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2011, yet another year has come to an end  and we are eagerly awaiting the curtain raiser for 2012.. The countdown has begun in hours , minutes and seconds all over the world .Are we in agreement with the same zeal,eagerness and enthusiasm to welcome 2012 ? 
It surely has been an eventful year with ups & downs , mentions on the web, guest posting on JODI365,  loads of new blogging acquaintance and a new outlook for SK .
New Year's Eve is the ‘time’ to bid adieu to the year gone by and welcome the new year. It's the time to rock and roll with friends and family! What better way can it be welcome the new year than with this delectable Chocolate Cake ??? This luscious dessert will have you drooling.
Happy Birthday to you !!! Yes Yes!! This was a surprise birthday cake for an old lad… And he loved it… In fact the whole gathering adorned it… The little ones kept coming back for more..  Cloud 9 !! Indeed , I was on top of it .. explaining every other person in the cluster,how to make chocolate shards.. They tasted exactly like Mint Thins .
I always tussle when it comes to beautifying the confection.With my thinking hat on, I chose Chocolate Shards because the cake cant be dainty for a lad’s birthday with baskets, roses and butter cream .. I knew effort is minuscule and payoff is Huge .
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INGREDIENTS:
Chocolate Cake:
Self Raising Flour 2 Cups
Baking Powder 1 Tsp
Baking Soda 2 Tsp
Plain Chocolate 75 Gm.
Unsweetened cocoa powder 0.5 Cup
Caster Sugar 1.5 Cup
Hot Coffee Decoration 1 Cup
Unsalted Butter 1 Cup
Milk 1 Cup
Eggs 4 Nos
Vanilla Essence 1 tsp..

Nutella Biscoff Ganache - Adapted from here
Ideally Biscoff spread is made from spiced cookies, like gingersnaps.

Dark Chocolate (70% cocoa) 150gm
milk chocolate
(40% cocoa)
150gm
Nutella
(Hazelnut Spread)
400gm Jar
Double Cream 300gm
Icing Sugar
(Optional)
1/2 Cup

Chocolate Shards 

Dark chocolate 150gm
Peppermint Essence – Oil Soluble 2 Drops
Demerara Sugar /Brown Sugar 3 Tblspn

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DIRECTIONS:
CHOCOLATE CAKE:
  • Separate the white and yolk from the egg. Keep the butter out of the refrigerator a few hours before the making procedure, to have Butter at Room Temperature.
  • Prepare the hot Coffee Decoration by mixing 1.5 Tsp Bru or any Instant Coffee Powder with 1 Cup of Water. You could use any instant coffee powder of your choice.
  • Preheat the Fan Assisted Oven to 180 C. Cream together butter and sugar in a bowl. Whisk them until creamy and smooth. Its time to incorporate the yolk and whisk again.
  • In a separate mixing bowl ,Add the dry ingredients together - Self Raising Flour , Baking Powder , Baking soda & coco powder  and give it a good stir. Add in the wet Ingredients - Hot Coffee decoration & Milk  one by one with regular mixing after each incorporation.
  • Beat the White separately until a rising peak is achieved . Now add the chocolate pieces after melting them in the microwave for a minute to the Egg White Mixture. Mix Well. Add this White Mixture to the large mixing bowl containing the rest of the ingredients. Also include the butter – sugar mixture.
  • Using an hand blender , whisk the mix for about 1-2 minutes until all the lumps are gradually gone.
  • Grease 2 Sandwich Cake tins of 21cms with a lil butter and dust a bit of coco powder all around. Pour the cake mix in the sandwich tin up to 3/4th and place it in the preheated oven.
  • Bake for nearly 45 minutes until a wooden skewer inserted comes out neat.  Let it rest in the wire rack for a while( about 30 minutes) until the cake cools.
BISCOFF SPREAD:
  • Break the chocolate pieces into small equal pieces  and place them both  in the top of a double boiler set over hot water and allow to melt, stirring often.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in the Nutella spread. Add the double cream and with the help of an electric mixer, whisk until soft peaks form. Be careful not to overbeat, as the frosting will become grainy.
  • Taste , if you feel the sweetness needs to be adjusted , add in 1/2 a cup of icing sugar and give it a good blend.
CHOCOLATE SHARDS:
  • Bring together the essence and sugar and give it good mix.  At the same time , prepare a double boiler and melt the chocolate in them . Mix the essence into it .
  • Place the chopped chocolate in the top of a double boiler set over hot water and allow to melt, stirring often. Place a 16-inch-long parchment paper on your work surface. Pour the melted chocolate onto the paper and using an offset spatula, spread it in a thin and even layer, about 1/3 of an inch off each edge. Place a second sheet of same-sized parchment paper on top and gently press to release the air bubbles. Starting with one short end, roll the parchment paper tightly into an-inch-wide tube. Place it seam side down on a rimmed baking tray and chill in the refrigerator until set, for at least 2 hours.
    Have a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper ready and remove the tube from the refrigerator. Unroll the tube in one quick motion, which creates the chocolate shards. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper, and with the help of a large offset spatula go underneath the pieces, pick them up and transfer them to the lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Use the large shards for the sides and the broken small ones for the top.
  • I have adapted the process of making Shards from here.
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CAKE ASSEMBLING:
  • Using a long serrated knife , chop of the top bumpy bits and make it uniform.. Keep them aside , believe me .. they will handy when you want to taste the cake Smile .
  • Place one of the cake on cardboard carefully . Frost the cake,by spreading 1/3rd Ganache over the top . Place the second cake over the top of the frosted first half and frost the with top and sides with the remaining Ganache.
  • Carefully pull out the frozen shards .With the help of a tweezers , place the long pieces onto the sides and smaller ones on the top . Refrigerate the cake until the Shards set onto the Ganache and serve.
KITCHEN NOTES:
  • I haven’t used sandwich tins in this occasion , rather a regular heart shape cake pan . Baked the cake in 2 instincts. Alternatively you could also bake one large cake and slice them in to 2.
  • Chocolates begin to melt very easily with warm hands, hence use tweezers to place the shards.

EVENTS:
This delectable cake goes to

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