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!


Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Consider this one novelty cookie with a “don’t tell them/secret” ingredient.  But if you want to give away the secret ingredient, then by all means lightly press some bacon bits onto the unbaked cookie dough.   Tell the kids to stay away from the kitchen while you’re baking candied bacon as they are yummy and irresistible.  Makes 2 dozens cookies.

Candied Bacon:
8 to 10 strips of bacon
1/4 cup brown sugar for sprinkling

Chocolate Chip Cookies:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) margarine
1 tablespoon bacon grease
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels, divided
fleur de sel for sprinkling (optional)

Make the candied bacon:  Preheat oven to 400 F.  Line a large baking tray with aluminum foil.  Place a wire rack and lay bacon strips flat on the rack.  Sprinkle brown sugar on bacon strips.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and collect the bacon grease to a small bowl and refrigerate to solidify.    Chop bacon into small pieces.

Make the chocolate cookie dough:  Combine together flour, soda, baking powder, and salt.  Cream butter, bacon grease, sugars and vanilla in a large bowl.  Add eggs, one at a time.  Gradually add the flour mixture.  Stir in 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and about 3/4 of the bacon pieces.  You may want to chill this for about 30 minutes before scooping/forming into cookie balls.

Preheat oven to 350 F.   Line 2 large baking trays with parchment paper.  Drop cookie dough using ice cream scooper onto prepared pans, about 2 inches apart.   Flatten slightly the cookie balls using a floured bottom of a drinking glass tumbler and lightly press reserved 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/4 of the bacon bits on top.   (You may sprinkle some fleur de sel on top too!) Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until edges are crisp but center are still a bit soft.  Let stand 2 minutes on cookie sheet before removing and cooling completely on wire racks.


BOB RECIPE: Choc-oat-chip Cookies

from:  Nestle
Product:  Semi sweet chocolate morsels


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
2 cups (12 oz) Semi sweet chocolate morsels
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.  Beat brown sugar, butter and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy.  Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla extract.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in oats, morsels and nuts; mix well.

Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 9 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies or 12 to 13 minutes for crispy cookies.  Cool on baking sheets for 1 minute; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.