Monday, 25 October 2004

Died-And-Went-To-Heaven Chocolate Cake

Around 1996, when the internet was in its infancy, few people were going online, there weren't any web-based forums and all you have are either the techie's bulletin boards (BBs) or the Usenet. I discovered the latter and it was like a hallelujiah moment for me, like an alladin's cave was opened. I saw hundreds, no maybe more than a thousand discussion groups that talk about, chat, argue on things and topics ranging from gardening to national cultures. It was a virtual circus and it was so wonderful to discover it and be among people online. I plunged right in and subscribed to several discussion groups of which my favourites were (RFC), (RFR), and soc.culture.filipino (SCF). But of course hands down, the group that I read the most is the RFC. It attracted a lot of die hard foodies, chefs, talented cooks, or just the plain curious. I gained a lot of cooking tips, recipes, where to find the best restaurants in which cities, etc. The people you can find there are a great mix and it's always entertaining to read the exchange of ideas, recipes and insults (flaming) that were brewed by this diverse combinations. I will always recall with fondness the 'characters' that I've 'met' there and in the process acquired a number of great recipes from these generous cooks and foodies. So here's to you RFC - cheers!

You may have a hint now where this is going, this recipe is from an RFCer - Barb Schaller. She has a number of interestingly titled recipes in the unofficial RFC website of signature dishes. This one is quite easy to make, besides the buttermilk, all the other ingredients can be easily perused wherever you are in the world. And you don't have to do it in a Bundt or tube pan; any pan would do, you just have to adjust the baking times for these. The cake is a bit on the fudgy side and not very sweet which suits me quite well. Finally, this was done by my son as a birthday gift for his sister who had her birthday last Sunday 24th October. Of course his mum did all the mopping up afterwards - heh - bummer!

Died-and-Went-to-Heaven Chocolate Cake

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs - lightly beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup hot strong black coffee

1 cup icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp buttermilk or plain milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly oil a 12-cup Bundt pan (or tube pan) or coat it with non-stick cooking spray. Dust the pan with flour, invert and shake out the excess.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add buttermilk, brown sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla; beat with electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  4. Whisk in hot coffee until completely incorporated. (The batter will be quite thin.)
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into centre comes out clean.
  6. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes; remove from pan and let cool completely.

*For the icing: Mix buttermilk with the icing sugar enough to make a thick but pourable icing. Set cake on a serving plate and drizzle the icing on top.

*Note: If you don't have any buttermilk, you can make some: for every cup of buttermilk, put in 1 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice in a non-metal container then add milk to make 1 cup; do not stir, let stand and curdle for about 5 minutes.

Music While Baking: R.E.S.P.E.C.T. - Aretha Franklin
                               What I'd Say - Ray Charles
                               Beautiful - Christina Aguilera


Unknown said...

Oh wow, now what strange coincidences are afoot!
Now it's you, me, purplegirl and JMom with late October babies....Happy birthday!
My only girl's is Nov. 2 and I tried a couple of years' worth of Halloween parties...not a good idea. Too hectic.
This cake looks yummy. Your son's a budding chef, how cool. Are they all chocoholics too?

Ate Sienna said...

naku... naalala ko nga yung mga panahon na yun, manay. na ang chat client nun eh IRC pa at di pa uso yang mga yahoo-yahoo na yan. Madalas pa nga akong tambay ng #manila channel nun sa dalnet ata yun. Eventually ung mga chatters dun naging friends pa naming ng mga kapatid ko in real life until now.

Panay din ang usenet ko nun kasi ang dami-dami talagang info na nandun before! but i never joined in the conversation, nagbabasa lang ako. The internet has really come a looooong, looooong way...

Sassy Lawyer said...

Bakit nga ba ang lalaki ang lalakas magkalat sa kitchen. Yung brother ko, pag nag-prito noon ng itlog, hanggang ceiling and talsik ng mantika. Ang asawa ko, mas malala.

celia kusinera said...

Stel: Well whadayaknow, we really are synchronised. Just yesterday I saw Ting-aling's sotanghon soup guess what we had for dinner yesterday - sotanghon soup!

Sienna: I was a lurker as well in RFC even in SCF. Matindi kasi ang flame wars sa SCF kaya minsan nakakawalang gana. But the RFCers are really great and even now they have cookouts where they meet each other and have a foodfest.

Sassy: Haay naku ewan ko ba, ang papel ko yata sa buhay is to mop up after my son. Pero ang husband ko hindi makalat pero pag nagluto every five mins tumatawag sa akin: 'hahaluin ko na ba? ihuhulog ko na ba ang patatas? tatakpan ko ba?' Sus ginoo! Parang ako na rin ang nagluto.

Anonymous said...

You can vary the topping to make the famous Better than Sex cake:

Make several slits on cake then pour 1 jar of butterscotch ice cream topping (Smuckers), sprinkle crushed Heath bars on top and spread whipped heavy cream. Garnish with more crushed Heath bars on top of cream. Refrigerate. Best serve with coffee.


celia kusinera said...

Oooh, that name is wicked! And it sounds very sinful. Thanks for the tip I just wonder what's the equivalent of Heath bar here in UK?