Flashback Friday – Notes on a Recipe Cinnamon Scented Baked Chocolate Mousse Cake

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 11/13/08 at Exit 51.

Notes On A Recipe – Cinnamon Scented Baked Chocolate Mousse Cake

Rounding out the Fast Food @ Home recipes I tried last week was a baked chocolate mousse cake.  Since going on South Beach, I haven’t made dessert.  That chocolate covered candy crack I made for SFC’s birthday does not count.  Nothing counts on birthdays.

Cinnamon Chocolate Cake

So after months of no cakes or pies or cookies or any sort of homemade treats, I was ready to give baking another try.  I did modify the original recipe to substitute butter blend for the butter and Splenda for the sugar.  Funny thing about Splenda, it dissolves immediately in water.  Not at all like sugar.  Kinda freaky.

Splenda freakiness aside, this recipe is a breeze.  Mix “sugar” and water, boil, add “butter”, once melted add chocolate, stir well to combine and let cool.  Whisk eggs and spices.  Add chocolate mixture to egg mixture.  Do be sure not to overmix so as to avoid little air bubbles in your cake.  Bake in water bath.  C’mon, it does not get much easier than this.

Feel free to add other flavors too.  I love spicy chocolate so I added a bit (maybe 1/8th of a teaspoon) of chili powder to the batter.  Just enough to give it a little heat.  And since coffee really seems to bring out the flavor of chocolate, I threw in a teaspoon of espresso powder as well.  It only sounds scary.  I promise, it tastes good.

The recipe says to bake for 55 minutes to one hour.  I guess if I had a proper roasting pan to use for my water bath that might have been accurate.  But I don’t.  So I used the widest pot that I have.  I think it’s about 6 quarts, short but wide.  Let’s just say that if I had more than a half an inch of space between my 9″ cake pan and the sides of my pot, and if my water bath was greater than one cup of liquid, then maybe it would take almost an hour to cook.  But in my ghetto version of a bain-marie, that cake was done in 45 minutes.  No foolin.  That’s a good thing because all but about a tablespoon of my water had evaporated.  See how close I came to complete oven disaster?

Don’t be in a hurry to eat this cake once it comes out of the oven because it really does need to cool completely before you turn it out onto a plate.  Your patience will be rewarded with is a dense, intense chocolate treat.

Cinnamon-scented Baked Chocolate Mousse Cake

From “The Modern Baker,” by Nick Malgieri

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces, plus more for buttering the pan
  • 14 ounces bittersweet (but not unsweetened) chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 7 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Butter an 8-inch round cake pan, 2 inches deep, and line the bottom with a disc of parchment or buttered wax paper cut to fit. Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees.

Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. At the boil, add the cut-up stick of butter and stir occasionally until the butter is completely melted.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate. Swirl the pan to submerge all the chocolate in the hot liquid. Let the mixture stand for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and cinnamon to break them up. Whisk in the chocolate mixture in a stream, taking care not to over-mix, or the batter will be riddled with bubbles and not bake to a smooth texture.

Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top. Place the cake pan in another larger pan, such as a small roasting pan, and place it on the oven rack. Pour in warm water to come halfway up the side of the cake pan.

Bake the cake until it is set, slightly firm and no longer liquid in the center, 55 to 60 minutes. Remove the large pan from the oven, being careful not to tilt it, which would cause hot water to slosh out of it. Place it on the work surface and use oven mitts and a wide spatula to remove the cake pan from the hot water. Cool the cake pan on a rack.

Unmold the cake onto a platter. If the cake has cooled for a long time, it might be necessary to heat the bottom of the pan to slightly loosen it. Cut the cake into wedges and serve it with some sweetened whipped cream.

The cake is best just cooled to room temperature and not refrigerated before it is served. If you must prepare it prior to the day you intend to serve it, refrigerate it, wrapped in plastic, for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to a month. Bring it to room temperature for several hours before serving.

Flashback Friday – Fast Food @ Home

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 11/5/08 at Exit 51

Fast Food @ Home

This week has not been my best in the kitchen.  All the hubbub and activity of late has me off my game.  My pantry and fridge are not adequately stocked for the meals I had planned.  Somehow I overlooked a fundamental part of meal planning – making sure I have the ingredients for what I intend to make.  I don’t mean things that I can fudge like an onion or spices.  That would be too easy.  I mean that if I figure on making hamburgers, it would be helpful to actually have ground beef. Continue reading “Flashback Friday – Fast Food @ Home”