Thursday, April 13, 2017

Searching for the Best Steamed Chocolate Cake

I can't believe that Easter is arriving in this week! ... meaning that it's hot cross buns and chocolate feasting time!

CHOCOLATE!!! The word reminds me that I have to really get onto my steamed chocolate cake quest! Why steamed chocolate cake???

Since the day that I made a Like Violet Kwan Lana Cake Chocolate Cake at here using a super moist steamed chocolate cake recipe, the curious me had set myself up for a mission to look for a steamed chocolate cake recipe that is more like Lana Cake chocolate cake.

To do so, I have compared and scrutinized many steamed chocolate cake recipes from my Google search. After tabulating and comparing several popular recipes from here, here and here plus a few trial and errors steaming, I have found two really good steamed chocolate cake recipes! And one of them is very very very like Lana chocolate cake!


best steamed chocolate cake
This is one the BEST Steamed Chocolate Cake that I have made!

See this table. Can you see any differences in these recipes? I can. And I have underlined the clear differences.

Looking at the recipes closely, I noticed that...

1) I can add a total of 120g sugar to make one 20 cm cake instead of 150-200g.
2) most recipes use evaporated milk. Likewise, I prefer to use evaporated milk instead of the sweetened condensed milk because I don't like my cake to be too sweet.
3) less flour and more baking powder can make the cake fluffier and I would like to incorporate this modification.

And I also wonder...
1) if the use of butter instead of oil or even less butter will make any difference in the cake texture?
2) if is it better to make the cake with taller height?
3) if the ganache type of frosting better or similar enough to Lana's cake jelly-like emulsified type of chocolate frosting?

Keep scrolling... I will reveal my answers later.


To summarize my observations:

1) It's ok to use butter instead of oil to make the steamed cake. Butter will make the cake more milky and tasty but oil will make the steamed cake moister! Both are equally good and it is really up to you to choose!

2) It's ok to use 120g sugar to make one 20 cm cake with 50g cocoa powder added instead of 150-200g! Good to know that this amount of mild sweetness is still good enough for ultimate enjoyment.

3) Yes that less flour and more baking powder will
 make the cake fluffier resulting it more like Lana chocolate cake base!

4) Interestingly... when I reduced the amount of butter to half and used a smaller cake pan to steam a taller cake, I actually yielded a cake that is so much spongier and so much like Lana chocolate cake!!! You'll see...

best steamed chocolate cake
This is the cake that is made with butter, 120g sugar, less flour and more baking powder.
Clearly, I can see and taste that this cake is so much fluffier than my previous chocolate cake at here.
best steamed chocolate cake
When I used the same recipe to make a taller cake with half the amount of butter...
I yielded this spongier cake that is even more like Lana chocolate cake.

How about the chocolate frosting?

The frosting of the authentic Lana's chocolate cake is very different from the runny condensed milk frosting that I have made for my previous Lana-like chocolate cake at here. Based on my taste bud, I can tell that the Lana's cake chocolate frosting is sort of jelly-like emulsified type of chocolate frosting. It's not very chocolate fully loaded but rather sweet, creamy and smooth with jelly-like texture that won't firm up like most typical chocolate ganache with a stabilized silky texture even after the cake is stored or fully chilled in the fridge.

Creamy chocolate frosting that won't firm up even chilled? Hmmm... I'm guessing that there might be some sort of stabiliser or emulsifier added into the frosting, maybe without having much chocolate, butter and cream added into it? Having said that, I notice that the original frosting is pretty dark in colour and suspect that the frosting is actually flavoured and coloured with chocolate emulco and not entirely with real chocolate or cocoa.

Honestly speaking, I prefer my chocolate frosting to be made with real chocolate, butter and cream! No synthetic ingredients, please!

And so far, the best creamy, glossy, soft and spreadable chocolate frosting that I have ever made is actually from here. Although it is not 100% jelly-like and dark like Lana's chocolate frosting and will harden when it is chilled, it is still my best number 1 creamy and yummy chocolate frosting that is made honestly with real butter and chocolate!

However, if you want a frosting that is more loaded with chocolate, you can use chocolate ganache with 1:1 chocolate and cream. Chocolate ganache with 2:1 chocolate and cream is good too but the frosting will harden too much and being less creamy when the cake is chilled or even cooled to room temperature.

To conclude... do you want to know which recipe makes the best steamed chocolate cake?

If you are after a steamed chocolate cake that is dense, fudge, ultra-moist and sexy with runny gooey frosting, I would say my previous recipe at here is the best.

If you are after a steamed chocolate cake that is fluffy and buttery, I would say recipe one (with full amount of butter) from this blog post is the best. Frankly speaking, I like this recipe the most as a basic steamed chocolate cake.

If you are after a steamed chocolate cake that is very like Lana's chocolate cake, I would say recipe two (with less butter) from this blog post is the best.

Due to the fact that these chocolate cakes are steamed and not baked, they are ALL moist!!! ... including the cake that is made with less butter and even the cakes have stored in the fridge for 3 days. And of course, the cake that is made with the full amount of oil is the moistest.

To enjoy the cake to the fullest, please eat the cakes when they are at room temperature. If you wish to store the cake in the fridge, please remember to bring the cake to room temperature before serving. These steamed chocolate cakes actually taste the best with moist decadent texture when they are at room temperature.

As for the frosting...

If you are after a sweet, creamy, glossy, soft and spreadable chocolate frosting, I would strongly recommend frosting recipe one from this blog post.

If you are after a more chocolaty chocolate frosting, you can use the chocolate ganache recipe (frosting recipe two) with 1:1 chocolate and cream.

If you are after 100% like Lana's chocolate frosting, I'm sorry that I don't have anything better than frosting recipe one from this blog post for you because I prefer my frosting to be made with 100% real flavours.

What's best for me might not be the best for you... and I sincerely hope that my blog post is informative and helpful enough for you to look for your best steamed chocolate cake recipe.

best chocolate steamed cake
This steamed chocolate cake (recipe two with less butter) is very like Lana's chocolate cake.
... and it is frosted with chocolate ganache (frosting recipe two) with 1:1 chocolate:cream ratio.
best steamed chocolate cake
To me, this recipe (recipe one with full amount of butter) makes the best chocolate steamed cake.
Lagi lagi best when it is served with this creamy frosting made from recipe one with butter and chocolate.

Here's a video showing how I steamed one of the cakes and assembled with my best chocolate frosting.


Here are the recipes that I have truly tried and tested.

Steamed Chocolate Cake Recipe One:
Makes one 15 cm short round cake or use double this amount to steam one 20 cm short round cake
90g (6 tbsp) unsalted butter, plus extra to grease
30g (2 1/2 tbsp) caster sugar
30g (2 1/2 tbsp) light brown sugar
90ml (6 tbsp) regular evaporated milk (not fat reduced and 180ml is about half a can)
1 large egg, about 70g each with shell and lightly beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or paste
50g (1/3 cup) all purpose or plain flour
25g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process (I used Valrhona)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt

Steamed Chocolate Cake Recipe Two with less butter:
This one is so Lana-like!!!
Makes one 12 cm round cake or use double this amount to steam one 16 cm round cake
50g (3 tbsp plus 1 tsp) unsalted butter, plus extra to grease
30g (2 1/2 tbsp) caster sugar
30g (2 1/2 tbsp) light brown sugar
90ml (6 tbsp) regular evaporated milk (not fat reduced and 180ml is about half a can)
1 large egg, about 70g each with shell and lightly beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or paste
50g (1/3 cup) all purpose or plain flour
25g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process (I used Valrhona)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt

Chocolate Frosting Recipe One:
To frost the top of one 15 cm cake:
25g dark chocolate - I used Callebaut dark chocolate callets with 70% cocoa
30g (2 tbsp) unsalted butter, soften at room temperature
1/8 tsp vanilla paste or 1/4 tsp extract
15g icing sugar, sifted
- Ops! I forgot to sift my icing sugar in my video and so my frosting is a little lumpy :p
1/2 tsp boiling hot water

Chocolate Frosting Recipe Two, the chocolate ganache type:
To frost the top and the sides of one 12 cm cake
50g dark chocolate - I used Callebaut dark chocolate callets with 70% cocoa
50g cream with 35% fat

To steam the cake, for both recipe One and Two:
Grease the inside of your cake pan with smears of butter and line the bottom of the pan with a piece of baking paper. Set up a large steamer with boiling water.

Add butter, both sugars and evaporated milk in a large saucepan. Place the saucepan over a low heat and use a hand whisk to whisk mixture while cooking until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture is smooth. Remove saucepan from the heat. Allow mixture to cool until it is nearly like room temperature or cool enough to touch.

Add egg and vanilla into the butter mixture and whisk until combined.

In another bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sift flour mixture into the butter mixture and whisk until all are just combined. Do not over mix. Cake batter one is more runny than two.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and place the pan into the steamer. Cover pan with a large piece of foil lined with baking paper so that the water vapour from the steam won't wet the cake batter and the rising cake will stick to the foil. Steam with medium low heat for 40 mins for 12 cm and 14 cm cake or 80 mins for 16 cm and 20 cm cake or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Please note that the required time for steaming can vary depending on the steaming heat that you used and so the best thing to do is to use the skewer to check if your cake is thoroughly cooked.Remove the cake from the steamer and allow it to cool completely in the pan before removing it onto a wire rack. It is important to wait for the cake to cool completely before spreading the frosting on it.

To make the frosting:

Recipe One:
Place chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and melt chocolate by stirring it over a pot of simmering water or microwave it with short pulse of low power or it is just melted. Set aside for the chocolate to cool slightly.

Using an electric mixer or a spoon, beat butter, vanilla and icing sugar until light and creamy. Reduce mixing speed to low. While mixing, add chocolate and hot water into the mixture and mix until just blended. Do not whip! Spread immediately on the completely cooled cake.

Recipe Two:
Place chocolate and cream in a heat-proof bowl and melt and combine both by stirring it over a pot of simmering water or microwave mixture with short pulse of low power plus stirring in between each pulses until mixture is smooth and combined. Set aside for the frosting to cool and become thick and creamy enough to spread on the completely cooled cake.

Slice and serve.

Store any uneaten in the fridge in airtight container for up to 3 days and you will surprise that both cakes are still moist even on the 3rd day!!! To enjoy the cake to the fullest, please eat the cakes when they are at room temperature. If you wish to store the cake in the fridge, please remember to bring the cake to room temperature before serving. These steamed chocolate cakes and the frosting actually taste the best with moist decadent texture when they are at room temperature.

Happy Steaming
Please support me and like me at Facebook...

7 comments:

  1. Wow! Love the systematic approach to your investigations - amazing dedication!

    ReplyDelete
  2. yummm..... would love a slice of this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lovely cakes!! Thanks for taking the time and effort to investigate and compare. I can't wait to try out your recipe:). P.S. your recipes for 1&2, uses 2 large eggs or 1 ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry for the "s" in the amount of egg used... It should be 1 egg. Cheers!

      Delete
  4. I put way too many baking soda and powder. Instead of tsp, I did tbsp. Time to cry while throwing everything away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gosh! Sorry to hear about your mistake!

      Delete