Monday, February 7, 2011

donna hay's four tier chocolate cake

hey! valentine's day is approaching. have you planned your valentine's treat? i have. i've gone crazy with it. LOL. okay, please don't get bored with me talking about Junior Masterchef again. but because of that show, i have tons of thing i wanted to cook for the valentine's day. especially since there was so many pasta involved in that show, i wanted to make pasta for valentine. but that will be in next week's post, let's elaborate this one first.

today, i came to post Donna Hay's Four Tier Chocolate Cake. where this recipe comes from? Junior Masterchef (again). this is their pressure test on one of the episodes. this cake originally looks very innocent and plain. the point is to decorate them beautifully with 'less is more' principle. i always love berries when it comes to decorating pastry, this time i used red currant. red currant makes the cake looking more festive and merrier, but in the other hand i feel like i should use this decoration for Christmas Day instead of Valentine's Day. you can adjust the decoration to your liking, maybe with some heart-shaped candy for valentine? i can guarantee you this one is a must on your special day with your special someone. a cake that can make you feel loved more than ever, even when you eat it alone. 

when i saw the kids making this cake, i've thought about how easy and simple making this cake would be. i searched the recipe very soon from their site and found out that my thought is true. this is a simple cake with simple ingredients. i love making this cake. moreover, you should know how this cake tastes. this is the best chocolate cake i've ever tasted! i ended up making this cake twice. the first one was planned to be given for S. , the ultimate chocolate lover, i only tasted so little when he ate it and give me a small bite to try. i felt disappointed.. disappointed because i only made it for him! i should make some for me either. so the next day, i made it again and have a big slice for myself. then i assumed, my college friends would love this too, they've never tasted my baking-goods because we've been friends for just about 1.5 years. i still don't have the guts to give it to them. this is the first cake i gave for them and i'm amazed with their reactions. they can't stop slicing and slicing this cake and eat it! this is truly the best chocolate cake i've ever known. you should really try making this sensational cake..

Donna Hay's Four Tier Chocolate Cake
by Donna Hay through Junior Masterchef

1/2 cup (125 ml) water
60 gr butter, chopped
2 tbsp cocoa, sifted
1 cup (150 gr) plain flour, sifted
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda, sifted
1 cup (220 gr) caster sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup (60 ml) buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

chocolate cream cheese frosting:
50 gr butter, softened
250 gr cream cheese, softened
1 cup (160 gr) icing sugar mixture, sifted
1/4 cup (25 gr) cocoa, sifted


  1. preheat the oven to 150 degree C (fan-forced)
  2. place the water, butter and cocoa in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the butter has melted. place the flour, bicarbonate of soda and sugar in a bowl, add the cocoa mixture and whisk to combine. add the egg, buttermilk and vanilla and whisk to combine. divide mixture between 2 lightly greased 12 cm round cake tins lined with non-stick baking paper. bake for 40-45 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. allow to cool in the tins for 5 minutes. turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
  3. while the cake is baking, make the cream cheese frosting. place the butter and cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 6-8 minutes or until pale and creamy. add the icing sugar and cocoa and beat for a further 6-8 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  4. to assemble, slice the cakes in half horizontally. place one cake layer on a plate and spread with one quarter of the frosting. repeat with remaining layers and frosting. decorate as desired.
what happened in my kitchen?
  • the first time i baked this cake, i used 150 degree C temperature on a non fan-forced oven, it takes about 1.5 hours to bake. but for the second time, i used 180 degree C temperature and bake it for about 35-40 minutes, the result is the same. moist and tender.
  • substitution for buttermilk: 1 cup milk + 1 tbsp apple cider / 1 tbsp white vinegar / 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • i didn't have two 12 cm round cake tins, so i used one 16 cm and only able to make 2 tier.
  • i reduced the sugar for the cake to 1/2 cup and for the icing to 3/4 cup. personally it still tastes a bit too sweet for me with that reduction. adjust the sugar to your liking freely. a little advice, reduce it from the cake first instead of the frosting because icing sugar is very important for frosting.

that's it! go straight to your kitchen and make it very soon before valentine. make sure you leave some or maybe a lot of slices for your self before giving it to other people..
thanks for reading!
have a very pleasant day! :)


  1. @just cake girl: i love her too! i think she's better than martha stewart. thank you for the comment.. :))

  2. Me too. I love donna hay too :)
    The cranberries and chocolate cake look very inviting :) Well done, Mon :)

  3. @ayu: yes, we all love donna hay.. :D thanks a lot yu, why don't you try making it too?

  4. Aduh Mon, liat penampakan kreasi kamu trus bayangin rasa coklatnya jadi clegukan ndiri akuuu T_T

  5. Monica, I think all chocolate cakes fit for V-day! That's why I gave my cake a chocolate flavour too.

    Me too, I should try out Donna's recipes, all of them look really really tasty!

  6. @tabon: Ta! maap aku kelupaan bales komen km.. hahaha. diriku mulai pikun. huhu. seandainya km tetanggaku pasti udh ak bagi jg ke km, Ta.. hihi. Happy Belated V-Day Ta.. :)

  7. @Siukwan: hey, Siukwan! yeaah.. yours look amazing as well. :) i want to try out another donna hay's recipes. they really are look sooo tasty and well plated. tell me when you post some, i'll definitely will check it out. :D

  8. Me gusta muchísimo tu blog. La receta de hoy me parece deliciosa. Las fotos son increíbles.


  9. oh Silvia, u really are too kind. thanks for your visit. you have such a wonderful blog with sweet recipes too.. :)


  10. Your cake looks so beautiful and chocolaty! Impressive job!

  11. monaaa im thinking to make this cake for my mom bdayy.. what do u think?? or do u have any better idea what to make? :) ;)

  12. this cake will be perfect Rin! :)

  13. monaaa one more q! qhat fruit did u put on the top? lokks so prettyy! hehe thx!

  14. hi Rin! sorry for the late reply.. well, it's actually red currant, but i don't think you can find it in oz during winter, how do you think? in case you couldn't find it there, i think substituting it with another berries or stone fruits will do the same justice. apricot or peaches will be perfect!

  15. i actually never see it here.. fresh red currant, i even dont remember i saw it in Indo. i made it last week, the cake is yummmmm but mine was not as pretty as yours.. hehehe..


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