of chocolate, cointreau, and obscenity

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Recently I made a joke out of myself.

An old friend approached me, asking, “can you make me a cake?”. Of course I didn’t mind doing one. I asked what kind he wanted, and he said, “a penis cake”. It was for his friend’s birthday. I thought it over for one hour before agreeing to it. And I blew it. No pun intended (believe me). I really tried, I really did. But the cake ended up looking like the balls could fall off any second and icing got runny in the heat outside the house.

I’m still very embarrassed over what I delivered. I hate to promise people things and not delivering my best. The feeling sucks and I don’t think I want to go through that again. At least, not to make an obscene cake for the rest of my life.

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Okay. Enough talk about that. I’m having beer as I type this. Obviously beer isn’t enough to make me forget.

Anyway, this recipe was what I used as the base for that cake. A simple chocolate sponge (really easy), and a cointreau spiked ganache. And on top of it, cocoa nibs to add texture and crunch. There’s really nothing much to elaborate but you gotta moisten the sponge cake with espresso or something like that. Other than that, this makes a great snack for anytime of the day, and a fantastic base for a triple deck ice cream cake.

Next time, I’m sticking to what I’m best at. Simplicity. No more ambitious and wild cakes from now on. I ruined a boy’s birthday and possibly everyone else’s corneas for the matter. No more, no more. I’m done with it.

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Chocolate Sponge Cake

slightly adapted from best recipes australia

4 eggs, separated

1/2 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons light corn syrup

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup corn flour

1 tablespoon plain flour

1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa

cocoa nibs (optional)

Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Grease a 9 inch loaf pan (or any other pan, it works).

Place egg whites in a bowl and beat until soft peaks. While beating, add combined sugar and baking soda gradually. When peaks achieved, add egg yolks and beat together. Add syrup and beat again briefly till combined.

Sift dry ingredients thrice and add to the wet mixture by folding gently. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Allow the sponge to cool for 5 minutes before turning onto a metal rack.

Cut sponge into layers (your desire) and moisten it with espresso. Spread chocolate ganache (recipe below) and stack cake. Sprinkle onto cake with cocoa nibs and refrigerate cake for at least an hour. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if so desired.

Chocolate Orange Ganache

300ml heavy cream

300g dark chocolate (66-70%), chopped

2 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 tablespoon grand marnier or cointreau (I used cointreau)

Bring cream to boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate, butter, orange zest, liqueur. Let ganache stand for 3 minutes and whisk until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Chill in fridge 30-40 minutes.

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