Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I like cake

and I like to make cake. The cake here is pretty but it's not what I want when I want cake, which honestly isn't very often, but cake is fancy and fun and therefore I like it. Also, birthday's are important, and as an expat, well, it's important to celebrate the regular old moments and to try to remember what normal feels like. One of my friends here is having a birthday on Saturday, and she has more grown-up tastes than I do when it comes to cake. She requested no frosting and not something super sweet. I like it frosted a mile high and nausea inducing, but that's just me. I remembered a recipe from the Smitten Kitchen for a chocolate and red wine cake, and that got a vote of approval from my friend, so I did a test run last night and it smelled and looked great and the recipe said it would keep in the refrigerator, so I'm stashing it for a couple of days. Here is the recipe:

6 T unsalted butter
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 large egg and 1 yolk at room temp
3/4 cup red wine (I used something on the dry side)
1 t vanilla extract
1 cup and 1 T all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/8 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/4 t cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 325F-162C. Like the bottom of a 9 inch cake pan with parchment and grease it well. Cream the butter until smooth and add the sugars, beat until fluffy. Add the egg and yolk and beat well. Then add the wine and vanilla. It will look terrible, but don't worry. Sift the flour and cocoa powder, backing soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together over the wet ingredients. Mix until 3/4ths combined, then fold in the rest of the way. Spread batter in the pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean. I cool it completely in the pan before turning it out. I also make it in a spring form pan. It can be topped with a dusting of powdered sugar, but I just like to leave it alone, If you wrap it well and store it in the fridge for a few days, it get sort of soft on the top, almost like it ices itself? It's great.

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