Tahoe recipe: Chocolate cake and — more chocolate
I know. I said I was not going to be baking again until fall. I also said I would not be eating chocolate again until it was legal to wear my oh-so slimming winter coat. (Full length baby!)
But last week, after a vigorous swim in the calorie-burning cold lake (the dog knocked my Gucci sunglasses off the dock) I worked up a crazy appetite, the kind of hunger a summer salad just would not satisfy.
Chocolate was back on the menu and since I had decided to do it I was going to do it right — just go all out. That meant, yes, the oven had to come back on and, yes, I had to get out my massive red Tupperware bin of baking essentials, and darned if I didn’t have to use five different genres of chocolate to hit that sweet spot.
I almost went for a sixth member of the chocolate family and served this beauty with chocolate ice cream, but opted for a good vanilla bean instead. See, it is all about balance.
That and the fact I might be allergic to chocolate (I need a third medical opinion) and thought it would be prudent to show some restraint.
Last week in this column I promised to feature a Thai pork tenderloin salad and one of my readers, Buffalo, wrote in saying he was looking forward to it.
Now Buffalo is one of those rarities — a friend who likes my column. You know why he is still a “Simone Appetit” fan? Because he and his wife Val have never had me over for dinner and had to deal with my impromptu photo shoots which hold up the entire meal.
Buffalo, yes to salad next week. Enjoy the cake this week (I’ll bring some to the gym) and remember — it is all about balance.
Ingredients for cake
1 box devil’s food cake mix (or any rich chocolate cake mix)
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup Kahlua or 1 / 4 cup cold coffee
2 cups sour cream
1/2 10 oz. bag dark chocolate chips, plus about 1 / 4 cup for topping.
Ingredients for chocolate ganache
This is a sweet, creamy, rich chocolate sauce to be used for filling or frosting. In this case, it is going right on top of the cake. A bunch of it. Leftovers should be saved in the fridge to be heated and used on ice cream at a later date.
One 4 oz. bar semisweet bakers chocolate
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Preheat oven to 350°. Using a non-stick cooking spray, “grease” your bundt pan or a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. (A bundt is preferable.)
In large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, mix together all ingredients with the exception of the sour cream and chocolate chips.
Once the cake mixture is smooth, fold in the chips (save some for the topping) and sour cream. Stir gently until blended. Pour into greased up pan and bake for 50 minutes. Cool before beginning your ganache because it will eventually harden if you do it too much ahead of time.
Once cake is cool and ganache prepared, pour ganache over top of cake and in the middle (if it is a bundt) and then sprinkle with chocolate chips. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream or fresh whipped cream.
In a double boiler, heat cream and chocolate together over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until smooth and creamy, about five minutes.
If you do not have a double boiler, stick one pan on top of another, the bottom one should be filled with water. Get the water hot in the bottom pan to melt the chocolate ganache mixture in the top pan.
Simone Grandmain is an internationally published travel and food writer who currently calls Truckee-Tahoe home. She welcomes your recipes, kitchen “must-haves” and food news @ firstname.lastname@example.org.