Long ago, my very good friend Maggie gave me a Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts. You should really see this thing – it is oozing with desserts broken down into fourteen sections which include:  Cobblers and Crisps / Pies, Tarts and Filo Pastries /Layered or Filled Cakes /Poundcakes and Other Cakes / Puddings and Custards / Frozen Desserts / Muffins, Cupcakes, Breads and Coffeecakes. I mean, this thing is thorough and each section is extensive! You really can’t go wrong when a recipe book devotes an entire section to all different types of pound cakes!

Last Saturday, I finally selected my first recipe (hopefully of many) to make from this book –  Black Mocha Cake. This was absolutely superb!

Black Mocha Cake

please excuse the horrendous picture

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups unbleached white flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup fresh strong coffee, at room temperature
1 cup milk, buttermilk of yogurt
2 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter or spray the cake pan or place paper liners in the muffin tins, if making cupcakes.

2. In a large bowl, sift together the coca, sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. IN another bowl with a whisk or electric mixer, lightly beat together the oil, coffee, milk, eggs and vanilla. Pour half of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Add the remaining wet ingredients and stir until incorporated.

3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s). Bake for 20-40 mins,* until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans before frosting.

*Baking Times: 9×13 in pan – 25 to 30 mins; 10 in bundt pan – 30-35 mins; two 9 in round pans – 35-40 mins; two standard 12-cup muffin tins – 20 mins.

Coffee Frosting (I ran out of powdered sugar, so only made half the frosting)

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
4-5 tbsp strong coffee
1 tbsp Kahlua (optional)

Cream the butter and confectioners’ sugar with an electric mixer. Gradually add the coffee and Kahlua, if desired, beating well until the frosting is a good consistency for spreading.

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