Chocolate Cranberry cake with whipped cream and chocolate ganache

I never knew before starting this blog that learning about the ingredients that we use in everyday cooking and otherwise would be so interesting. Cranberries are something that I have recently started using in my cooking or more importantly baking as I love their bitter sweet taste. I don’t know why but I have this weird fetish of trying to learn the meaning of people’s names and understanding where and how a dish or an ingredient got its roots. So while doing the same for cranberries, I figured that the name was actually derived from ‘crane-berry’ due to the resemblance of the cranberry flower to a Sandhill crane. And since then, the name has been used by people in general.

Cranberry flower. Sandhill stork
Crane-berry flower with a stork. See the semblance?

Interesting, right? But the more interesting part is that it was used from dyeing to medicinal purposes to eating delicacies. I absolutely love the taste so one fine day when I had to bake a chocolate cake for my dear sister’s engagement anniversary (p.s. I don’t remember the date now :p), I decided to combine the bitter sweet taste of dark chocolate with a cool white whipped cream filled with dark purple and sweet n sour cranberries and a shiny chocolate ganache. Well, the description does sound pretty mouth watering but as God would have it, the end result was not what I had expected as the cream didn’t whip properly and it created a little mess but nonetheless, as they say – there is a certain beauty in a structured mess, right?

So here is a very simple and super awesome chocolate cranberry cake with whipped cream and trust me – it is a damn simple recipe to follow! Try it!

Prep Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

For cake:

  1. 1 cup wheat flour
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 11/4 cup milk
  4. 1.5 Tspn butter
  5. 1/2 tspn vanilla essence
  6. 2 Tspn curd
  7. 2 tspn drinking chocolate
  8. 3 tspn cocoa powder
  9. 2 tspn baking powder
  10. 1 tspn baking soda
  11. chopped walnuts

For whipped cream layer:

  1. 100 ml full fat cream
  2. chopped cranberries

For chocolate ganache:

  1. 100 gms dark chocolate compound
  2. 0.5 tspn butter
  3. 100 ml cream

Method:

  1. Mix together all the dry ingredients set aside for preparing the cake. Sieve this mixture.
  2. Add the chopped walnuts, butter and curd and mix again. Now keep on mixing the batter as you add the milk slowly. This is to ensure that no lumps are formed and the batter is mixed till a running consistency. If needed, add a little more milk or hot water. (Tip: Since this is an egg less cake, it is important that the correct amount of consistency is reached with the milk to get the fluffiness in the cake.)

    Chocolate cake batter - egg less
    Chocolate cake batter
  3. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C for 10 minutes. Grease a baking tray with ghee/butter and dust it evenly with flour on all the sides. (Tip: Dusting on all the sides evenly inside the greased baking dish is necessary so that the cake is easily comes out once baked)
  4. Pop in the prepared baking dish and let it bake for 40 mins at 180 degrees C. Once 20 mins are over, check the cake once by inserting a skewer in the middle. This will help get a fair idea how much time is still required for baking the cake.

While the cake is baking, we will prepare the whipped cream layer and the chocolate ganache. Cooking is an art. I sincerely believe that cooking teaches one a lot about time management, prioritising and efficiency. These 3 qualities are very important apart from obviously a sense of taste, flavor and creativity, in order to get a dish which not only tastes good but looks and smells equally good. 😀 So let’s go get the cream and that choco compound!

  1.  Prepare an ice bath. How do you do that? Take a large pan and put in ice cubes one full tray. Take another small pan, pour in the cream kept aside for whipping and whip it properly by moving the whipper slowly in only one direction, until soft peaks are formed. (Tip: Take a spoonful of whipped cream when you think it is done and turn it upside down. If the cream doesn’t fall or falls as a blob, then you know that the cream has been whipped to the right consistency. For better results, keep the pan in which you beat the cream, in a freezer for a while before you start whipping.)

    Whipped cream in an ice bath
    Whipped cream inside an ice bath
  2. Once the cream has been whipped properly, add the chopped cranberries, fold them in properly and keep the mixture in a refrigerator to chill.
  3. For the ganache, take the cream in a pan and bring it to a boil. Remove it from flame and add the dark chocolate compound after chopping it. Let it melt and mix properly with the cream. Add the butter for that shiny glaze in the ganache.

By the time you prepare the whipped cream and ganache, your cake should have been properly baked. By this time, you can smell that aroma fill your kitchen. Oh my! I just love it!

  1. Once the cake is baked, take it out from the oven and let it sit for 5-10 mins till it cools down a little. You will see a beautiful little flaky top if the cake has baked perfectly. 
  2. Now cut the cake as shown in the picture below. We are essentially forming a valley all around the cake to be filled with the whipped cream and the ganache. 

    Beautiful cake pieces and the rich soft chocolate cake.
    Beautiful cake pieces and the rich soft chocolate cake.
  3. Layer the prepared whipped cream mixture in the created valley. Pour the ganache over it and let it chill for a while!

    Chocolate cranberry cake with whipped cream
    People finished half of the cake as soon as it was ready! 😀

Lo! Your perfect chocolate cake is ready for any event you want. Trust me, you won’t and cannot go wrong with this recipe. It is that simple! Just looks pretty long with my stories but otherwise an absolute delight to cook. Hope you try it and let me know how did it turn out. Although the picture that you see is not exactly how I have described the procedure of layering the whipped cream and the ganache, but nonetheless, I am sure yours will turn out exactly as described! 😀

Cheers! 

 

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