Monday, February 21, 2011

Chocolate Cake

Need I say more than the title? :) I have a treat for you. Namely one of the best chocolate cakes I've ever had. Despite my status as a chocoholic, I actually prefer chocolate cakes to be more subtle. While dense, fudgy, punch-your-mouth-with-sweetness chocolate cake is nice, I sometimes find the sweetness to be overpowering. Also, I think many people focus so much on chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, that they forget texture and moistness matters. Ina Garten is not one of those people. :)

Chocolate Cake
serves 16
based on Beatty's Chocolate Cake
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, unpacked
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken*
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 oz freshly brewed coffee

*To make buttermilk for recipes like this, I put 1 Tb. white vinegar in a measuring cup, fill it to 1 cup with milk  and stir. Never fails.

Hidden in the back there is this wonderful coffee. This lovely coffee comes with cocoa powder making it the perfect complement for this cake.

Sift the dry ingredients (flour, sugars, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, baking powder) together; combine with a wooden spoon.

Whisk together the wet ingredients (milk, oil, eggs, vanilla extract) minus the coffee.

Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring to incorporate completely. At this point, it will be  like a brownie batter, thick and lumpy.

"Drown" the batter in the coffee. This just means to pour the coffee directly onto the batter and let it sink in for about a minute.

Stir the coffee in completely. Because the batter was so thick before this may seem to thin. But it's not, it's perfect.

Pour into a prepared bundt pan (I just sprayed with cooking spray). I used a bundt pan instead of layers because a bundt pan lets me use a glaze or ganache instead of a ton of calorie-laden frosting like layers. Smart swaps like that let you enjoy things. Being healthy is not about deprivation; it's just about being smarter.

Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Quick Chocolate Glaze

  • 4 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 Tb. coffee 

Do not start this glaze until the cake has cooled and ready to frost. Mine looks weird because I didn't think about that beforehand and had to doctor it to keep warm for half an hour! lol

Melt the chocolate on top of a double boiler. (Set a metal bowl inside a saucepan with an inch of boiling water. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water.)

Remove from heat and add the honey and coffee.

Stir until smooth and spread onto the top of the cake.

Nutritional Information (for 1/16 slice): 256 calories, 10.7g fat (2.7g sat), 39g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 4g protein

Delicious. And am I the only who thinks the color of this cake is gorgeous? I can't be. I just can't :) The coffee adds grrrreat flavor (try prying yourself away from the batter, I dare you) but it also adds moistness for minimal calories. This isn't a "diet" recipe. But it sure is a smart choice for a chocolate fix. :)

Lately, I've been reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. It's a completely different way of looking at food. Eating food for food purposes instead focusing on nutrients. I've always felt that being too obsessed with low-fat or low-carb or low-calorie was dangerous and I've said that many times on here. It's nice to find someone who agrees but does a much better job articulating it. Food should be looked at as a whole, not as a carrier of vitamin C or omega-3s. Carrots are healthy. Are they healthy because they have vitamin A and beta-carotene? Or are they healthy because they're healthy? It's a very interesting way to think about food that really does help you make smarter choices. By just eating healthy food. If I could, I would buy a copy of this book for everyone I know and love and force them to read it for their own good. :)

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."


April said...

Hi Stephanie...I'm visiting from SITS! By the looks of that cake, I think I may have just died and gone straight to heaven!:)

Mrs Gloves said...

I saw chocolate cake and came running over here! Delish!

...stopping by from SITS...

Red Velvet Confections said...

Hi there - visiting from SITS! I saw cake and couldn't help myself. The recipe looks delicious. Yours is the first I've seen with the combination of honey and chocolate in the glaze. Sounds like an interesting treat for the palatte.

Lisa said...

That looks so dark and delicious and that frosting on top looks oh so good. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your cake up.

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