chocolate-cake_ready-to-eat

How good does that sound? Unfortunately I did not serve these items together, but I wish I had! They would have been perfect together. I have been meaning to post the cake recipe for over a month now. I made it for my cousin Michelle’s birthday. She is a well known chocoholic, and so I knew I wanted to make a super chocolate birthday cake for her to celebrate! Sweets for the sweet!

The recipe was based on one from Peanut Butter and Julie’s Blog (thanks Julie!).

chocolate-cake_making-the-cake

The recipe calls for melting chocolate in hot strong coffee! What a revelation! This was a perfect way to really up the ante and flavor profile of the cake. I used nothing below 75% cacao chocolate and I substituted extra virgin coconut oil and blood orange salt to add to the underlying flavor as well . I made a 9-inch round cake and layered the cake with leftover cream cheese icing that I had frozen when I made too much for the wedding cake and then topped it with crushed hazelnuts. It was totally a success! I am not much of a chocolate lover, but I really loved this cake. I reduced the amount of sugar from 3 CUPS to 3/4′s of a cup – resulting in a deep chocolate flavor without an overly sweet taste.

tamarind-ice-cream-in-cup

As for the ice cream, I mentioned in my last post that I have switched over almost exclusively to goats milk. My friend Judy at No Fear Entertaining told me a long time ago that she had made an awesome chocolate pudding using goats milk, so it inspired me to try goats milk in my desserts. Normally when making ice cream, I don’t put eggs in the base as a shortcut and time saver. But this time I decided I really wanted a creamy custard, so I used both goats milk and cream, as well as eggs. I added a bit of crushed cardamom pods while the vanilla bean was steeping in the milk/cream. It added a really rice flavor and I think enhanced the vanilla flavor of the ice cream. The consistency was good, but it was very rich. I think next time, I will skip the cream and just go with the eggs and goats milk.

Recipes below the cut…

Decadent Chocolate Cake

Makes one 9-10 inch layer cake

INGREDIENTS:

pat of butter for greasing pan

1 1/2 cups hot strong coffee (I made espresso)

1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate (nothing below 75% cacao)

3 large organic eggs

3/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil

3/4 cup pure cane sugar

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups Dutch processed cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder

1 teaspoon salt (I used blood orange infused)

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 300F degrees. Grease cake pans with butter.

Mix the hot coffee with the chopped chocolate, stirring occasionally until the mixture is smooth.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), beat the eggs until they are slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Slowly add the coconut oil, and mix at medium speed for 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar, mixing until well combined. Slowly add the buttermilk, coffee mixture, and vanilla, and mix until blended.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the batter in three additions on low speed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean, 55-65 minutes. Cool for 15 in the pans, and then carefully invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Frost the layers as desired, decorate, and serve!

Goats Milk Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/3 cups whole goats milk

2 1/3 cup organic heavy cream

1 whole vanilla bean

1 cardamom pod crushed

3 large organic eggs

½ cup pure cane sugar

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

METHOD:

Combine milk and cream into a medium saucepan. Using a sharp knife, split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Use the blunt egde to scrape out the seeds. Crush the cardomom pod. Stir vanilla seeds and pod, and the crushed cardamom into the milk/cream mixture. Bring mixture to a slow boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about a half an hour, stirring occasionally.

Combine eggs and sugar into a medium bowl. Use hand mixer and beat until the mixture is thick, smooth and pale yellow, about 2 minutes.

Remove the vanilla bean pod from the milk/cream mixture and discard. Measure 1 cup of the hot liquid. With hand mixer on low speed slowly pour the milk/cream into the eggs/sugar. When combined, pour mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk/cream and stir to combine. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and covers the back of a spoon.

Transfer to a large glass bowl. Stir in vanilla extract, cover and chill completely.

Pour chilled custard into the freezer bowl of your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturers directions!