Sunday, August 21, 2011

Devilishly Good Chocolate Cake

When you are craving chocolate, this is the perfect cake. It's moist, full of chocolaty goodness, and most of all, easy. I've made it twice already (my daughter asks for it all of the time) and each time, it suprised me with the depth of the chocolate flavor. I've made this with Chocolate Pan frosting but you can also make it with Old Fashioned Cola Frosting as well (instructions included). This cake would go great with, well, anything! You can also make it in a 9 x 13 pan or a bundt pan (which I prefer). This recipe comes from The Cake Mix Doctor.

Devilishly Good Chocolate Cake

1 square (1 oz.) unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup water
1 pkg. plain devil's food cake mix
1 pkg. chocolate instant pudding mix
4 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Pan Frosting
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) butter
4 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup whole milk (for Cola frosting, subsitute 1/3 cup cola for milk)
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly mist a 12-cup Bundt pan with vegetable spray, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pan aside.

Place the chocolate and water in a small saucepan over low heat. Cool, stirring, until the chocolate is melted, 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.

Place the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Fold in the melted chocolate. Blend with mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 to 3 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. The batter should look thick and well combined. Pour the batter into the pan, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pan in the oven.

Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and just starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Run a long, sharp knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto another rack to cool completely, 20 minutes more.

Meanwhile, prepare the frosting:

Place the butter in a medium saucepan and melt over low heat, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the cocoa powder and milk. Let the mixture come just to a boil, stirring, and then remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the powdered sugar until the frosting is thickened and smooth. Pour the warm frosting over the top of a cooled cake, spreading it with a spatula so that it reaches all sides of the cake. Work quickly because this frosting goes on best while still warm.

Transfer the cake to a serving platter and spread the warm frosting over the cake. Let the frosting set for 20 minutes, then slice and serve.

"Coffee makes it possible to get out of bed. Chocolate makes it worthwhile."
-Author Unknown

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cinnamon Sugar Pull Aparts

My husband's second job is teaching. He is a professor at two colleges, one a community college and the other a university. He teaches nights and weekends, in his spare time ;) His last Saturday morning class was this weekend and he asked me if I would fix a simple snack for the class. I decided on these pull aparts. Pretty much everyone loves cinnamon and sugar with bread so I thought it might appeal to everyone. It did and they loved them. These would be a great addition to a buffet breakfast or a tasty late night snack.

Cinnamon Sugar Pull Aparts

1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsps. cinnamon
1/3 cup melted butter
1 can (12 oz) refrigerated buttermilk flaky biscuits

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Generously grease or spray a square glass baking pan.

In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar and blend well.

Separate dough into 10 buscuits and cut each into quarters. Dip each quarter into the melted butter then dip into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Arrange in the baking pan so they are touching.

Bake for 19 to 27 minutes. When done, let cool. Remove the pull aparts from the pan and serve on a plate.

Makes about 10 servings.

"Cinnamon bites and kisses simultaneously."
-Vanna Bonta