When I first learned at the beginning of the semester that I’d be writing a term paper for one of my classes, I knew I wanted to write about artisanal foods. The artisanal food movement seems to be exploding in craft cheeses, beers, breads, ice cream, pickles. Artisanal pickle ice cream? I’m sure it’s out there.
I knew I wanted the opportunity to study, read, and write about what’s happening, so I’m using this paper to examine the possible effects of artisanal food consumption on today’s food movement. It’s proving to be
damn hard work fascinating. The Type A perfectionist in me is waiting to share more with you until after the paper is turned in — i’s dotted, t’s crossed, thesaurus properly utilized. Twenty pages of my brilliance are due by 11:59pm today. NBD. Let’s eat cake.
When I get stressed I tend to bake. I stress bake. So that I can stress eat. It’s wholly productive. So please allow me to share with you one of the things that kept me going this past week (in addition, of course, to coffee, the promise of my impending vacation, coffee, my Rihanna Pandora station, coffee, and sufficient Pinterest breaks). Chocolate. Cake. Chocolate cake!
I recognize that I should just accept the perfectly normal craving for chocolate cake. But instead I’m going to tell you that this cake was inspired by my term paper. The cake’s key ingredient was 100% cacao unsweetened natural cocoa powder from one of my favorite artisanal food producers, Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker in Berkeley, California. According to Scharffen Berger, they pioneered artisan chocolate-making in America by producing “bean to bar” chocolate in small batches that “highlight the true, rich flavors of cacao.” It’s worth every pretty penny. Trust.
This cake is a decadent treat. It tastes of pure, unadulterated chocolate. Not too sweet. Just right. I shared it with my class this week since I already ate half of it myself. (Totally joking! Ha. Haha. Nervous laughter.) It got rave reviews. Probably because the smell of chocolate is amazingly overpowering. In a good way. Unlike term paper writing.
Mmm. Can you smell it?!
Coffee Chocolate Bundt Cake
Serves 1-16 (your secret’s safe with me)
1 cup brewed coffee
3/4 cup unsweetened 100% natural cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons fine grain salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup 1% milk
3/4 cup 0% Greek yogurt
1 cup canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups, plus 2 Tablespoons, all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with a rack in the center of the oven.
Butter the inside of a 10-inch bundt pan and then flour the pan. Hint: “flour” the pan with cocoa powder instead of flour so that no white flour leaves a trace on your cooked and beautiful cake!
Combine coffee and cocoa powder in a small sauce pan. Bring to a low boil, whisking frequently. Once boiling, remove the pan from the heat and let the chocolate come to room temperature while prepping the rest of the recipe.
Combine sugar, salt, baking soda, and eggs in the bowl of your beloved KitchenAid stand mixer. Mix on low speed for about 1 minute.
Add the milk, yogurt, oil, and vanilla to the bowl of the stand mixer. Mix on low speed for about 1 minute.
Add the flour to the bowl of the stand mixer. Mix on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until thoroughly combined.
Add the chocolate/coffee mixture to the bowl of the stand mixer. Mix on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Take a moment to appreciate the joy that is your stand mixer.
Pour the batter (which will be relatively runny…have no fear!) into the bundt pan.
Bake the cake for 1 hour until the top is set, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan. Once cooled, invert the cake onto a pretty plate of your choosing and sprinkle the top with sifted powdered sugar.
Eat the cake while standing at the counter with fork in hand. Share the cake with anyone and everyone you love!