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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Chocolate Kahlua Cake

"How can a society that exists on instant mashed potatoes, packaged cake mixes, frozen dinners, and instant cameras teach patience to its young?" ~Paul Sweeney

   I've had this recipe for years and it has always been a favorite. Easy to make and delicious to eat; moist with a fine crumb and a rich, velvety chocolate flavor, supported by that little something extra--Kahlua.  Beware though--this cake is not for those who worry about their weight. It contains a pound of sour cream and four eggs! And it is worth every calorie....
   Those with home ovens can bake it in a Bundt pan and forgo filling and frosting. The large, round Bundt cake slices are so moist and delicious, frosting is overkill.
   For those of you who cook in a tiny boat oven, you will have better success baking this cake in two 8 or 9 inch round pans. And since one must open the oven every twenty minutes to change pans from one rack to another and move the cake pan around to keep one side from burning and the other side from under-cooking, it is likely you will be faced with two cake rounds that rise...and then fall. No matter, filling in between the layers with seedless raspberry jam and frosting the top and sides with chocolate Ganache covers a multitude of sins...and makes this cake extra special!

Chocolate Kahlua Cake
One Duncan Hines Chocolate Devil's food cake mix
Americans: Use one 3 1/2 ounce pkg. of JELLO brand Vanilla Instant Pudding and Pie Filling
**Brits: substitute one 49 Gram pkg. of Vanilla Delight in place of JELLO Pudding mix
4 Large eggs 
3/4 cup (6 ounces) vegetable oil
2/3 cup (5 ounces) Kahlua coffee liqueur
16 ounces (600 ML) of sour cream
12 ounces of chocolate chips
   Grease and flour your cake pan(s). Preheat the oven to 350F (Gas Mark 4).
Mix the first five ingredients together in a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer or by hand with a balloon whip for three minutes. Once all the dry ingredients are well incorporated, add in the sour cream. Mix well. Fold in the chocolate chips with a large wooden spoon and pour batter into cake pan(s).
    For conventional home bakers using a Bundt pan, and bake for 55 minutes. Remove from oven. After 10 minutes remove cake from Bundt pan by inverting onto plate. Serve slightly warm. Delish!!
   For boat oven bakers, bake for twenty minutes, then switch cake pans from lower to upper oven rack and vice versa. After fifteen more minutes turn pans so cake bakes evenly. Often one cake will cook faster than the other. You know your oven so...test your cakes by inserting a toothpick in the middle.
   While your cake is baking make the Ganache:
300 ML of double cream
6 squares of Green & Black dark baking chocolate and 8 squares of Green & Black Milk Chocolate baking squares
dash of vanilla essence
dash of salt
One Tablespoon Lyle's Golden Syrup
dash of good brandy optional
   Bring the double cream to a gentle boil, stirring continuously. Once it begins to boil. Remove cream from the heat, and add in the squares of chocolate. Stir continuously until the chocolate squares are melted and incorporated fully into the cream. ( This is basic Ganache, which can be refrigerated and used to make Truffles.) Add in the vanilla, salt, and golden Syrup, and brandy. stir to mix and set aside in fridge.
   It can take up to 55 minutes for the cake pan on the bottom rack to finish cooking.  Sometimes the top of the cake is a little burned around the very edges. Not to worry! cool both layers completely. Invert one onto a plate. Spread the top with Duerr's Seedless raspberry jam. Be generous. Invert the second layer on top of the first. Frost top and sides with cooled Ganache. Enjoy!
   This cake gets better with time--if it lasts that long! It also freezes, unfrosted, quite well. In days past I've often made it in a bundt pan, cut it in half when it had cooled, and froze half the cake for up to three months.
   A word about using good ingredients: Les in his batchelor mode assumes chocolate is chocolate and brandy is brandy, etc. "Cheap and cheerful" that's his batchelor mode of thinking. I made Ganache with Tescos' cheap chocolate and then made another batch with Green & Black. His palate is now educated to taste the difference. So if you are going to the trouble of making this cake...use top quality ingredients. You are worth it and so are all the people who will queue up at your door when they find out you made this cake!


John Witts said...

Now that is a Cake recipe....!


I love the way you have adjusted it for boat ovens! I regularly cook a roast on Pippin, and am oh so familiar with the half-hourly turn of the joint to enable even cooking.

As for ingredients, I will always remember the adage of a Soho Chef who used to drink in The French House: "Rubbish in, rubbish out!".

Top ingredients are the only way forward!

Les Biggs said...

Thank you for sharing your boat oven cooking expertise with me John. I was beginning to think I was the only one who experienced these trials.
This cake is deceptively easy to make, and it gets amazingly better with each passing day, although it doesn't last as long aboard NB Valerie as it used to at Cloudhouse!

John Witts said...

Oh Jaq, I make no pretensions toward anything approaching 'expertise'!

Boat oven cooking does present it's own little challenges, though....

When you and Les make your way over to Ely (Cambridge itself is now too expensive a destination to be worthwhile), we will meet up.

You can do desserts, we'll do the mains!


Les Biggs said...

And we are looking forward to getting together with you and Jackie for a great visit with good food, good fun, and good friends.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap I love this cake! I have had 2 versions of this cake, and the one you came up in England is the melts in your mouth. Ganache is the new crack, people need to get it together and make this for themselves. I will start working on it, today is a beautiful day out here in Western Washington, USA, and its time for some baking magic to happen! Love you Jaq and Les!!!

Christina and Cliff :)

Les Biggs said...

LOL! YOU crack us up Christina! :) This is a seriously good chocolate cake, that is for sure. Let me know how version 2 comes out for you, okay? Give our love to Cliff.
Jaq & Les

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs