Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Spicy Mexican Chocolate Cake and The World According to Bella

Celebrate spring and upcoming Cinco de Mayo (May 5) with an irresistible Mexican Chocolate Cake.
Mexican Chocolate Cake 
Cook’s notes: Mexican Chocolate Cake has an intense flavor when spiced with Saigon or Vietnamese Cinnamon. 
This cinnamon is the richest, sweetest cinnamon around. Its intense flavor is prized for its aroma in baking, curries, candies, savory dishes and hot drinks. Saigon cinnamon grows mainly in Vietnam’s Saigon district. It is readily available in stores. Regular cinnamon can be substituted in this recipe but the amount is doubled. Some recipes call for the addition of a dash of cayenne pepper or Mexican Chili powder when making Mexican cakes. It all depends on how adventurous your cooking spirit is to use either of these additions. Coffee intensifies the chocolate flavor. Note a mixer is not needed for this cake. 
Pair this cake with an easy Tex-Mex Chicken and Rice Skillet Casserole. The recipe was previously posted http://sockfairies.blogspot.com/2015/04/tex-mex-rice-casserole.html

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 stick each margarine and butter (1cup total) 
  • ½ cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder or regular unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • ¾ cup water or brewed coffee
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup buttermilk at room temperature
  • 2 TB. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda 
  • 1 tsp. Saigon cinnamon or 2 tsp. regular cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. salt
Cake Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch round cake pan or a 9 x 9 glass pan with cooking spray.
  • Melt butter and margarine in a saucepan over low heat and whisk in cocoa. Add water or coffee and whisk until smooth. Whisk in sugar, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla one addition at a time. 
  • Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, then sift again and add to cocoa mixture. Whisk just until combined-there may be lumps.
  • Pour batter in pan and bake for 28 minutes or until a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean from center of cake. Cool cake on a wire rack. If using a round cake pan invert onto a plate after 20 minutes. Glaze cooled cake. If using a 9 x 9 pan glaze cake in pan. 
Chocolate Glaze Ingredients:
  • 2 TB. butter
  • ½ cup bittersweet or semi- sweet chocolate chips 
  • 3 TB. brewed coffee or water
  • 1 TB. light corn syrup
  • 2 TB. Kahlua
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts 
Chocolate Glaze Directions:
Melt butter, Whisk in chips, coffee or water and corn syrup in a saucepan on low. Stir until smooth. Cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in Kahlua and powdered sugar. Blend until smooth. Pour glaze over cooled cake and sprinkle with nuts.

The World According to Bella
Spring Launch

Mr. C and Mrs. S seemed awfully slow to get down the hill. 
I was first on board. This was one ride I did not want to miss!  

I wanted to check out the lake and my neighbors. I didn't care one bit it was cold and windy. I can report the following:
  • 7 loons enjoying a spring swim
  • 1 eagle and several sea gulls soaring overhead
  • the nearby resort looked deserted
  • no other boats in sight
  • only half of our neighbors had docks out
  • the water temperature was 53 degrees
Love, Bella
I might have to think about making some changes. I've been threatened with losing out on boat rides (one of my favorite things to do at the lake). I've already lost fishing privileges from last boating season. Mr. C and Mrs. S tell me they aren't impressed with my wild behavior barking at every moving thing on the lake and in the sky. 

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