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Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I've had this recipe in my binder for over 20 years...and I've never made it.  I saved it because the photograph of the presentation was so beautiful.  I never felt I was a good enough baker to make the cake successfully...and it had a lot of expensive chocolate in the listing...I never wanted to "take the risk".  This year is different.  My skills have improved.  I feel competent.  I called my sister and told her to bring me a silver platter...I was going to make a cake worthy of a silver platter.  She did...and here it is the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and I have done the deed.  If it makes the trip without crisis, we will see if the recipe lives up to its name and we'll see if I lived up to my belief in myself.

The recipe came from a Southern Living book and is dated 1990.  I only made one tiny adjustment.  I decided to go with the Ina Garten school of thought...espresso powder makes chocolate taste even more chocolatey!  I added a teaspoon of espresso powder - and I must say when I licked the spatula (yes, I don't care if I eat raw eggs) it was FABULOUS tasting.  Hope the baked cake is as good as the batter indicates it will be.

The only potential for failure is that I was listening to music and dancing while I baked...with an occasional Facebook break.  Might have gotten distracted.  However, I have checked and re-checked myself so I hope all is well!  Here's the recipe as I made it.

Adapted from Southern Living Five Star Recipe Collection, 1990

Cake Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened (I used salted as no other salt was included and that's what I like anyway)
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur's Unbleached AP)
1 cup semisweet chocolate mini-morsels, divided (I used Toll House mini chips)
2 (4-ounce) bars sweet baking chocolate, melted and cooled (I used Baker's German Sweet)
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/3 cup chocolate syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Glaze Ingredients:

4 ounces quality white chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli)
2 tablespoons shortening (I used Crisco)

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate mini-morsels
2 teaspoons shortening

Cake Method:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare a 10-inch Bundt pan with Baker's Joy or a similar product (or grease and flour if desired...but get all the nooks and crannies if you do).  Spray all the way to the very top of the pan - this cake will rise to the edge of the pan - make sure to do the tube part all the way to the top too.

1.  Chop and melt sweet chocolate in double boiler (I used a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water).  Add espresso powder to melted chocolate, stir to incorporate, set aside to cool to room temperature.

2.  Cream butter in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Gradually add sugar, beating well at medium speed. (2-3 minutes until fluffy).

3.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.

4.  Dissolve soda in buttermilk, stirring well.  Be ready for next step immediately - the soda begins reacting with the buttermilk immediately and it starts "growing" (make sure you measure your buttermilk in a container that allows growth... like a 2-cup measure).

5.  Add buttermilk mixture to creamed butter mixture alternating with flour, beginning and ending with flour. (1/3 flour, half the buttermilk, 2nd 3rd of flour, rest of buttermilk, and last of flour - keeping the stand mixer on low while you work).

6.  Add 1 cup mini-morsels, the melted and cooled sweet chocolate/espresso mixture, chocolate syrup, and vanilla.  Stir just until blended, do not over beat.  Really get down and scrape to the bottom of the bowl so that you don't have white streaks in your cake from unmixed batter.  I did a pulse motion just a few times with the stand mixer and finished by hand with a strong spatula.

7.  Spoon batter into prepared Bundt pan.  Smooth cake surface with offset spatula or back of a spoonula.

8.  Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 25 to 35 minutes or until cake springs back when touched. (Mine took 1 hour 27 minutes)  Remove from oven and invert cake immediately onto a serving plate.  Allow to cool completely before drizzling.

Drizzle Method:

1.  Combine 4 ounces chopped white chocolate and 2 tablespoons shortening in top of a double boiler; bring water to a simmer.  Reduce heat to low; cook until mixture is melted and smooth.  Remove from heat.  Drizzle melted white chocolate mixture over cooled cake. (I recommend putting some wax paper or parchment pieces under the edge of the cake so you keep your serving plate somewhat clean)

2.  Melt remaining 1/2 cup mini-morsels and 2 teaspoons shortening in a small sauce-pan over low heat, stirring until smooth (or do it with double boiler method).  Remove from heat and let cool; drizzle on top of and in between white chocolate drizzle.  Allow to set up and remove protective paper.

If desired, garnish with chocolate and white chocolate leaves.  I had every intention of doing that - but the day just got away from me.  It simply isn't going to happen.  Sometimes you have to follow in Porky Pig's steps and say "that's all folks!"

Musical baking all day long...mp3 player on shuffle...included, but not limited to:
The Judds - Rockin With the Rythm of the Rain
Garth Brooks - Friends in Low Places
The Trishas - So Blue
Rachel Solomon - Rain on Me
Madonna - Material Girl
The Doors - Twentieth Century Fox
Bonnie Raitt - Real Man
James Taylor - How Sweet it is to be Loved by You
ACDC - Highway to Hell
Enya - The River Sings
Rolling Stones - Brown Sugar
Beatles - Help!
Mustang Sally - C'mon DJ
Aerosmith - Toys in the Attic
Patsy Cline - So Wrong
Donovan - Mellow Yellow
Hewlett Crist - Cross the Border
Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney - Ebony and Ivory (just like my cake!)
Simon and Garfunkel - America
and others too numerous to think of!

It's been a great day...hope everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving. 

I'm out of here for now!  See you on the other side of Thursday! 

I'm sure there will be tales to tell :-)

Gobble Gobble!
Photo added 11/26/2011 - the cake was moist and rich.
Personal preference - I would have rather had a cream cheese
frosting on this cake - with the drizzle on top.  It was too
much like a candy bar - not enough like cake :-)





  1. Mmmm... this is any chocolate lovers dream come true!

  2. This certainly does look worthy of a silver platter! The white chocolate drizzle looks gorgeous over the dark cake - although I'd have to make a little extra to drizzle straight into my mouth. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  3. Mmmm, that looks like such a moist, fudgy cake! I'd love a slice for dessert. Maybe with vanilla sauce!

  4. This cake looks amazing!
    I'm sure it's very tasty and delicious
    I'm definitely gonna give it a try

  5. I've finally made this cake - with some changes and it's one of the best chocolate-cake ever!!
    you can see my post here
    (translator on top left side-bar)
    I also put a link to your post

    Thanks again!


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