Chocolate Dump-It Cake

If you’re from around these parts, you know Cafe Latte in St. Paul on Grand and you know their delicious chocolate layer cake. Well, this recipe for chocolate cake has to be quite similar to theirs – same chocolate intensity with a dense yet spongy texture. I opted to cook the full batch in a 9″ cake pan, cut it in half and do a layer of icing in the middle, then on the top and around the sides. It made a great cake for Frank’s mother’s birthday, serving a party of 16-20.

Chocolate Dump-It Cake
New York Times Cookbook, Amanda Hesser

For the Cake
2 cups of sugar
1/4 pound unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon cider vinegar (I didn’t have cider vinegar, so used champagne vinegar)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Icing
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups sour cream, at room temperature

1. To make the cake, heat the oven to 375 degrees. Place a baking sheet on the lowest rack to catch any drips when the cake bakes on the middle rack. Mix together the sugar, unsweetened chocolate, butter and water in a 2 to 3 quart saucepan, place over medium heat and stir occasionally until all of the ingredients are melted and blended. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

2. Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir together the milk and vinegar in a small bowl (it will curdle, but that’s okay). Grease ad flour a 9 inch tube pan (I used a spring-form pan).
3. When the chocolate has cooled a bit, whisk in the milk mixture and eggs. In several additions, and without overmixing, whisk in the dry ingredients. When the mixture is smooth, add the vanilla and whisk once or twice to blend.

4. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and set on a rack (this cake has a tendency to break in half – if you have an extra set of hands, enlist him/her). Let cool completely.

5. To make the icing, melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler, then let cool to room temperature. Stir in the sour cream 1/4 cup at a time until the mixture is smooth.
6. You can ice the cake as is, or cut it in half so that you have 2 layers, and fill and ice it. There will be extra icing whether you have 1 or 2 layers.


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