Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Sweeeeeet, but not too

Well, the other day I had a hankering for chocolate cake, so I went through my list of recipes to try out and chose Eating Well magazine's Died and Gone to Heaven Chocolate Cake. It was a breeze to throw together and turned out great. In fact, it's been sitting covered on the counter for a few days now, and it just keeps getting better. Nice and moist, fine crumb and not too sweet.

I got nervous about it going off, so I cut it into serving sized slices and froze the remaining half cake for the future. This will go really well, frozen and sliced in half, with a scoop of soften vanilla ice cream. Can't wait until I need a dessert and find it all ready to go! Yummy!

I recommend this cake because it safisfies your chocolate craving, but it's not cloyingly sweet or chocolatey. One change I made: In the icing, I added a bit or orange extract because the plain icing was too sugary and intense. Also, chocolate and orange are a great combo. Next time, I may add some orange liquer to the batter and see how that goes. Hey, cake and booze -- what's not to like?

Technical note: have everything at or near room temperature; e.g., the buttermilk and eggs, etc.

Enjoy! And let us know how yours turns out.

EatingWell’s Died-and-Went-to-Heaven Chocolate Cake

Originally featured in EatingWell's "Rx for Recipes" column and on CNN's "On the Menu" program, this foolproof cake has turned out to be one of EL's most popular recipes. Dutch-process cocoa is preferred here for its deep chocolate flavor.


1 3/4 cups all-purpose white flour
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil, preferably canola oil
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup hot strong black coffee

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp. buttermilk or low-fat milk
(optional: orange extract to taste)

To make:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 12-cup Bundt pan or coat it with nonstick cooking spray. Dust the pan with flour, invert and shake out the excess.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, white sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add buttermilk, brown sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Whisk in hot coffee until completely incorporated. (The batter will be quite thin.)

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes; remove from the pan and let cool completely.

To make icing: In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough of the buttermilk or milk to make a thick but pourable icing. Set the cake on a serving plate and drizzle the icing over the top.

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