left a lot to be desired (especially for someone that has been decorating cakes for a while as I have). Anyway, I entered it even with all my misgivings.
The cookies turned out great. They were exactly how I wanted them. I did get comments from a few of the people that did the taste test that told me that my cookies were their favorite- so perhaps I was in the running for the peoples choice award there. Who knows. Whatever. I was excited to win 3rd place, especially when I opened my envelope on the way home and found an itunes gift card (and Skittles)

Here I am in the paper with the other winners:

I've had some interest about getting the recipe from some people- so why not? Here it is:

Hazelnut Chocolate Cake

(this is my sister's "Deep Dark Chocolate Cake" recipe. Thanks Amy!- You can call it award winning now (you don't have to tell them that it won (3rd place) in a small baking contest in a small town)

2 c. sugar
1 3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa
1 - 1/2 t. baking soda
1 - 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 eggs

1 c. milk

1/2 c. vegetable oil

2 t. vanilla extract
1 c. boiling water

In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients, add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Remove from mixer. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour into 2 9-inch round or a 9 X 13 greased and floured pan. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes for rounds, or 35-40 for 9X13. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing.

Nutella frosting

(this is the work in progress -Amy's cake is excellent- no need
to do a thing with it but bake it and eat it. The frosting started as a recipe I found that had hot fudge in it. I wrote it down because I thought that would be good for an ice cream cake or a cake served with ice cream. I quickly decided to sub the hot fudge with Nutella and the rest is history- I've never made it with the hot fudge). I've tweaked it here and there in addition to the Nutella, but not too much yet- I think it needs something or another before I decide it is exactly what I am looking for.) But this is pretty darn good for now:

1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. shortning
1/3 c. cocoa powder
2 c. powdered sugar
2 T. evaporated milk
1 c. Nutella
1 t. vanilla

Cream butter and shortening. Sift the powder's together and add them with the milk, one tablespoon at a time. Add Nutella and vanilla.

So, frost the cake and here are things I would do to make it yummier and fancy (or you can make it as is and just call it "chocolate cake").

1. I put the rest of the Nutella in a pastry bag (you need 8 oz. for the frosting and it comes in 13 oz. jars). For the contest, I just did a big swirl with it in the middle of the cake (around the bottom is just the frosting in a piping bag).

2. Put about eight or 12 generous dots of Nutella around the cake and put a whole hazlenut in the middle of the dot (that was my master plan before it was thwarted by a lack of hazlenuts in my area).

3. A nice touch might be putting a fancy European hazelnut chocolate in the center such as a Ferrero Rocher.

4. I also thought about crushing hazelnuts in a bag and then putting them along the sides of the cake - kind of like some people do with walnuts and carrot cake.

It all depends on your tastes and how much you like Hazelnuts I guess. I thought adding the straight Nutella was a very yummy, rich addition- so I recommend giving that a go.


Ami said...

Congrats! Thanks for sharing, too. I'll definitely be trying that soon! Love Nutella! :) And hazelnuts in general...

Ami said...

Oh, and what about the cookie recipe?

Amy said...

Good job Em. Glad I could help a little and in my next edition of my cookbook, maybe I'll change the title to "Award Winning". Hey, an award is an award. I had a very similar experience years ago. My sister-in-law talked me into entering my mint truffles in a candy contest at our local grocery store. I won 2nd place! I didn't tell anyone they had been on a cookie sheet in my storage room for 2 weeks. Perfectly aged I guess.

Emily said...

Wow, congrats! Our stake is having a baking contest next month and I thought it would be really fun to enter. I can only hope to fair as well as you! I'll be trying that recipe.


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