World Chocolate Day: A Celebration!
And where To Find The Best Chocolate Cakes in Singapore!
World Chocolate Day occurs annually on 7 July. First celebrated in 2009, some suggest that it commemorates the day that chocolate was first introduced to Europe in the 1550s. With World Chocolate Day just behind us, we’ve curated a list of the best chocolatey delights you can buy from a home baker right this very moment! Interestingly, chocolate was a luxury that only the rich could consume. The process of extracting cocoa was long, technical and costly. Hence, it was only something that the rich could afford. In 1828, a man named Coenraad Van Houten of the Netherlands came up with a method to extract cocoa such that it could be sold as rock cocoa or cocoa powder. The inexpensive process paved the way for chocolate to be appreciated by people of all socio-economic levels! Thanks to Mr Van Houten, you may now conveniently pick a bar of chocolate off the shelves of your neighbourhood supermarket.
Chocolate cake goes way back, all the way to the 17th century, when cocoa powder from America was added to traditional cake recipes. Even then, the recipe was not widely used. Chocolate recipes were mostly for chocolate drinks like chocolate milk! Chocolate in cakes was usually found only in fillings or glazes. It was only in 1886 that American pastry chefs started to add chocolate to their cake batters, making the first chocolate cakes in the US! Yummy! For your classic and rich chocolate fix, look no further than Upcakes.sg’s classic home-styled chocolate cake which has a moist sponge layered with a generous serving of their signature chocolate ganache. The Upcakes Chocolate cake series also comes in mint and MSW durian flavours for those who enjoy pairing chocolate with other unique tastes. They are currently going for $39 to $86 per 8-inch cake; perfect for your next social gathering.
Many different types of chocolate cakes have spun off from the classic chocolate cake, giving rise to the variety of sinful and irresistible bakes that we see around us today.
Valrhona Chocolate Cake
“Valrhona Chocolate” would be a familiar term for the chocolate connoisseurs out there. Valrhona is the name of a premium chocolate manufacturer located in the small town of Tain L’Hermitage in France since 1922. (Like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – but in France!) The factory focuses on fine grade luxury chocolate that is used for both commercial and private consumption. So if you prefer a premium touch to your chocolate cakes, consider @wawabakes.sg’s Valrhona Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Lava. Yum!
Legend has it that brownies go way back to 1893, right in the heart of Chicago, Illinois. Someone asked a pastry chef for a dessert suitable for ladies that were attending the World’s Columbian Exposition. It was supposed to be small enough to be included in lunch boxes. The result: the Palmer House Brownie with walnuts and apricot. However, this dessert was unnamed until some time after 1893. We will save the details for our subsequent feature of the brownie, and bring back your attention back to World Chocolate Day! Today, the brownie is one of the most popular dessert choices. It is frequently paired with chocolates and is a popular item served by many home bakers. For those looking to indulge in something moist and fudgy, do check out the Double Choco Chip Brownies from @bakesbyvan. Fresh from the oven, these brownies are crispy, fudgy and moist! Talk about complexity of texture in one simple dessert! They are currently going for $22 a tray and $12 for a box of 9.
Chocolate Chiffon Cake
Did you know that the chiffon cake was invented by an insurance agent? Back in Los Angeles in 1927, the cake was highly popular, with people describing it as “light as angel food, rich as butter cake”. If you prefer a lighter cake and also have an affliction for chocolate, consider – Chocolate Chiffon Cake! @Jollybakerstudio bakes a selection of chocolate chiffon cakes for the price of $15 for a 15cm cake. They also offer other varieties of chiffon cake too!
Many speculate that the Blackforest Cake is eponymous with the Black Forest Mountain range in Southwest Germany. There are many different legends that shroud the origins of this cake in mystery. Some people believe that the name is acquired from Schwarzwalder Kirsh, a specialty liquor in the Black Forest region. Distilled from tart cherries, this is the reason why Blackforest cakes possess a distinctive cherry pit flavour combined with a tinge of alcohol. Another school of thought suggests that the name of the cake is inspired by the traditional costume of women in the Black Forest region.
Regardless of your school of thought, the deliciousness of the Blackforest Cake is undeniable! However, the team at Home Bakers Singapore has yet to find a home baker that bakes blackforest cakes. So drop us a PM if you find one!
Indulge in a Chocolate Cake this World Chocolate Day!
The chocolate/cake pairing has come a long way since the 19th century, and we are truly blessed to be living in an age where we are spoiled for choice with hundreds of chocolate desserts available. As a tribute to all the bakers before us that have laid the foundation of this popular dessert, the team at Homebakers.sg wants to give thanks to all the home bakers for their creativity in shining the light and bringing creative iterations to this dessert of choice.