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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Grown Up Chocolate Cake

This cake is REALLY easy, and you can modify the recipie endlessly and it still comes out fine. You can double it if you have a bigger pan. It is, however, darker and more bittersweet than your average chocolate cake and the dark chocolate icing intensifies matters. I made it in a healthy(er) version this shabbos and i'll include the modifications in the parentheses.

Preheat your oven to 350
Take a 9x13 pan, I used a foil disposible. Measure these ingredients into it.
1.5 cups all purpose (or whole wheat) flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Stir these together with your finger tips. When it looks evenly combined (no lumps of flour or cocoa), poke three "wells" in the powder with your finger. Pour one of these into each hole
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil (i also have used non-extra virgin-olive oil out of necessity and it came out fine).
The pour a cup of water over it all and mix really well with a spatula or spoon. Add walnuts or something if you want. Pop it in the oven for about half an hour to 45 minutes- its done when a knife stuck into the center of the pan comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs on it.

While the cake is cooling, make the frosting.
Take a bar of your best premium pareve or DE chocolate. I used a combination of Scharffenberfer Gianduja and Scharffenberger 62% Semisweet. Either grate it (not reccomended on a dry day as finely grated chocolate can pick up a static charge and fly all over the room when you move the grater) or chunk it up- or just use chocolate chips. Place in a microwave safe bowl with a drizzle of water and nuke in thirty second intervals untill the chocolate is softened- dont let it burn though- and stir it together untill its smooth and frostinglike. Pour it onto the cake and frost! Garnish as desired.

You can frost more easily by sprinkling the grated chocolate directly on the still hot cake. After 1 minute, you'll be able to spread it.
I tried this recipe and although it tasted it good, it was VERY thin and the guests thought it was a brownie....but it's not a brownie consistency...anyone else have this experience??
I loved the chocolate bar idea, how long do you think it takes to harden on the cake. I was worried that the foil cover would stick to the top.
possible u are using a deeper pan than i was. intially the recipie was double and it nearly overwhelmed a 9x13x2 pan, so i halved it for a 9x13x1 pan, so youve either got 117 or 234 cubic inches of cake and/or leftover pan space and overall flatness.
it doesnt really harden so fast at room temp- think overnite- but if u fridge it for a bit it firms up pretty quickly.
I often make a version of this cake with chocolate chips mixed in, which I find enhance it greatly. My version of the recipe doesn't have the bit about the three little wells; it just says to mix the solid ingredients first and then add the liquid ingredients. I used to have a hard time getting rid of the lumps using this method, so I started using a food processor instead of mixing the batter in the pan. Do you have trouble getting rid of the lumps too, or does the "wells" method take care of that?
I have a very similar recipe, but I use (decaf) coffee instead of water. Makes a lovely taste!
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