Monday, October 26, 2009

Simple Chocolate Cake for the 100th Post!

Back in January when I started this blog, I wasn't sure what to expect or how well I would do with this adventure. Before I even started I realized it would be a pretty big undertaking. I kept telling myself that I cooked, baked and canned all the time; a blog would essentially be taking it a step further by photographing and writing down what I did. So, I just sort of dove in and it has become an integral part of my life. Most of the time I love it, a couple times (okay, more than that) I've resented having to do one more thing on top of work and home life. It causes me stress and happiness and a sense of accomplishment all at once.

When I have scraped recipe failures into the garbage, felt like I couldn't come up with a single good idea to blog about, or simply have wanted to take a break, I remind myself that I started this in the depths of a Minnesota winter so I could refocus the creativity that I felt like I had lost and have a hobby while the snow and ice and wind swirled around outside.

Having a blog and realizing that people all over the world look at it on a regular basis is both an odd and giddy feeling. I get to wonder, for example, why people in the Middle East tend to look at my Cornflake Bars pretty regularly (seriously, why?). But really, thanks to all of you who have left me so many kind comments. I appreciate it very much and love knowing that there are so many fellow cooks out there.

I thought it fitting that for my 100th (!) blog post, I would present you with a celebratory cake. Here's the thing: A chocolate anything is last on my list of desserts that I make or order. I felt, however, that I wanted a chocolate cake in my repertoire that I could bake on the fly without too much fuss. I wanted to develop a cake recipe that was simple and memorable. I didn't want it in the style of a Devil's food cake, but instead imagined it more dense so that a small, lovely slice would suffice.

I don't like flourless chocolate cake or molten chocolate cake very much but I set various cookbooks on my counter turned to those exact recipes and wondered how I could make something new that would please my picky chocolate cake palate. I fully expected a number of cake disasters but really, it wasn't so bad at all. The top of this cake (which was a happy accident) is the standout: it's flaky, crisp and beautiful while enclosing the rich interior.

  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon amaretto

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with a piece of parchment and then butter that as well.

Add the chocolate chips to a glass bowl and set the bowl over a pot of simmering water, not allowing the bowl to touch the water. Whisk occasionally until melted and smooth. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, add the butter and sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the Amaretto. On low speed, add the flour. Add the melted chocolate and mix until thoroughly combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 55-60 minutes. The cake is done when the top of it feels springy when lightly pressed. The cake will have risen dramatically in the oven, but as it cools, it will sink down. Allow it to cool on a wire rack and serve warm or at room temperature. Sift a light dusting of powdered sugar over the top.

The cake will keep for several days and is actually better the day after it is made. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche or whipped cream if you like.


Eric said...

Congratulations on the 100th posting! Champagne time!

All About Food said...

Oh, yes, a small lovely piece is what I'm dreaming of right now. I must make this cake today. And, I agree with Eric. Chocolate and champagne are a perfect match for a celebration. Congratulations.

alita said...

Wonderful - I will be making this - along with recipes from about 50 other posts that I am behind on. How did 100 happen so quickly! Congrats & keep up the good posts, Lady!

Lori said...

Congratulations! A cornflake bar, eh? I have to go check that out.