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Chocolate Loaf

10 Feb

  • 1 cup  unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup  natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp.  baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp.  salt
  • 1/2 cup  unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp.  vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup  hot tap water
  • 1 recipe  Easy Fudge Frosting, recipe below
  • Natural unsweetened cocoa powder

1. Position rack in lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease sides of 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In large mixing bowl whisk together flour, brown sugar, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add butter, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk gently until dry ingredients are moistened and mixture resembles a thick paste. Whisk briskly about 30 strokes. Tap or shake any batter from whisk. Use rubber spatula to stir in hot water, scraping sides as necessary, just until batter is blended and smooth. With spatula scrape batter from bowl into prepared pan and spread to make a thin even layer.

3. Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Slide a thin metal spatula or knife around cake edges to loosen from pan. Invert cake onto rack. Remove paper liner; carefully turn cake right side up. Cool completely.

4. Cut cake crosswise in three equal rectangles. Thickly spread frosting on one piece, top with a second piece and spread with frosting. Leave top unfrosted. Thickly frost long sides. Before serving, dust top with cocoa powder. Makes 12 servings.

Easy Fudge Frosting: In medium saucepan melt 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter. Stir in 1 cup sugar, 1 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt. Gradually stir in 1 cup whipping cream. Heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and hot but not boiling. Remove from heat; stir in 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract. Set aside; cool until thickened and spreadable. To cool quickly, loosely cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Store up to 1 week in refrigerator. Makes 2 cups.

On Saturday my boyfriend asked for a chocolate cake and, since he rarely makes special requests, I was happy to oblige.  However, I must tell you that while I love dark chocolate, fudge, chocolate pudding, hot chocolate, French silk pies – you name it – I am not a huge fan of chocolate cake or chocolate icecream (gasp!).  To be more specific, I love chocolate cake, but only if smushed up inside vanilla icecream.  Yes, I am a 7-year-old.   I am only revealing these bad manners (yes, I will smush up your beautiful cake without thinking twice) because I thought the fudge frosting was overwhelmingly rich.  Tom agreed, but then proceeded to eat the entire cake by himself over the next few days (busted!).   So you’ll have to be your own judge on this one.

The texture was perfect, falling somewhere between a cake and a brownie.  However, as you can see, I still need to develop my frosting skills because this cake was downright ugly.  I think my baking in general could use a little work (but I do make awesome pies!)