Simple Sinful Chocolate Cake

This month is love month and it’s a valid excuse to fall in love with Chocolates (I still have truffles and chocolate barks in my fridge from last Christmas and I just need to turn them into something something soon;  but if they were Cadbury and Kit Kat bars, they’d all be gone!)again.   So candies out, but a chocolate cake worth sharing to loved ones and friends (readers and viewers too) was the order of the day.   It’s been a while since I baked a “real” chocolate cake, I meant, from scratch, nope, not from a box this time.    And I’m using “real” chocolates — squares, chips or discs…nope, no cocoa powder, one that I’d melt (and “melt” is a lovely Valentine’s Day word).

No best-kept secrets, really, to a simple but darn good chocolate cake.  It’s got to be delicious and moist, it’s got to be chocolatey-rich, it’s got to be simple.   My aunt Linda Jardeleza Cruz, back in my Iloilo days, would bake her chocolate cake in her electric oven and make everyone go gaga from the “deliciously intoxicating” smell of her freshly-baked cake.   I could only guess it was courtesy of unsweetened baking chocolate squares, instead of cocoa powder in the cake batter.  I also remember I would frequent Cookie Monster in Makati after work to get my regular dose of chocolate goodness via its Moist Chocolate Cake with Natilla Filling and Plain Cooked Chocolate Frosting (the best chocolate cake ever!).  It’s hightime that I should also say “thank you” to my baking instructor in QC for sharing her “years of baking experience” techniques of making a moist chocolate cake — one of which was making sure that the cake batter is of a “runny” (not creamy) consistency.

Recently I made this chocolate for my CPRTV “CelebrEATy Circle” segment — a “no-frosting” required, moist single-layer chocolate cake and served with a knockout chocolate sauce.  And it was a big hit!  Titah V emailed me right away…”di ko malaman what happened to your choco cake today.  nilantakan at gustung-gusto talaga ng lahat. gumusto pang umulit ng iba (pero) wala na.”   In simple translation — Chocolate Cake means happy tummy, lol!  And in the spirit of “love month” I share this no-fuss but darn good chocolate cake, but with this fair warning…”This chocolate cake may cause cake tasters crowding at your  dinner table and cutting right away into “just taken out from the oven” cake, so I’d strongly suggest for you to make a double batch”.

A delicious chocolate cake that I love to make, it’s just combining all ingredients in one bowl, so simple.    To serve, cut baked cooled cake into squares and drizzle with rich chocolate sauce.

3 (1 oz each) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate discs or chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream

Cake Preparation
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease-line with parchment paper and grease again a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.   Set aside.  Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and whisk using low speed of electric mixer to aerate; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter or margarine with the sugars until well blended, using an electric mixer.   Add eggs one at a time and then beat in vanilla and melted chocolate.   Beat in flour mixture and sour cream, mixing well until batter is smooth.  Stir in boiling water.   Transfer to prepared baking pan and bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 (it’s 45 minutes in my oven) or wooden skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean.  Cool in the baking pan for 10 minutes (it didn’t happen with the cake I made, the girls were in a “chocolate binge eating mode).  Cut into squares, and serve with a drizzle of chocolate sauce.

Sauce Preparation
In a microwaveable bowl, zap chocolates and heavy cream for a minute.  Stir.  Zap again in 30 seconds interval, stirring well, until well combined and chocolate fully melted and creamy.

Tip:   To melt baking chocolate squares, place baking chocolate squares in a liquid measuring cup and zap for 1 minute.  Stir briskly.   Put back in the microwave for extra 10 to 15 seconds if needed.

Triple-tested this recipe…and works everytime…my friends really love this cake!

BOB RECIPE: German Chocolate Cake

Just what I needed for German Chocolate Cupcakes am baking/decorating tomorrow.  Will bake in paper-lined muffin pans and pile some of this icing on top of baked muffins.  Then sprinkle some cocoa nibs.

from: Flavorite (Supervalu, Inc.)
Product:  Sweetened Coconut

BOB RECIPE:  German Chocolate Cake

Bake German Chocolate Cake mix according to directions.  Cool & Frost with following icing.

2 eggyolks
3/4 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon margarine
1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat egg yolks; add milk, sugar and margarine.  Cook over medium heat for about 12 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and add coconut, nuts and vanilla.  Spread on cake.

BOB RECIPE: Deluxe Devil’s Food Cake

from: Softasilk
Product:  Cake Flour

BOB RECIPE: Deluxe Devil’s Food Cake

Preparation time: 45 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes

Crisco no stick Cooking spray with flour
2cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
Chocolate Curls, if desired

Buttercream Frosting:
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons clear vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
8-9 tablespoon milk
7 1/2 cups (2 pounds) powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350 F.  Spray three 9-inch round cake pans generously with nonstick cooking spray with flour.

Beat sugar, 1 cup butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 3/4 teaspoon almond extract in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Mix cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; beat into creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk on medium speed.  Beat 1 minute longer.  Pour into prepared pans.

Bake 26 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 15 minutes; remove from pans to wire rack.  Cool completely.

Beat 1 1/4 cups butter, 2 teaspoons clear vanilla and 1 teaspoon almond extracts in a medium bowl at medium speed until creamy.  Gradually add milk and powdered sugar, scraping bowl as needed.  Beat on high speed adding additional milk by the tablespoon until desired consistency is achieved.  Brush any loose crumbs from cooled layers.  Place first layer, rounded side down, on plate.  Spread with buttercream frosting to within 1/4 inch of edge.  Level off top of second layer.  Top with second layer, topside down.  Spread with frosting.  Tope with third layer, top side up.  Coat side of cake with thin layer of frosting to seal in crumbs.  Frost side and top of cake.  If desired, draw cake comb through frosting to make decorative designs and top with shaved chocolate curls.  Refrigerate cake to set the frosting; allow cake to stand at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 16 servings.

BLIZZARD 2011 AND How Pamela Saved the Day

No one in the Midwest really expected this blizzard to be this menacing…the high piles of snow literally buried most of Chicago southside areas from 15 to 18 inches, mixed with strong winds and below freezing temps.   And the TV “weathermen” were right this time, this blizzard 2011 would really freak out some people, and scare a lot of stranded motorists.   So it is imperative to just stay indoors, unless you just happen to work in a healthcare environment, the “snowbusters” of the Transportation Department, the ever-ready “men in uniform” and the radio/TV staff and crew.

My hubby has been  plowing  since early morning today and he only begged for me to make him my “chocolatey oatmeal” breakfast treat.  And why chocolatey…that’s the only time I have a use for the “holiday truffles” that we somehow get each year as Christmas gifts.

My hubby is still out doing his plowing chores and it’s almost dinnertime.   When he gets home, I’m sure he’d be happy to enjoy a warm hearthy vegetable soup and corn bread made from scratch.  And then enjoy slices of moist and delicious mocha cake, also made from scratch.  And I say, thanks Pamela, you really saved the day.  I wasn’t really inspired to do some cooking.   I’d be happy with baked  “store-bought frozen pizza” over some laughs watching the funny American Idol audition clips.

This vegetable soup includes:  minced garlic, chopped onions, cooked ground beef, chunks of butternut squash, celery slices, can of diced tomatoes, Sambal oelek, and a can of spinach.

I received some samples of Pamela’s all natural, wheat-free and gluten-free baking mixes late last year.  And glad to still have them today.  Making the cornbread and the chocolate cake was fast and easy  — the usual dumping method, swift mix with the electric mixer and then off to the oven for less than 30 minutes ovening.  There are wonderful recipes and recipe variations at the “back of the box”.

For the cornbread,  I chose Pamela’s Sweet old Fashioned cornbread but only reduced sugar from 1/2 cup to 1/3 cup for a less sweet cornbread and a great pairing for the warm vegetable soup.  Ialso replaced water with buttermilk.  Other cornbread variations in the box include: Cheddar cheese cornbread, green chili cheese cornbread, green onion and sour cream cornbread, and sweet pepper cornbread.  There is also recipe for Pamela’s Savory and Pamela’s Sweet Tart Crust using the cornbread mix.  Also nice to try one day — Pamela’s Cranberry Orange Corn Muffins, yummm!

For the Mocha Cake, I followed Pamela’s Ultra Rich Chocolate Cake.  The batter included sour cream, eggs, oil, a cup of “this morning’s brewed coffee” and 2 tablespoons of Kahlua.   Really baked nicely in a 350 F oven.  There are other recipes listed:  Pamela’s Volcano Cakes (or Molten Chocolate Lava Cake), Pamela’s Decadent Chocolate Pound cake, Pamela’s One ingredient Cake (with Mayo) and Pamela’s Chocolate Chip Cake.

Check out Pamela’s baking mixes in the baking aisle of your favorite supermarket or visit the website:

Now I can’t wait for dinnertime!