Thursday, December 17, 2015

Chocolate Mint Cake

So, I was wandering through the new Food52 Baking book, and I was very tempted by the Chocolate Dump-It Cake.

I'm not entirely sure what the "dump-it" refers to, since this isn't a dump-and-stir sort of thing. Ingredients need to be heated, although the mixing is done in a saucepan. But a second bowl is used for mixing the dry ingredients before adding them to the wet.

The cake was supposed to bake in a 9-inch tube pan. I thought that might be a bit more cake than I wanted to have around. I mean, even with friendly neighbors to help me, there's only so much cake I can eat.

So I decided to cut the recipe in half. Fortunately, it was easy to do without a whole lot of math or egg-dividing.

Then I made one more little teeny change. I substituted Smirnoff Candy Cane Vodka for some of the water. And I baked it in a snowflake pan.

Yes, baking a chocolate cake in a snowflake pan might not have been the best idea as far as color is concerned, but I sprinkled it with powdered sugar and it was really pretty.

The cake itself was pretty sticky - the instructions say to flip the cake onto waxed paper, but I flipped in onto a rack. It came out of the cake pan nicely, but got a bit stuck to the cake rack. Not a big deal. The stuck parts made a nice preview snack.

The vodka added a nice peppermint flavor to the cake, but it wasn't overly strong. Chocolate was first, then mint. And the cake was really moist. I'd definitely make this again. And again. And again.

Chocolate Mint Cake
Adapted from Food52 Baking

1 cup sugar
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Smirnoff Candy Cane Vodka
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a 5-cup baking pan with baking spray. If you only have larger pans, you could divide the batter or make a few cupcakes, but the 5-cup snowflake pan was just about the perfect size for the cake.

Combine the sugar, chocolate, butter, and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring once in a while, until the chocolate and butter melt. Take the pan off the heat and let it cool slightly.

Stir in the vodka.

In a small bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Combine the milk and vinegar (you can just add the vinegar to the milk in its measuring cup).

Whisk in the milk mixture, then the egg. Whisk in the flour a little at a time, just until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla, just to mix it in.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 375 degrees until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Place a sheet of wax paper on top of the cake and turn it out onto a wire rack with the wax paper under it. Let it cool completely.