Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Taste & Create VII: Friends for Life Chocolate Cake

I am in love with Ms. Omana Paul. She was Nags' neighbor growing up, and would bring her family this lovely cake during the holidays. Obviously, I need to make friends with my neighbors! My husband and I currently live in an apartment community that sees a lot of resident turn-over.... considering we've lived there for... wow... 5 years as of last week... we've watched many people come and go. Add to it that we're both shy and private... and you may understand how we know no one here. We did make friends with a lovely woman (Hi Gail!) and her sassy puppy (Woof Kayla!), but they moved away. No new friends or dogs have been met since.

I don't know why I shared all of that with you, other than to think that if I made this cake for the people that lived in my building, that we could be friends. (It's ok, it isn't a big building.) Seriously friends for life, I'd think. This is that kind of cake.

This cake reminded me a lot of Orangette's Winning Hearts and Minds cake. Nags cake is spongier, for sure, but the richness of it (thanks, butter/eggs) is very similar. Mine took about 55 minutes, but I think I could have gotten away with taking it out sooner. The center of the cake was still gooey, so make sure you let it cool for a while before you try getting it out of the pan. I chose not to frost, and while I enjoyed it tremendously as it was, I can see how some folks could find it a little less sweet than a traditional cake. (But I really liked that aspect - the under-sweetness allowed the flavor to be more chocolate-based.) Perhaps a nice compromise would have been some lightly sweetened freshly whipped cream. Deal?

O my gosh! I've gotten this far without thanking Nicole for pairing me up with Nags for Taste & Create 7! How silly of me! T&C is a terrific monthly event, create by Nicole. She sorts out all of the participants and pairs us together and then hosts the roundup at the end of the month! I cringe at the amount of work that entails, and I couldn't be more grateful that she goes to the trouble! Check back to her site in a few days for the T&C 7 collection!!

Rich Dark Chocolate Cake
c/o Nags, For the Cook in Me
Adapted from, http://cookingandme.blogspot.com/2007/07/rich-dark-chocolate-cake.html

2 cups powdered sugar
1 ¼ cups unsalted butter (2 ½ sticks), room temperature
5 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup AP flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup cocoa powder
4 ¼ teaspoons powdered milk
1 teaspoon espresso powder
pinch salt
1 cup yogurt

Optional Butter Icing:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
6 1/5 tablespoons sugar

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan.**

Beat sugar and butter well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, powdered milk, espresso powder, and salt six times. This is to make sure that the ingredients have blended completely.

Beat the yogurt well to remove any lumps.

Alternate adding the yogurt and the dry mixture to the butter and sugar mixture. Do not beat at this stage. Slowly blend the ingredients and keep mixing well.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes, until risen and springy to the touch. Center will still be wet. Remove pan to a cooling rack and cool for 30 minutes, then loosen the cake from the sides with a thin knife. Invert and cool to room temperature (or less, if you like it warm), right side up.

If frosting, mix butter and sugar and spread on the cake.

**Note: Unless you have really high-sided cake pans, I would recommend either using two pans or placing a foil-lined sheet pan underneath the cake pan as it bakes.

1 comment:

Deborah said...

Well, I'd be your friend if I lived closer - especially if you shared some of this cake with me!