Monday, October 01, 2012

*october fest.


Look, Ma! I made dessert!

It's no secret that sweets are not really my thing; in my life, half a box of Cheez-Its will trump cheesecake every time. (And I do mean every time—I hate cheesecake.)


I know! I can't explain it. Sweet cream cheese just loses me.

This is probably a good time to confess that I also do not like lobster. Or crabmeat. Or donuts. Or watermelon.

Please don't leave me.

I am posting this one here because I figured today is as good a day as any to say, "Happy October!"

(Which is a censored version of what I originally thought when I looked at my watch today, which ran more along the lines of "Holy *%^&balls, it's October?")

Even though my grandma can't read this anymore, I still feel the need to apologize when I swear. Sorry, Grandma.

If you've spent any time wandering about this forum, you already know two things: One, I really cannot bake, and two, my attempts pretty much always involve my nonstick Bundt pan, because things don't, well ... stick to it.

Except, of course, in this case. I'd run out of butter (EGADS!) on the Woodside, so I attempted to grease the pan with canola oil. I'm no super sleuth, but I'm willing to bet that's why this slid inelegantly out (after much banging with a spatula and coaxing with a butter knife) in three sad pieces.

But do not despair! My baking handicap is the stuff of legend, so you're probably much better equipped than I to make a beautiful cake that doesn't come thunking out of the pan with a groan.

Help is on the way, however, in the form of Giada's espresso glaze (really do make those brownies sometime if you can; they're great and also on the short list of impossible-to-screw-up things I've managed to pull off, baking-wise). If you dump enough glaze on something and then distract people with seasonal candies, no one will ever know you cobbled the hunks together into something that resembles an intact baked good.

Come to think of it, if you replace "glaze" with "glue" and "candy" with "glitter," you have a pretty viable kindergartner's craft project here.

The cake is a riff on the chocolate-cinnamon version I posted here. Except in this case, I poured in 8 ounces of mini chocolate chips, looked at the remaining 4 ounces in the bag, and thought, "Oh, what is the point?" and then dumped the rest in. I served this cake chilled, because even though I don't eat sweets very often, when I do I want them to have tiny nuggets of chocolate on the inside.

Happy October!


Double Chocolate Bundt Cake with Espresso Glaze

4 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 box chocolate cake mix (I used Duncan Hines's Butter Recipe Fudge cake mix.)
1 (4-serving size) package instant vanilla pudding
12 ounces miniature chocolate chips
½ cup canola oil
8 ounces sour cream
4 eggs
2 teaspoons espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
Garnish: candy corn

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a Bundt pan. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar into pan, tilting pan to coat bottom and sides evenly.

2. Stir together  remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cake mix, pudding, and chocolate chips until combined. Stir in canola oil, sour cream, and eggs. Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan, and bake 45 to 50 minutes or until cake is springy. Let cool in pan 20 minutes.

3. Remove from pan to wire rack, and let cool completely. Meanwhile, dissolve 2 teaspoons espresso powder in 2 tablespoons water in a medium bowl. Whisk in vanilla. Add the powdered sugar and butter; whisk until smooth. Drizzle glaze over cooled cake. Garnish, if desired. Makes 8 to 10 servings.




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I am a work in progress. I perpetually need a hair cut. I'm totally devoted to my remarkable nieces and nephew. I am an elementary home cook and a magazine worker bee. (Please criticize my syntax and spelling in the comments.) I think my dog is hilarious. I like chicken and spicy things. I have difficulty being a grown-up. Left to my own devices, I will eat enormous amounts of cheese snacks of all kinds.