Food + Wine

Mystery Chocolate Cake

I’ve been thinking a lot about chocolate cakes lately. It must be the pregnancy…
It’s not so much that I’ve been craving chocolate cake, I’ve just been craving the idea of baking a chocolate cake. So when today left my family ‘snowed in’, I thought it felt like the perfect day to make one. I was looking through my recipe book, (which is basically just a notebook with a lot of messy notes and magazine clippings, etc. since I don’t tend to use recipes), and came across a chocolate cake recipe whose origin is completely lost on me. I don’t know where I got it from, how long it’s been in there, or even if it’s my own, but it sounded good so that’s what I decided to make today. I did change quite a few things from what I originally read, so I guess if it wasn’t mine to begin with, I can now take a good bit of ownership in it…

My son happily helped me make the cake until my mother came over to take him sledding in the driveway. Then I got to finish it in while sneaking peaks of the cutest grandma and the cutest 3 year old playing in the most beautiful snow I have ever seen.

As far as complicated recipes go, this one is not very difficult, it just involves a lot of steps. But it is definitely worth making. The cake is delightfully dense, fudgey, extremely moist and it certainly satisfied my cravings, (both the craving of baking the cake, and the craving I didn’t even know I had of actually getting to eat one). Here’s what I did…

*In a large saucepan, on medium heat, combine the following ingredients and stir until completely melted and combined…
-2 cups white sugar
-4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
-1 stick unsalted butter
-1 cup of water mixed with 1 rounded TB of instant espresso powder (or substitute 1 cup of strong coffee)
*Remove from the heat and pour into a large mixing bowl and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes, or until it is no longer hot, but room temperature.

*Meanwhile, in a small bowl, sift together the following ingredients and set aside…
-2 cups all purpose flour (whole wheat pastry flour is a great substitute for a ‘healthier’ cake)
-2 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp salt

*Also, in another small bowl, stir together the following ingredients and set aside…
-1 cup milk
-1 tsp apple cider vinegar
-good splash of vanilla extract
-2 eggs
*Whisk until the eggs are fully beaten and well distributed.

*When the chocolate mixture has cooled enough, whisk the egg/milk mixture into the chocolate mixture slowly (please do not make scrambled chocolate eggs here. Be sure your chocolate mixture is cool enough to handle the raw eggs, or you can temper your egg mixture by stirring a little bit of the chocolate into it and therefore bringing it up to a warmer temperature before adding it all into the chocolate).
*Whisk your sifted dry ingredients into the wet, a little bit at a time, and mix until just smooth and well combined.
*Pour this into a greased and floured 9 in bundt pan.
*Place in a preheated 375 oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until set.
(You can do the toothpick test: If the toothpick comes out relatively clean when inserted into the middle, it’s done.)
(Or the finger test: When you touch the top of the cake, and it quickly springs back, it’s done.)
(Or the eyeball test: When the cake has started to come away from the edges, it’s done.)

*Allow the cake to rest for at least 10 minutes in the pan before inverting onto a rack.
*Allow the cake to completely cool before transferring it to a plate or cake stand.

*When the cake has completely cooled, top with the following frosting…
-Melt 1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips over a double boiler until smooth and glossy.
-With an electric beater, beat in 1 brick of softened, low-fat cream cheese until well combined and smooth.
-Add a splash of milk and stir together.

**You can always make this into a layer cake by baking it in two round cake pans and then make a double batch of the frosting to frost a layer inside as well as on top.

*Garnish with some sifted powder sugar if you’d like, and enjoy!

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  • Reply 5 Star Foodie January 11, 2011 at 12:05 am

    Yum! Sounds like an excellent chocolate cake for sure!

  • Reply Velva January 11, 2011 at 1:56 am

    A beautiful snow day…Baking a chocolate cake and enjoying the view of grandmother and grandchild is priceless.

    The cake looks fabulous.

  • Reply Gigi Centaro January 11, 2011 at 2:53 am

    The cake sounds great, but what really has me intrigued is your chocolate cream cheese frosting. That I must try.

  • Reply Everyday Champagne January 11, 2011 at 3:17 am

    Thanks everyone! I'm happy to have lots and lots of leftovers of it!
    And Gigi, the frosting is almost my favorite part! I'm not a traditional icing lover, but I happen to think any cake is better with a cream cheese frosting..

  • Reply Tinky January 11, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    I'm with Gigi; the frosting sounds SO easy. And I'm a major cream-cheese fan.

  • Reply Zoe January 11, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    I crave for chocolate cake too all the time…even that I'm not pregnant. LOL!

    You got a great blog and lots of food ideas and I'm happy to follow you for more cooking ideas in the future 😀

  • Reply Everyday Champagne January 13, 2011 at 12:35 am

    Thank you Tinky, it was almost too easy!
    And Zoe, thanks so much for reading, I love having a new friend!

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