July 30, 2010

plain, simple, perfect

My birthday senses are heightened around this time of year mostly because my own is looming around the corner.  Growing up, however, the only other person near and dear to me who was born in the heat of the summer was my little Tesswich, exactly seven years and 51 weeks after me.  I guess my mother is either a masochist or a victim of poor planning.  I figure for those who can help it, they do their best not to balloon an extra thirty pounds and bring a new life to the planet in the dead humidity of summer but then again, it may be a little anal retentive to worry about such things.  I suppose you could have a baby in the middle of a snowstorm {cough}Grandma{cough}.

Recently I realized that more people in my life are summer babies which means cakes to bake and hold up in the melty heat.  Cupcakes can usually make it but cakes need to hold up at least twelve servings on their little spongy shoulders. Sometimes you just want to bring one, solid treat, you know what I mean?  Fortunately, this cake is meant to be baked easy peasy in a 9 x 13-inch pan.  However, if you want to test its weight lifting powers, I have successfully baked it into a two-tiered cake with 8 or 9-inch pans and a three-tiered cake with a 6-inch pan with time adjustments.

This cake recipe is wonderful in its rich, chocolaty simplicity.  No sour cream, mayo, avocado or beer to steal the spotlight.  The usual complaint about chocolate (and white for that matter) cake is that it's too dry.  That shouldn't be a problem with this one and I have a feeling it has a lot to do with the lack of cocoa powder and the addition of solid baking chocolate. 

This cake should be loved be even the pickiest eaters.  With that I will wish a happy 2-6 to Nick McNeil, the pickiest of them all.  Even though you only love burgers and pulled-pork, you are still fantabulous (and you better like this cake, HA).

Mountain Meadow Chocolate Fudge Cake (or the best chocolate cake ever!)

adapted from Sticky Chewy Messy Gooey
Yield: 15 servings

2 C all purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 C boiling water
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 C  brown sugar I used brown sugar for even more moisture!
1/2 cup buttermilk I never buy it, I just do 1 T apple cider vinegar to 1 C milk and let it sit for 5 min.
2 large eggs
1 T pure vanilla extract

your favorite chocolate frosting
I'm still finding my "all-time favorite chocolate frosting recipe" but I had all of that unsweetened chocolate so I went with Baker's One Bowl Chocolate Frosting recipe. Anything that can be mashed together and only dirty one dish is a definite plus on my list. Even though the icing looked oily at first, it frosted and piped without a problem and I was able to stick it in the fridge and reheat it a few times since I wasn't able to make the cake in one fell swoop. It has a nice sheen and is holding up well!
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Brush a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with melted butter or line with nonstick foil.
1. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.
2. Combine the butter, boiling water, and chocolate in a saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium-low heat and whisk gently until the butter and chocolate are melted and the mixture is smooth.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sugar.
4. Quickly whisk in the buttermilk and then the eggs and vanilla.
5. Using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients just until combined and a smooth batter forms, about 1 minute.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, 20-25 minutes.
7. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and frost according to the icing directions. Some cakes need to be warm for a poured icing and some need to be cooled for a traditional buttercream.

Nutrition (just the cake): 313 cal, 16.5g fat, 111mg sod, 38g carb, 25g sugar, 1g fiber, 4g protein


Anonymous said...

that looks amazing! i wish i thought of that haha. love you!

Allison said...

Loren. You are the rockinest. This looks totally delectable and covered in yummy!

Anonymous said...

That cake is a chocolate fotress! There should be Lego men with cannons on top of it.

-Raurri, Lauren Puzier linked me to the blog