Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Chocolate Inspiration




Chocolate Inspiration
Source: Maida Heatter's Best Dessert Book Ever (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 1997 ed.), pg. 51.

I have always enjoyed making loaf cakes. I think they are fun and they look so tidy and neat. This is a very moist and flavorful loaf cake that slices like a dream (all cakes should slice this well!). Mine looks a bit flat and I should have used a smaller loaf pan. The recipe calls for a 5-cup capacity loaf pan but a larger one is okay, your cake will just not be as tall. This makes 2 cakes and you will need two loaf pans. 

This recipe has a secret ingredient - pepper. It gives the cake an unusual kick. 

Keep the cake wrapped in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator.

3 oz. semisweet chocolate
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 TBS. dry instant expresso or coffee
1 1/3 cups boiling water
1 3/4 cups sifted unbleached flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper (fine)
4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs

Adjust your oven rack 1/3 from the bottom and preheat to 325 degrees.

Butter or spray two 5-cup loaf pans and dust them with chocolate bread crumbs. Just mix enough cocoa powder into regular bread crumbs to give them a dark color.


 In a small saucepan or double boiler, melt both chocolates along with the expresso powder and the boiling water. Whisk it until the mixture is smooth. Transfer the mixture to a container that has a spout and can be poured from easily (I used a measuring cup). Set aside to cool to lukewarm temperature.
 
Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and pepper and set aside.


Beat the butter until soft and add the vanilla.
Gradually add the sugar.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beat until smooth.
On low speed, alternately add the flour mixture...
and the chocolate mixture in two additions. Scrape the bowl as necessarily and beat until smooth.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pans.
The recipe says to bake this for 1 hour and 10 minutes. I think that is far too long especially if you are using larger pans. For me, this was done in 40 minutes! I would watch it carefully and check it with a tester - as soon as it comes out clean, it is done. Remove from the oven and let it sit in the pans for about 15 minutes. Then cover with another rack, invert and carefully remove from the pans. Let them cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. This is delicious served as-is or you can serve it with a chocolate sauce or ice cream.