Wednesday, February 24, 2010

They Just Go Together

Sunday was my sweet boy Jack's 3rd Heavenly birthday and yesterday was Mr. H's 30th birthday so I've been busy and haven't had a spare moment to visit your blogs. So if I haven't visited you and I regularly do then please bear with me while I get caught up. I hope it's sooner than later but I'm also experiencing difficulty with my laptop. It started right before we left DC and it freezes on me every 15 minutes and stalls until I restart it. Very frustrating.

Last week I was chatting back and forth through email with Coleen from Coleen's Recipes and she mentioned that she had a holiday issue of Sweet Cakes from Fine Cooking that she was really enjoying and making a lot of recipes out of. Like her yummy almond cheesecake apple bars, doughnut muffins and upside down pear cake just to name a few. Well I realized I had the same magazine and also loved it but I had only made one recipe from it, the Easy No Yeast Cinnamon Rolls. That was about to change. Coleen mentioned the next cake on her list to bake was the Coffee Cocoa Cake, and it just happened to be one that I was wanting to try as well so we baked it "together" last week and we have both our versions to share with you today!

Most of the time I pour with one hand and take pictures with the other to get those action shots but this time my honey volunteered to hold the bowl for me. I think he just wanted a slice of it as payment later on :-)

This cake was really simple to put together. The hardest part is brewing the coffee and waiting for it to cool down enough to add it to the other ingredients. It's made in one bowl and packs an ample amount of cocoa and coffee giving it a rich, slightly fudgey cake that is good enough on it's own without frosting or a sprinkling of powdered sugar. The coffee wasn't totally apparent on the first day but it intensified the chocolate flavor in the cake. On the second and third day the coffee flavor shone through and it was still delicious and moist. I served it with a scoop of Starbucks Java Chip ice cream and a cup of hot coffee. I was bouncing off the walls later that day :-)

Coffee-Cocoa Cake from Fine Cooking

  • 10 Tbs. very soft unsalted butter; more for the pan
  • 1-2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour; more for the pan
  • 1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1-1/2 cups good-quality brewed coffee, cooled to warm

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter a 9-inch-square baking pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment, butter the parchment, and then flour the bottom and sides of the pan. Tap out any excess flour. (I used cocoa powder instead of flour to coat the buttered pan).

If mixing by hand, put the softened butter and sugar in a medium bowl. Using a wooden spoon, cream them until smooth, about 1 minute. Switch to a whisk and blend in the eggs one at a time. Stir for another 30 seconds, until the batter is smooth and the sugar begins to dissolve. Mix in the vanilla and salt. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder directly onto the batter. Pour in the coffee. Gently whisk the ingredients until the mixture is smooth and mostly free of lumps.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula. Bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with only moist crumbs clinging to it, 40 to 43 minutes. Set the pan on a rack to cool for 20 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edges of the pan, invert the cake onto the rack, and remove the pan. Invert again onto another rack and let cool right side up until just warm.

NOTE: This can be made in any 9-inch pan just make sure the sides of the pan are at least 2 inches high since this is a pretty substantial cake with a lot of batter. A Pyrex dish would work as well.

Be sure to go check out Coleen's version of this yummy cake! __________________________________________________ And here's something fun that Michelle of One Ordinary Day passed on to me. It's a Creative Writer Blogger Award and it's perfect since I placed 3rd in a Creative Writing contest when I was in elementary school. I even won a medal :-) Thanks Michelle!

  • Thank the person who gave you the award.
  • Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
  • Link to the person who nominated you.
  • Tell us up to six outrageous lies about yourself and at least one outrageous truth.
  • Allow your readers to guess which one or more is true.
  1. I placed 2nd in a Spelling Bee in 4th grade. TRUE
  2. I took naughty photos for my husband one year ;-) TRUE
  3. St. Patty's Day is my favorite holiday! FALSE
  4. Chocolate and PB is my favorite sweet/salty combination. FALSE
  5. I learned to cross stitch when I was a kid. TRUE
  6. Groundhog Day is my favorite movie of all time! SO FALSE

Hint: There are 3 true and 3 false statements above. Guess which ones are which!


Selba said...

What a wonderful coffee-cocoa cake!

Happy Belated Birthday, Mr. H :)

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

I'm thinking I wouldn't mind bouncing off the walls with this combination. Yummo! :)

Coleens Recipes said...

Fantastic photos Monica!! You deserve the creative writing award, you do such a good job.

Mrs. P said...

looks and sounds delicious! can't wait to make it.

From the Kitchen said...

We've only recently "met" and I just want to say that I am saddened to hear about your sweet Jack. I don't know your story--I think that's something one does come to know of bloggers they feel a connection with--but please accept my heartfelt condolences.


cookies and cups said...

Looks so chocolaty! And that ice cream ~ caffeine crazy ;)

Joy Tilton said...

Happy Heavenly Birthday Dear Jack, the Angels will bake this just for him.

OvenDelights said...

This looks really moist! Do you think it would to well as a loaf?

Debbie said...

Monica, A heavenly Happpy birthday to your little boy and birthday wishes to your husband. The cake looks terrific. I LOVE chocolate and coffee together. So good. I also checked out Coleen's cake, which also looks fantastic!!!

vanillasugarblog said...

awww aren't you a doll. happy birthday to your honey-doo.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

The cake sounds heavenly.I have to try it,since chocolate is always a hit at out house.I am enjoying this blog,keep it up.

oneordinaryday said...

Oh, sounds perfect. I like that there's no need for frosting too. Jim always disagrees with me on that point, but I prefer just cake.

Lovely cake to celebrate Mr. H. and your Jack.

I can't decide which are truths and which are lies! I think you were in the spelling bee, cross stitch, and that you like St. Patty's Day.

Astrid said...

Hmm, I am going to try to play, and most likely be completely wrong. Truths: You learned to cross stitch when you were a kid; You placed 2nd in a spelling bee in 4th grade; chocolate and pb is your favorite sweet/salty combo.

That coffee-cocoa cake looks amazing by the way, especially with the ice cream. You photographs are so beautiful!

Sophie said...

Dark and divine! I wish I could have a slice... especially served up like this.

Laptop troubles suck! I hope it's not a virus! :/

Honestly, I'm having a hard time figuring out what's true and what's not... haha! I could swear you mentioned some of these before, but memory fails me right about now. I'm going to take a guess that 3 is false.

Sue said...

I think a bit of coffee always adds to brownies or chocolate cakes. It makes the rich chocolate so much richer. This looks wonderful, I've saved it to try later.


Foodiewife said...

Sam is a lucky man. Happy Birthday to both of your special boys.
Yes, coffee and chocolate are meant for each other. LOVE this combo!

Janet said...

Sending the best birthday wishes to both of your sweethearts! Your cake looks fantastic! And, how nice of the birthday boy to assist you for the benefit we get of having another cool action shot!

Much love to you always!

Michel-lee said...

Happy "B" Day to the boys in your life. I'm going to guess which 3 statements are false. I want to say that 3, 5, and 6 are not true.

Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina said...

Here's my guess: #2, #3, and #5 are false. But no matter what, I hope his birthday was joyful! Now I gotta go look at the mud cake you made too! Ciao, Roz

Jeanette said...

My heart so understands the baking of the heavenly birthday cake. I know it was a emotional day.

Leslie Harris (de Limon) said...

Happy Birthday to Mr. H and your lil' angel, Jack.

Now this cake is my kind of cake. Just like you love to put ground cinnamon in your chocolate cakes, I love to add coffee! Can't wait to try this one.

And Congratulations on your award! :D I think #1, 4 and 5 are true.

Memória said...

1. Happy birthday to your son and husband. *HUGS*

2. The cake and ice cream look amazing.

3. I'm gonna guess that number 2 is true just because that would be cool if it were haha.

Maria said...

Happy birthday to the boys. The perfect dessert for a special celebration!

csr513 said...

Your cake looks soooo good. The picture pouring the coffee made me want to make it right away...

But then seeing DH (birthday boy) helping to pour, it reminded me so much of my DH and now I am definitely suprising him with it.

Happy Bday to dear husband and your dear Jack.

I always check your blog and I am sorry about your laptop. But I always check just in case, always showing my DH your pictures saying "can you believe she thought of this, omg, how awesome is that, etc. etc.".

Once you got the "bully"on your site, I promised myself to comment more. I feel like I "know" you and wish that I really did.

Thanks for sharing all that you do.

p.s. My perception is.....#1, #2 and #4 are true and you ROCK!!! I hope you tell us who is right. :o)

Zurin said...

wow wee...Im making least bookmarking it first b4 Imake it and after I do some workouts....teh cake looks absolutely scrumptious and happy birthday to ur DH and your son! ice creama nd a coffee choc cake are teh perfect combination ever!

Katie said...

The cake looks wonderful for a birthday, especially when paired with the coffee ice cream. I would have been bouncing off the walls!

I'm guessing that no's. 2, 4 and 5 are true!

Fay said...

WOW, this looks amazing!! I'm going to have to try this soon.

Sook said...

oh the cake looks so moist and perfect! Yum!!

Megan said...

You can never put too much coffee in a cake for me, so I think this would be terrific.

Happy belated birthday to your husband!

Talita said...

Yummm! This sounds kinda perfect! So rich and decadent!

tamilyn said...

I'll take mine without the ice cream please!

I bet the hubs would like the photos (wink, wink!)

Kerstin said...

Happy Birthday to your hubby and little one in heaven :) Your cake looks divine and I love that your hubby volunteered to help with the action shot!

Lissaloo said...

This sounds divine, what a great combo :)

sanya lourenco said...

CONGRATS! this is a b'ful blog which actually tells us abt 'U' a genuine, homely,romantic n such a simple soul.... :) i m very HAPPY dat i chanced on dis blog :) n i absolutely LOVVVVVVVVVVV ur blog pic! d cake stands shows u lov cake stands, dat u love baking cakes n ur baby shows u lov kids n spend as much focus on dem as u do on ur b'ful cakes.... god bless n thank u :) will b returning very very often to ur blog....THANK U :)

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