let him eat cake September 14, 2007

Cake2

Since I’m being honest around here these days, I have a little confession to make…

I don’t bake.

I shouldn’t say I don’t ever bake. It’s certainly a rarity, though. I have a few things in my arsenal that are sure things. I quietly make the best cupcakes I’ve ever had – my friends can vouch for those. I break out my mom’s cookie recipes at the holidays for a select group of people. Every once in a while, I get a wild hair for a tart or something…but even that often ends up being some quick little savory something rather than sweet.

Why don’t I bake? In examining yet another one of those psychology and food connections, baking = love. It’s an often time-consuming process with a good bit of effort that takes a lot of tending to…but ultimately comes down to chemistry and timing, See? It’s just like love. (I kid – kinda). I realize I have friends who all have a rabid sweet tooth…but there is an intimacy to making dessert that I just can’t share with most people.

So when I decided to make dinner for The Boy, I was in a mild-to-medium twirl. Due to our schedules and such, I have made meals for and with him…but I hadn’t cooked for him. I fretted over the menu for a good four days. I got in a kerfluffle about the timing and the combination of tastes. Would all of the dishes go together? I alternated wringing my hands, flipping through cookbooks, and fidgeting.

When the evening finally arrived, it all came together like a dream (editors note: i also had time to put on a dress and some lipgloss on before he got there). The roasted chicken, the asparagus & goat cheese salad, the mushroom gratin…and dessert. That I baked. From scratch. This glorious chocolate espresso cake – he does like his chocolate desserts – that has more the texture of a flourless cake or a torte. That meal…that evening…and that dessert was very symbolic of our time we spend together: simply delicious and deliciously simple.

Chocolate Espresso Cake – Serves 12 – recipe originally found here at Cooking.com 

For the Cake:

  • 9 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

For the Glaze:

  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup

FOR CAKE: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 9-inch diameter nonstick cake pan. Melt chocolate and butter in heavy medium saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. (Do not burn.) Stir rum and espresso powder in large bowl until espresso dissolves. Whisk sugar and eggs into espresso mixture to blend. Whisk in vanilla and salt. Stir in warm melted chocolate mixture, then flour. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until cake just puffs in center, about 45 minutes. Cool in pan on rack, 15 minutes. Cake will deflate as it cools; guide edges into pan as it cools. Run small sharp knife around edges of cake. Turn cake out onto rack and cool completely.

FOR GLAZE: Stir rum and espresso powder in small bowl until espresso dissolves. Bring cream and butter to boil in heavy small saucepan. Remove from heat, add chocolate and stir until smooth. Stir in rum mixture and corn syrup. Let glaze stand at room temperature until no longer hot, but still liquid.

Place cake on 8-inch cardboard cake round. Set cake on rack over baking pan. Gradually pour glaze over cake, covering completely. Chill until glaze is set. Cake can be made 2 days ahead. Keep cake refrigerated.

Comments

Lydia Sep 15, 2007 07:09 am

My boy would be in heaven if I baked this cake for him, and vice versa. He’s more the baker in our house than I am,so I will stick this yummy recipe under his nose and see what happens…

the boy Sep 15, 2007 08:09 am

it was awesome! I still dream about that meal….

peabody Sep 15, 2007 11:09 am

Ah yes, once again the seperation of cooker and caker. I really do think deep down you are one or the other. I mean no one would say I am a bad cook(cause I’m not) but my passion will always be to bake. Yet I have friends who are the complete opposite.
Looks like you had a wonderful menu for you and the boy.

Paula from Only Cookware Sep 16, 2007 12:09 am

I am not much of a baker either. I do it on the odd occasion but it is a time consuming exercise. I’d rather someone else do it for me. Like your blog by the way. Hope you can take some time to check out my blog at http://www.only-cookware.com/blog/

Maryann Sep 16, 2007 09:09 pm

You would never know because that cake you made is fab!Great job :)

casey Sep 17, 2007 08:09 am

That cake looks lovely, but have you shared your cupcake making secrets? If not, will you ere long?

Coffee & Vanilla Sep 17, 2007 01:09 pm

Before I start this blog I did not how to cook and bake… baking is still mystery but I’m trying. I made birthday cake for my 12 year old step son and it was a disaster… stone cake rather than sponge cake… It tasted good but it was hard to cut. My second attempt was my daughter (2 years old) birthday cake… not to risk I made ice cream cake! :) Your chocolate cake looks delicious…
Greetings, Margot

Coffee & Vanilla Sep 17, 2007 01:09 pm

Before I start this blog I did not how to cook and bake… baking is still mystery but I’m trying. I made birthday cake for my 12 year old step son and it was a disaster… stone cake rather than sponge cake… It tasted good but it was hard to cut. My second attempt was my daughter (2 years old) birthday cake… not to risk I made ice cream cake! :) Your chocolate cake looks delicious…
Greetings, Margot

Jerry Sep 25, 2007 12:09 pm

I just had a similar cake at a restaurant here in Austin and it was amazing. I’m saving this for the future.

Natural Leap Sep 27, 2007 07:09 pm

This is perfect for my friends birthday surprise…thanks di

Natural Leap Sep 27, 2007 07:09 pm

This is perfect for my friends birthday surprise…thanks di

stickyfingers Oct 5, 2007 09:10 pm

I’m with you. When I’m in the kitchen it’s cooking not baking that I do. That’s what I do best.
I have fluked some lovely classic sponges etc and do have a few easy standby recipes like iced lime and coconut cupcakes, Lucy & Greg Malouf’s Lemon Syrup cake and a choc-ginger-macadamia brownie, which conceal my inner resistance to bake. But it surfaced when I recently had to turn down a friend’s request to make their large two tiered, square, chocolate mud wedding cake covered with ganache for 60 plus people.
It brought home that I just wasn’t equipped to deal with 6kg of couverture and whatever else. In fact, I’m such a non-baker that I don’t even own a mix-master!
I raise a glass to the bakers of the world and their heavenly concoctions – bravo!

Jason Nov 10, 2008 07:11 am

Thanks for the information…I bookmarked your site, and I appreciate your time and effort to make your blog a success!