A lot has happened since I last posted here. That applies to all three of us, really, but mostly to me. As of a few months ago, I am officially an alumnus of the University of Chicago (yaaaaaay!). Granted, with that comes all the "fun" of post-graduation: job-hunting, grad school-applying, student loan-paying, etc. (booooo!). Another piece of that unfortunate collection is saying good-bye to everyone who I've been suffering alongside through the past few years. As all graduates know, it's hard to do. You become attached to people fighting through the cerebral chaos of college. But you rarely realise that when you go on to the real world, you probably won't be able to share that camaderie as before.
But anyway, I'm not here to wax poetic and maudlin. I'm manly that way.
One such fellow whose company I no longer enjoy is my former roommate. God knows why, but the man has decided to leave Chicago to go to graduate school in Arizona. Frozen tundra to arid desert. What? I'm sure he'll have plenty of fun with his new pet scorpions (they hide in the shoes!) -- they will probably be more cooperative listeners to his advanced math lectures. More so than his former smartass roommates, at least.
The greatest loss here, of course, is that I have one fewer guinea pig on whom to test my baked concoctions. Evidently, being exposed to these hazardous materials, the boy has developed a mild addiction to them. Our most recent report from the Southwest informs us that he is "wasting away" without them. So, without further ado, I hereby provide the recipe to one of my most-favouritest cakes ever: the Silver Palate's Decadent Chocolate Cake. And when they say "decadent," they aren't kidding around. This is Death by Chocolate. I don't know if baking is quite as enjoyable down there, but the products of this recipe are always worth it.
So, Fluffles, this is for you.
Decadent Chocolate Cake
- 1 cup boiling water
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 8 Tbs (1 stick) sweet butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup dairy sour cream
- 2 cups less 2 Tbs unbleached, all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Chocolate Frosting (below)
1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. Knock out excess.
2. Pour boiling water over chocolate and butter; let stand until melted. (you don't really have to do that. Really. Just ensure that the butter is in liquid form.) Stir in vanilla and sugar, then whisk in egg yolks, one at a time, blending well after each addition.
3. Mix baking soda and sour cream and whisk into chocolate mixture.
4. Sift flour and baking powder together and add to batter mixing thoroughly.
5. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Stir a quarter of the egg whites thoroughly into the batter. Scoop remaining egg whites on top of the batter and gently fold together.
6. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Set on the middle rack of the over and bake for 40-50min, or until the edges have pulled away from the sides of the pan and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10min; unmold and cool completely before frosting.
- 2 Tbs sweet butter
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 6 Tbs heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar, or as needed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Place all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan over low heat and whisk until smooth. Cool slightly; add more sugar if necessary to achieve a spreding consistency. Spread on cake while frosting is still warm.
If you are so fortunate as to have a pint of berries on hand (raspberries are best, I think), I recommend tossing half in the batter, mixing some in with the frosting, and placing any remaining pieces on top as decoration.