Wednesday, August 4, 2010
We have a little tradition. Mr. BV bakes me a carrot cake for my birthday.... and for his...I bake a chocolate. Our birthdays are too close together (in days, not years) ...for us to have two cakes in a week....so we usually do somebody's in the proper week....and the second several months later.
I try different chocolate recipes every year... but, he must stick to his now "famous" carrot cake that I love....
This was the one I made a few months ago for his special day. It's from my ancient "Canadian Cook Book".
Chocolate Mocha Cake
2/3 cup shortening (I used butter)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups sifted pastry flour .. or ..
1 3/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup strong coffee (cooled)
2/3 cup sour milk, or buttermilk (to make sour milk just add a few tsps lemon juice or vinegar to milk and let sit a bit)
(The recipe says to stir cocoa and coffee til smooth and cool...then to blend it into the fat sugar egg mixture, but I prefer to add my cocoa to a bit of the flour and stir it into the butter mixture) ..
Cream shortening; add sugar gradually, beating after each addition til fluffy. (proper emulsifying of fat and dissolving of sugar is essential to fine textured cake.)
Add vanilla; beat well. Add room temperature eggs one at a time beating well after each egg.
Add milk and flour alternately to the fat-sugar mixture, 1/4 each time, beginning and ending with flour. It is a drop batter and should be thin.
Bake at 350F in a greased 8 inch square pan or two 8 inch layer pans. You can line with waxed paper if you like. I usually just lightly grease my pans and dust on a bit of cocoa. Works the same as flour...but doesn't leave a white residue on the sides of the cake.
Layer cakes will bake in about 30 minutes and square cakes in about 50. Check for doneness with a toothpick.... if it comes out clean they are done. I usually test a bit early for chocolate cakes because you definitely don't want to take a chance. The recipe talks about browning...but, hey...it's tough to tell when chocolate is browning and it can burn too easily.
Cool 10 minutes, run a knife around the sides and place rack on top of pan. Turn over and your lovely cake should pop right out onto the rack. If you papered... gently peel off the paper.
Mocha Butter Icing
3 to 5 tablespoons butter
2 cups icing sugar (approximate)
3 tablespoons strong cold coffee... or sift 1/2 tablespoon instant coffee with sugar.
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa ... or just enough to give a light chocolate colour to icing. Or, melt 1/2 to 1 square of unsweetened chocolate and stir into creamed butter.
For my coffee, I made some strong coffee with instant and cooled it. Then...added as needed to get proper consistency. If you want less coffee flavour you can use a bit of milk as well as a tiny bit of coffee.
Sift the cocoa with some of the sugar.
Cream butter with 2 tablespoons sugar; add some liquid gradually.
Sift in remaining sugar to make it thick enough to spread.
I always have my handy dandy tasting spoons nearby too..... when it tastes right to me...it's perfect to spread onto the cakes. If I make layers...I want some to spread between the layers as well..... if you only make the square you can make a bit less icing.
This one's for you Shashi....I hope you like it. The print friendly "thingy" below is great. Click on it...then move your cursor over the recipe...deleting anything I yak about that is not pertinent... then print out the part you need to bake the cake. I'm too long winded....hahahha......