Posts Tagged ‘chocolate cake’

Every night after dinner Steve says “Do we have any cake?”  and most nights I give a negative nod.  But, once in awhile I decide to take pity on him and make a simple cake to offer with a cup of decaf.  The problem with cake making is that Steve eats one dainty slice and forgets about it while I am left to devour the remains.  I have a terrible sweet tooth which makes eating an entire cake not difficult to do – over a few days, of course.  Since I am always trying to watch my weight (and not watch it increase) this is not something I like to do so cake making isn’t often on my list of kitchen chores.  Since Steve prefers a simple cake – pound cake, angel food, spice – I can always quickly put together a plain cake from memory.  Here is a chocolate version of bundt cake that is easy to make and keeps well over a few days, well-wrapped in the fridge.  If desired, you can add a cup of chopped nuts or chocolate chips or other flavored chips to the cake or drizzle the top with a glaze or sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

Makes one cake

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
2 ¼ cups sifted flour
¾ cup sifted dark cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Lightly coat the interior of a bundt cake pan with butter and flour or with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
Place the butter in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle and beat on low to soften.  Add the sugar, raise the speed to medium, and beat until light and creamy.
Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.  Begin adding the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, a little at a time, alternately adding the milk and one egg.  When all of the ingredients have been blended in, add the vanilla and beat to incorporate.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.  Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until the edges pull away from the pan and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and invert the pan onto a wire pan.  Lift off the pan and allow the cake to cool before cutting or covering with a glaze.

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A summer weekend in the country as house guests of wonderful hosts – what could be better?  We had a terrific one with friends who, like us, are writer/editor and photographer.  We were joined by our mutual art director pal who kept us all performing at our style-book best.  At cocktails, we were treated to Michel’s (our photographer-host) favorite pissaladière baked by Mado at her tiny bakery on Main Street in Chatham, New York.   Michel made his famous beer can chicken sans beer can and coerced me into trying to duplicate his grandmother’s clafoutis (see my October 10, 2010 post on this very same subject).  Trying to remember the recipe didn’t exactly work as I had hoped but the results were good enough to take Michel back to the warmth of his grandmere’s cuisine and the rest of us to cherry dessert heaven.  Another extraordinary chocolate cake again baked by Mado expanded our dessert table.  Michel decided that the chicken was over-cooked and I decided that it was simply “burnished” to a lovely patina.  Joel, the art director, heard me say burnoosed and so, of course, beer can chicken sans beer can is now known as burnoosed chicken.  The evening was exceedingly warm but the friendship and good time was even warmer.  And, over-cooked or not, Michel’s burnished, smoky chicken was absolutely delicious.

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