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For the Food on Fridays carnival, any post remotely related to food is welcome—though we love to try new dishes, your post doesn’t have to be a recipe. We’re pretty relaxed over here, and stories and photos are as welcome as menus and recipes. When your Food on Fridays contribution is ready, just grab the broccoli button to paste at the top of your post. It ties us together visually. Then fill in the boxes of this linky tool to join the fun!
Food on Fridays with Ann
When the Belgian Wonder and I were finalizing plans for a Christmas get-together with two other couples, one of our friends suggested we eat out for dinner and then end up at one our houses for dessert so we could linger as long as we liked. She proposed we split the cost of a cake from a high-end bakery—one of their “decadent chocolate cakes,” as she described it in an e-mail.I read “decadent” and something clicked inside of me. I suddenly wanted to bake something that would be called “decadent.” I wanted to prepare a rich, memorable dessert as a small gift for my dear friends.But I don’t have a tried-and-true decadent cake recipe, so I had to hunt down possible candidates, shop for the ingredients, bake one, taste test it, and evaluate its decadent-ness. If it didn’t pass the test—and I had a test—I’d have to go through the process yet again until determining one of them the winner.And I only had a few days.Do you know how you can make a family happy?By announcing on three different days, “I’m baking another chocolate cake today, and I need you to taste test it for me.”The first was Chocolate Cavity Maker, a cake mix enhanced with sour cream, chocolate pudding, chocolate chips and Kahlua. Though it was rich and chocolatey, this cake didn’t pass my “decadence” test.I decided that for the cake to be rich enough, it would have to stop conversation. When I served Chocolate Cavity Maker, we lifted a forkful of cake to our mouths without remarking much about it. I had to ask, “How’s the cake?” to get a response. Even though it didn’t pass the test, two family members claim this was their favorite of the three. Here’s a photo of it right after I pulled it from the oven.The next cake was Double Chocolate Cake. This one came close to being named the winning recipe. Creamy chocolate icing smeared between multiple layers certainly formed a beautiful presentation and an almost melt-in-your-mouth sensation.We actually decorated this cake for my daughter, who turned 14 recently. It wasn’t her official birthday party, nor was it her official birthday, but we stuck candles in and sang “Happy Birthday” anyway, pretending like the cake was still whole and had not been sampled. This was a wonderful cake, actually, and I’ll probably make it again someday; but it didn’t seem quite rich enough to achieve decadent status, so I decided to try one more.The winner didn’t turn out very pretty, but it was fudgy, dense, and rich, and it had the word “decadence” in its name: Chocolate Decadence Cake.I whirred up fresh whipping cream and made a homemade raspberry sauce to go with it. The Belgian Wonder picked up a container of fresh berries to decorate the plate. The actual pieces of cake were unattractive after I manhandled them out of the pan, but I smooshed each one back together and covered the broken spots with the whipping cream. Whipping cream covers a multitude of sins.I served it to my friends, and for a few minutes, we said very little. Some of us uttered a satisfied “mmmm” sound that bordered on a contented groan.That, in my opinion, is a sure sign you’ve baked a decadent cake.So, may I introduce to you, “Chocolate Decadence Cake” served with whipped cream and raspberry sauce.
Chocolate Decadence Cake
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
- 1 1/2 cups butter, melted
- 1 3/4 cups white sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 7 eggs
- 2 cups whipped cream (to serve after cake it baked—don’t add to batter)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 10 inch round pan and line bottom with parchment paper.
- Chop chocolate squares and place in a large bowl with chocolate chips. Add melted butter. Heat water and 1 1/2 cups sugar in a saucepan until boiling, then pour over chocolate. Stir until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, whip eggs with remaining 1/4 cup sugar until thick. Fold into chocolate mixture. Pour batter into 10 inch pan.
- Place 10 inch pan on a cookie sheet in the oven and fill the cookie sheet with water.
- Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool and refrigerate for several hours. Be extremely careful not to burn yourself on the hot water when removing the sheet pan from the oven.
- Dip the pan in hot water to remove cooled cake. Garnish with whipped cream and serve.
- 2 pints raspberries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Directions: Combine raspberries and sugar in a saucepan. Cook until raspberries are broken down, about 10 minutes (note: if not thickened, add a teaspoon of cornstarch to a dribble of orange juice and stir in, heating to thicken). Remove from the heat and strain through a chinois to eliminate seeds (I used a metal mesh strainer).Note: I read a lot of the comments at the website to see what problems people ran into. People offered insights into how to beat and add the eggs, how long to bake it (the longer the better, a few people said), and so on. Their ideas helped clarify some questions, and I recommend anyone who tries this to scroll through them, as well, to know what you’re getting yourself into.
Our family wishes you and yours a very meaningful and merry Christmas, full of peace and joy…and a few truly decadent desserts.Photo credit: Hand on ornament by Sophie Marie. Used with permission. All other images by Ann Kroeker. All rights reserved.