Wednesday, December 16, 2009

1st Blogiversary - 3-Layer Graphene Cake

Random Cuisine is celebrating its first-year blog anniversary. I never thought it would be possible to share over 120 recipes, receive at least 50 viewers per day and manage to subscribe 200 viewers throughtout the year while attending graduate school. I manage at this point to organize and lead over 35 cooking sessions. 50 friends and colleagues has joined this project separated into 4 cooking groups. Finally, this project manages to teach 10 people how to become confident cooks. I'm glad to say that this project has been a great success. I would like to thank to all people who came at least one of the cooking sessions and support in writing this blog. A special thank to my uncle who has showed me how baking is as simple as 1-2-3 and my aunt on how to make the cooking sessions more entertaining. I hope I have inspired you viewers to start a similar project like this. You only need to start with a small group, find the people who are willing to lend their place and invite more and more people to join the cooking sessions. One last thing, I was surprised that the Montreal Food Blogger community has found out about my blog and I'm happy to be part of this warm and welcoming group, so a BIG thanks to you all.

Throughout the year, some dishes tasted good, some tasted not so good (which are not posted here), some tasted great, some tasted really good, and some are simply outstanding. Here are the top 15 picks chosen by friends, colleagues and viewers in no order of preference :

1.  Assorted Mushroom Dumplings
2.  Summer Berry Medley
3.  Gluten-Free Coconut Macaroons
4.  Red Wine Sauce for Roast Beef
5.  Coconut Flan
6.  Mussels Marinières - Top 9 Foodbuzz Pick
7.  Sandwich Roll-Ups à la Jorge
8.  Alambre
9.  Eggplant Parmigiana
10. Shrimp Grapefruit Salad
11. Avgolemono Soup
12. Sanbei Chicken
13. Mini Prosciutto Frittatas
14. Sour Cream Doughnuts and Doughbits
15. Enchiladas de Mole

Top 3 themes :

1. Vegetarian Cuisine Night : Assorted Mushroom Dumplings, Cremini Mushroom Risotto, Moist and Healthy Muffin

2. The Ultimate Breakfast - Banana Pancakes, Pain Perdu, Blueberry Sauce, Soy Milk with Horchata

3. Asian Cuisine Night : Corn and Crab Meat Soup, Salt and Pepper Shrimp, Ma Po Tofu, Spicy Squid

Now, let's move on to the next question, why are there 3 cakes on the primary image? The two cakes at the bottom are for my birthday (Fruit Cake, bottom left) which coincides on the same day as my blogiversary and for my Mexican friend, Mon (Mango Mousse Cake, bottom right) which we decided to celebrate hers 2 weeks in advance. I was organizing a surprise cake for her, she thought that the cake I was making was meant for her. I decided to accumulate enough money from friends and colleagues to buy the surprise cake. I was so surprised that we have enough money to buy 2 cakes, showing how much we care and love her. Despite the number of close information leaks and accidental hints, we managed to surprise her. Happy Birthday, Mon! Kudos to all friends and colleagues who went along with the plan and to all who contributed the cakes.

The cake on the top of the image is for the first-year anniversary of my baby blog. Since I started food blogging, I had one thing in mind that I wish to fulfill : to bake from scratch with no shortcuts a multilayer cake with homemade frosting. I revealed my plans for a coconut cake among a few colleagues, some decided that it should have multiple flavours for each layer and my friend, Mathieu was joking about making a graphene cake. So basically I took this as a challenge. For the non-scientistific readers, graphene is not a food ingredient, it is what I am currently working on for the past few years in my research. In short, it is basically a sheet of carbon which has a honeycomb crystal structure. These sheets can be stacked to make graphite which is found in your pencil. Here is how a graphene stacking looks like, this will form the basis of the cake.

I have thought of making this cake unique, I wanted to detach each honeycomb "tower" from the cake without any cutting and serve it as one. If you can't see how, it will be shown pictorially. Enough chit chat, I'm dying to show you how we succesfully made this cake. It took us about 4-5 hours to make it and we were constantly beating egg whites and running the kitchen. The heat of the kitchen was hot hot hot, despite the cold weather in Montreal. The cake consists of three flavoured layers (vanilla, chocolate and lemon respectively) and coconut frosting in between the layers and on the top.

As in the scientific world, I have to write down all the names who contributed to the graphene cake : Victor Y., David J. O., Yony B., Monserratt L., Michel S.,Carlos G., Chris W., Jorge D., Fernando S., Lizbel L., Mathieu C.

Here is a close-up of the graphene cake.

What do you think, isn't that a masterpiece? Here is the recipe of all the components of the cake.

Coconut Frosting
Preparation Time : about 10 mins
Printable Recipe


2 large egg whites
pinch cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup coconut milk
300g shredded sweetened coconut


1. Place egg whites, cream of tartar and salt into a medium bowl. Beat egg whites over simmering water with an electrical mixer and add sugar gradually. Beat until firm peaks.

2. Fold in the coconut milk and shredded coconut into the egg whites. Refrigerate for at least 30 mins.

Vanilla and Lemon Cake Layers (1st and 3rd layer)
Makes 1 layer
Preparation Time : 15 mins
Baking Time : 10-15 mins
Printable Recipe


4 eggs, separated
pinch cream of tartar
2/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 oz. lukewarm water
2 oz. vegetable or olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract for 1st layer / juice of l lemon for 3rd layer


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line parchment paper onto a 13'' x 9'' bakng pan. Oil bottom of the paper.

2. Beat egg yolks with water and oil.

3. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar. Add sugar gradually and beat until firm peaks. Fold egg whites into egg yolk mixture.

4. Add lemon juice or vanilla extract to the batter and gradually fold in the flour.

5. Transfer batter into the prepared pan. Spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Bake for 10-15 mins or until cake springs back.

6. Cool for 5-10 mins. Using a hexagonal-shaped mould, press it onto the cake. Remove parchment paper and let your guess eat the unnecessary part of the cake.

Preparation Time : 10 mins


1 cup milk
1 tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar


1. In a measuring cup, combine all ingredients and let it stand for 10 mins.

Simple Chocolate Cake Layer
Makes 1 layer
Preparation Time : 25 mins
Baking Time : 25 mins


50g Baker's bittersweet chocolate (purple box)
2/3 cup butter
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line parchment paper onto a 13'' x 9'' baking pan. Oil bottom of the paper.

2. In a large saucepan, melt chocolate and butter in 1 cup of hot water.

3. Remove from heat and add gradually flour and sugar, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. Mix well with whisk.

4. Stir in buttermilk, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth.

5. Pour batter onto the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 mins or until it springs back.

6. Cool for 5-10 mins. Using a hexagonal-shaped mould, press it onto the cake. Remove parchment paper.

Cake Assembly

1. Use a large cardboard and envelop with aluminium foil and wax paper. This will be used as a support for the cake.

2. Place the vanilla layer on the board and spread the top with coconut frosting.

3. Align the chocolate layer with the vanilla layer and spread with coconut frosting.

4. Align the lemon layer with the chocolate layer. Spread the top with the frosting.

5. Refrigerate cake for at least 30 mins.

6. Serve by detaching a hexagonal tower as shown below. No cutting required.

The structure stayed intact after detaching 9 cake towers. Impressive isn't?

This is the longest post I have ever written, I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog. I will continue writing about food until the next blogiversary. Let me know in the comments section, what dishes did you like the most and what did you like about my blog?


  1. Where did you get a hexagonal mold? (My dad loves hexagons, although unfortunately, he doesn't like coconut or frosting.)

  2. Congratulations on your blogaversary! And this cake is quite impressive!

  3. Wow! That is unique! Great mold. Delicious also. Would love to have that grace my table.

  4. Congratulaions on your 1st blogiversary! This cake sounds great and very impressive ;D

  5. Happy blogiversary, and congrats on making it this far!

    And this cake made me laugh so much! I have to make a version for my biochemistry-studying boyfriend (not sure what molecule I'd make, though)!

  6. @Beatrice : All the coolest gadjets are usually on small, middle of nowhere, fully equipped stores, that's how I got my knife bag, dual graters by Cuisinart, etc...

    @Valérie, a double helix DNA can do the work! I'm pretty sure Laurent gonna love it, LOL!

  7. Nice work Victor on both the cake and one year of blogging. Great effort.

  8. :)
    Cheers my friend, I have to say, appart from being succesful in you research, you do cook quite well.

    Hereby some of the dishes I liked the most along this year, both for the fun of making them and the taste:

    Summer Berry Medley
    Coconut Macaroons
    Cheese Twists
    Pain Perdu
    Banana - Reese Chips Cupcakes

    the awesome:
    Sanbei Chicken (Sanbeiji)
    Roasted Chicken

    And the unforgettable pizzas!! :)

    It has been a great year!!
    The best for the next my friend!!
    Cesar's Guacamole

  9. That coconut frosting looks absolutely luscious!

  10. Congrats on your Anniversary, Victor! I wish you many more to come!!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...