Friday, October 3, 2008

When you need a chocolate fix...

Anyone with kids in elementary school will know that there aer many, many occasions in which you're asked to bring something to a school function. Over the years, there were a few items that I became known for. French cookies (more on those in a future post!), fruit salad, Halloween treats...and for the carnivals and cake walks and bake sales, the Deep Dark Chocolate cake you see in the picture above. This one was made by my now 14 year old daughter for my birthday.

This cake is quick to put together, easy to make, takes ingredients most folks already have in their kitchen, and has a decadent, moist texture that is always a hit. It is a modified version of the Hershey's cake recipe that used to be on their cocoa can. Here's the recipe:
Deep Dark Chocolate Cake Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Nestle mini chocolate chips (optional)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I use double strength)
1 cup freshly brewed coffee (strong) or espresso

Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing (recipe to follow)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan. 2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Stir in chips. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of electric mixer 2 minutes. Stir in coffee (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. (Cake may be left in rectangular pan)

Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing
1/4 cup butter melted
1/4 cup softened butter
8 ounces Philly cream cheese, softened to room temp
2 tsp vanilla (or vanilla bean paste)
1/3 cup cocoa
powdered sugar
1 shot espresso

1. Using a whisk, combine the melted butter and the cocoa. Whisk in 2 tbsp espresso. Set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, softened butter, and vanilla; mix until smooth. Add chocolate mixture, mix.
3. Add powdered sugar, about 3 cups, and mix until smooth. Depending on how thick you want the icing, add more powdered sugar until you get the consistency you desire. If it gets too thick, add more espresso or some milk.

And there you have it. This cake will serve a lot of people, and they'll beg you for the recipe when you're done! Enjoy!

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