Saturday, February 7, 2009

Playing sous chef to a nine year old

As much as I like to cook, baking has never grabbed me as much. I think I experienced a bit of overload in my childhood. Somehow we acquired this Pennsylvania Dutch cookbook that had a tasty apple pie recipe in it. As a kid I asked to make it, did so, and served it to audience that received it a little too well. From then on it became a staple of every holiday meal: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Fourth of July, King Kamehameha Day (I love that Blogger knows I spelled Kamehameha right), Groundhog Day, Grandparent's Day, Thursdays. I got a little tired of it.

Fortunately Doodle loves to bake. We had occasion to make a birthday cake recently. I rooted through the magazine exchange box at the library and found an issue of Bon Appetit that someone had donated. It had this really yummy looking chocolate cake. I bounced it off Doodle, he liked the idea, so we made it. Delicious, moist, chocolately. We skimped a little on the ingredient quality (Hershey and Nestle chocolate) but it didn't matter. It was good. We also used semi-sweet chocolate although the recipe calls for bittersweet. Doodle did everything except for the ring of chocolate that goes around the outside.

It is a convoluted cake. First there's the cake part:
4 oz chocolate
3 T cocoa
1/2 c coffee
1/2 c hot water
1 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c oil
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 c sour cream

Pour the hot water and coffee over the chocolate and cocoa and stir until smooth. Mix the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder in another bowl. Mix oil and sugars in another bowl and add eggs one at a time. Add sour cream. Mix all three bowls together and pour into spring form pans (we only had one pan so split the batter and baked each level (there are two) separately. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Pudding portion:
1/2 c water
5 tsp gelatin
8 oz chocolate
5 oz milk chocolate
2.5 c whipping cream
2.5 c milk
1/2 c sugar
1.5 tsp vanilla

Dissolve gelatin in water. Mix cream, sugar, milk and vanilla and boil. Add gelatin mixture. Pour over chocolate and dissolve. Let chill until pudding-like.

Take one level of cake and keep in pan. Pour pudding on top. Put next layer of cake on top. Pour rest of pudding on top of cake. Chill.

Chocolate band
Melt 5 oz of chocolate. Spread it on strips of wax paper. Let it cool and then wrap the strips around the cake and remove the wax paper.

That's it.

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