We get tons of goodies every year for CNY. There is no lack when it comes to cashew nut cookies, dried cuttlefish, PINEAPPLE TARTS and the like. I wanted to make something Singaporean, something we don’t usually get, and also well liked by the ‘average Singaporean’. What’s the point of making something that only suits my tastebuds?
This chocolate & prune cake caters to the Singaporean tastebuds. No cream, only unsweetened chocolate, little sugar (fine it’s essentially almost a cup of sugar BUT that translates to very little when we are talking about a huge cake!) and light in terms of flavour. I love how moist it is, the loose crumb, and the mushy sweetness of the softened prunes.
In the past I was super meticulous when it came to baking. Many people say that baking is a ‘science’- ingredients have to be measured to the last gram and recipes should not be modified at whim lest you get a rock cake, or horrors of horrors, a cake that doesn’t set at all.
But nowadays I seldom use my weighing machine. Cup measurements are fine for me and more often than not I’ll eyeball the final mixture to see if the batter is smooth enough, or viscous enough. Then i’ll plop in more flour or liquid if I find otherwise. IMO, the more important steps especially for cake making are:
1. Sieve the flours twice, remember to mix the flours after the first round so that you spread the baking powder/soda evenly through the cake
2. Never, ever forget baking powder and baking soda. Serious Eats has a fantastic article about the science of these two ingredients. Read it and you’ll understand how cake recipes work!
3. Folding is an important technique. Learn it well otherwise you would have wasted all your effort.
I used the recipe by Only Slight Pretentious Food. Didn’t follow it to a T (used one less egg, added half the liquid, and added more cocoa powder because I felt the batter could take it) but if you do, I’m sure you will end up with great results! I’ve been a silent reader of his/her blog for ages and it has a great archive of recipes that I hope to try some day (: