Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Chocolate Stack Loaf

This cake is chocolate overload. In general I prefer vanilla over chocolate, but I saw this recipe in the current issue of Better Homes and Gardens (yes, I have a subscription) and it looked pretty good, and would help me use up some whipping cream leftover from making ice cream that was going to go bad soon.

My frosting wasn't quite to spreading consistency after being in the fridge for 1 hour, so I put in the freezer for a few minutes to cool down further. It doesn't ever get as thick as say, buttercream frosting, but cooling it further made it easier to spread. If I make this again, I'll probably cut the frosting recipe in half-there's just too much of it. I also opted to frost the top (because of the amount of frosting), whereas the recipe says to only frost in between the layers.

Chocolate Stack Loaf
from Better Homes and Gardens magazine, February 2010

1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour 
1 c. packed brown sugar 
1/3 c. natural unsweetened cocoa powder 
1/2 t. baking soda 
1/4 t. salt 
1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted 
2 eggs 
1/2 t. vanilla extract 
1/2 c. hot tap water 
1  recipe Easy Fudge Frosting, recipe below
Natural unsweetened cocoa powder

1. Position rack in lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease sides of 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In large mixing bowl whisk together flour, brown sugar, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add butter, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk gently until dry ingredients are moistened and mixture resembles a thick paste. Whisk briskly about 30 strokes. Tap or shake any batter from whisk. Use rubber spatula to stir in hot water, scraping sides as necessary, just until batter is blended and smooth. With spatula scrape batter from bowl into prepared pan and spread to make a thin even layer.
3. Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Slide a thin metal spatula or knife around cake edges to loosen from pan. Invert cake onto rack. Remove paper liner; carefully turn cake right side up. Cool completely.

4. Cut cake crosswise in three equal rectangles. Thickly spread frosting on one piece, top with a second piece and spread with frosting. Leave top unfrosted. Thickly frost long sides. Before serving, dust top with cocoa powder. Makes 12 servings.

Easy Fudge Frosting: In medium saucepan melt 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter. Stir in 1 cup sugar, 1 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt. Gradually stir in 1 cup whipping cream. Heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and hot but not boiling. Remove from heat; stir in 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract. Set aside; cool until thickened and spreadable. To cool quickly, loosely cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Store up to 1 week in refrigerator. Makes 2 cups.

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