Monday, January 18, 2016

Chocolate Cake | "The 100"

          To celebrate the much-anticipated premiere of season 3 of "The 100" on The CW Network this Thursday (Jan. 21st), I decided to make a food I've had on my list for a long while now; the portentous chocolate cake from season 2. "The 100" is one of the shows I've been really impressed with and awaiting the return of because of its rawness and suspense, and because the moral ambiguity of its characters and situations is refreshing in a TV world saturated with highly guess-able cliches and flat characters. The show is based on the young adult novel of the same name by Kass Morgan, but, while I've only read a little bit of the book, I don't think the cake appears in it, or in either of its two sequels. From what I've read online, it seems that the show was based on merely the outline for the first novel, so it deviates greatly from the trilogy. Even so, I like the writing style of what I've read so far, so I'm looking forward to eventually reading all of the books.


          This was a tricky food to plan and make. Because we're talking about food storage in a mountain bunker (let alone the fact that it's been 97 years since nuclear fallout). How in the heck is there chocolate cake?! (I assume they have a hydroponics area though, because of the roses and cherry pie, etc.). Like, are there cows and chickens somewhere to produce milk and eggs?? None are ever mentioned, and unfortunately, if there were any being raised in the mountain, *spoiler* they're dead now :( . So I went the route of making this cake without eggs, using powdered milk (plus water) and evaporated (canned) milk, using shortening in place of butter, and powdered cocoa in place of solid chocolate. Honestly, nothing beats fresh ingredients, but if, like dear Jasper, you've never had any sort of chocolate cake, I'm sure your first bite would be heaven, especially when given to you by a cute girl who seems like she's into you.

Jasper: [To Clarke] You're bumming me out, I'm going to get more cake. [Leaves table and heads to buffet. Heavy sigh at seeing that the cake is all gone]
Maya: [Sitting at a table near the buffet. Slides her piece of cake over] Here. Take mine.
Jasper: [Smiles] Thanks.
...
Jasper: [Sits down eagerly] Sorry, I'm just excited. [Takes a bite of cake] Mm. Ohh. [Eyes closed. Puts hand over his mouth]
Maya: [Laughs] No chocolate in space, huh?
Jasper: [Opens eyes, moves hand] Space sucks.
"The 48", S. 2, Ep. 1, "The 100"

          Unfortunately, unlike the cake in the show – which pretty much begins the Mount Weather story arc – the situation is not black and white (or vanilla and dark chocolate). And although the dessert promises the sweetness of a new life, a new community, and (for Jasper) a new love, it ends up reflecting the mountain people's pretense and foreshadowing the bitter loss to come. Oh, cake, you have many layers (literally–like, three).

Bellamy: [To Clarke] How long until chocolate cake turns into being hung upside down and drained for their blood?
"Human Trials", S. 2, Ep. 5, "The 100"

Note: If you'd like to make the cake richer, substitute 1 cup of pre-made coffee for 1 cup of the water called for in the cake ingredients section below and reduce the powdered milk to 1/3 cup.


Mount Weather Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:
Cake
1 3/4 Cups Flour
3/4 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
5 tsp. Baking Soda
Pinch of Salt
2 Cups Warm Water
2/3 Cup Milk Powder
1/4 Cup Vegetable or Canola Oil
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/3 Cup Malt Powder (optional)
Frosting
1/4 Cup Flour
1 1/2 Tbsps. Cornstarch
1 Cups Warm Water
1/3 Cup Milk Powder
1 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 Cup Shortening (I used butter flavored)
1 tsp. Clear Vanilla Flavoring
Pinch of Salt
Ganache
1/3 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 tsp. Cornstarch
1 Cup Evaporated Milk

Directions:
1. Cake: Preheat your oven to 320ºF & grease 3 round cake pans. Trace the bottom of one onto a large sheet of parchment paper & cut out the circle, tracing it 2 more times to get 3. Place these paper circles into the pans & them lightly flour the sides of the pans.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, & salt, & then make a well in the center. In a separate bowl, whisk together the water & milk powder, & then whisk in the oil, vanilla, & malt. Pour the wet mixture into the dry & stir until just incorporated.
3. Equally distribute the batter between the 3 pans & slide them into the oven. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the centers of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from oven, flip the cakes out onto cooling racks, & let cool completely.
4. Frosting: Whisk the water & milk powder, & then whisk in the flour & cornstarch until dissolved. Pour into a medium pot on medium heat &, whisking constantly, cook until it is a thick sauce & just beginning to bubble. Remove from heat & transfer to a bowl & cover with plastic wrap pressed against the mixture.
5. Place the mixture in the freezer for about 10 minutes & then stir it up (covering with the plastic again) & put in the fridge for about more 15 minutes. Remove from the fridge & stir again & sit on the counter until room temperature.
6. In a large mixing bowl on medium-high speed, cream the shortening & powdered sugar until light & fluffy. Mix in the vanilla & salt. On low-medium speed, a little at a time (like a tablespoon scoop), mix in the flour pudding-like mixture until fully combined & fluffy. Snip a corner off of a sandwich baggie & fit a large star decorating tip through the hole. Scoop about 1/2 cup-worth of frosting into the baggie, press out the air, & seal the bag.
7. Frosting & Stacking the Cake: Place 1 cake layer on a large serving dish & spread a layer of frosting on top, at least 1/4" thick. Lay a 2nd cake layer on & frost, & then the last cake layer & frost again, frosting around the sides of the cake as well. Place in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
8. Ganache: In a small pot on medium heat whisk together the sugar, cocoa, & cornstarch. Add in the evaporated milk & bring to a simmer, whisking constantly to combine smoothly, until the mixture thickens but is still pourable (it will thicken a little more as it cools). Remove from heat & pour into a liquid measuring glass & cool down in the freezer for a few minutes. Stir well before pouring.
9. Decorating the Cake: Remove the cake from the freezer & smooth down the top & sides. Pour the chocolate ganache directly over the top center of the cake & smooth it around the top to the edges so the chocolate drips nicely & thickly down the sides. You can smooth the sides & scoop away the excess chocolate that pools on the plate at the base of the cake if you want (& then wipe away the residue with a paper towel), but I left it for decadent effect. Also, you can place the cake in the freezer for a little bit to firm up the ganache, though it's not necessary.
10. Using a small fine mesh strainer, sift a small amount of powdered cocoa onto the center of the cake over the ganache. Take the reserved frosting in the sandwich bag & pipe a swirl on the top of the cake about 1/2" from one edge. Pipe another swirl directly across from it. Pipe a 3rd swirl on the right or left edge, centering it in relation to these 2 ,& then pipe a 4th swirl directly across from it (so, you've got North, South, East, & West). Now pipe swirls centered between these 4 so you end up with 8 evenly spaced swirls total.


* For more chocolate cake, try this delicious one from The Bakeshop Ghost. *

11 comments:

  1. It is possible to clean the particular factors & information apart the extra chocolates in which private pools around the menu on the foundation with the wedding cake if you'd like (& next wash apart the particular remains using a papers bath towel), yet My partner and i still left that regarding decadent result. Furthermore, it is possible to spot the particular wedding cake inside the fridge regarding slightly to be able to firm up the particular panache, even though you lack.

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  2. I Was just wondering what the serving size is and how long it takes to make this? It looks really good :)

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  11. This cake looks really delicious. I am not a fan of the TV-series - it was interesting at first but then it all went down. And I actually had no idea there is a book - maybe it is better then the show. Thanks for sharing, I am going to try this recipe as soon as possible, I can't live without chocolate cake!

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