Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Summer Chocolate

A three-layer chocolate cake with chocolate frosting  is one of my dream foods, but it's too hard and too fussy to make in this heat.  It's an all day project, and if your kitchen is  hot, then the frosting can melt off the cake.  That happened to me last summer, so I know it can be done.  Only it wasn't chocolate; it was strawberry.  Only it wasn't cake, it was cupcakes.  Ones that were warm from the oven, warm from the day.

Still and all, it is somewhat of a shock, when your beautifully frosted little cakes wind up naked.  And the frosting is spreading out over the table cloth.  So, how do you have your frosted chocolate cake and summer all at the same time?

Here's the cake I make for picnics or Sunday evenings on somebody's patio:  Yummers.

1 good quality cake mix.
1 cup of rich and hearty red wine.  I prefer Merlots or Sirah's, although a fiesty Cab is good too.
(Or 1 cup of a home-brewed, strong coffee, if your prefer.)
4 eggs
1 cup of veggie oil
1 large Hershey's Dark Chocolate bar, frozen. Hershey's has the perfect choco/sugar ratio.  If you want more of a bitter chocolate, pick one of your own choosing.  If the bar is frozen, the chocolate breaks apart cleanly, instead of melting in your hands.  Don't freeze it too long, half an hour maybe.
1-2 tablespoons cream

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a large loaf pan.  Bust up half of the chocolate bar with a hammer.  You want shards of chocolate, small ones.  Put them on waxed paper and back in the freezer.

Mix up the cake mix, wine or coffee, oil, and eggs.  Beat  2 or 3 minutes.  Add the shards of chocolate to the batter and mix with a spoon.  Pour the cake into the loaf pan.  Bake for at least an hour.  Start checking at the point.  The cake should feel firm to the touch.  A toothpick should come out clean.
You might need to go an hour and twenty minutes, depending upon your oven and your altitude.

Pull it out and let it cool in the pan for 30 minutes or more.  Gently loosen the cake from the pan.
Turn the pan upside down on a plate and let the cake come free.  Turn it right side up.  Continue to let it cool for an hour or more.

You can sprinkle the top of the cake with powdered sugar or you can melt the rest of the chocolate over hot water and add the cream, beginning with 1 tablespoon.  You can add more to reach the consistency you wish to have.  Let it cool for a few minutes, and then drizzle it over the cake.  The cake is rich enough that you don't need frosting, this little drizzle of chocolate is enough. Let it cool for a few minutes.

Put the cake in plastic wrap and wrap it tight.  Store it in the fridge until you are ready to serve.  The cool chocolate cake is perfect for picnics with ham sandwiches or turkey croissants, with veggies and dip, with fresh fruit.  It is so moist, it travels like a champ.

‎"Where there's cake, there's hope. And there's always cake." -Dean Koontz


  1. Your "naked cupcake" story made me laugh. This cake recipe sound positively delicious!

  2. It is so-o-o good, and the wine/coffee gives it a depth of flavor. It really is chocolate cake for grownups. And easy to make. Thanks for your sweet comments, as always. Barb

  3. I am dieting (the never-ending battle) so reading about this cake is the apex of my delight. I swear I can taste it! You paint a beautiful picture, friend.

    1. Thanks, Carole. And it's calorie free. . . I appreciate the comments!