Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mountain Meadow Chocolate Fudge Cake

Mountain Meadow Chocolate Fudge Cake - made August 17, 2010 from Sticky, Messy, Chewy, Gooey

You can rarely go wrong with a chocolate cake from a recipe book with this name. You bake the cake for a relatively short time at a high temperature, frost it while it's warm and let the frosting melt into the cake. It lives up to its name in being gooey. It's important not to overbake this cake since it's baked at 400 degrees. I was hovering around my oven and a toothpick inserted in the center that came out with the slightest bit of batter one minute was done and coming out almost clean in the next minute. Take it out in that next minute.

The main thing to watch for with the frosting is because you make it while the cake is baking and it's likely warm when you use it and put over the hot cake, the butter will have a tendency to separate out a bit. No worries - just blot it carefully to take off the shine or any little "pools" of butter in the frosting. If you don't, when the cake and frosting cool, you'll see the butter solidify on top. That's not very appetizing. Then again, once people taste this cake, they may not care. It was a rough day at work and I'll be the first to say this is excellent comfort food. And yeah, try this while it's warm.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup boiling water
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 cups sugar
½ cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the fudge-pecan icing
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
3 to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 ½ cups chopped pecans, toasted

1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400˚F. Brush a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with melted butter or spray with a nonstick cooking spray.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a large bowl and set aside.
3. Combine the butter, boiling water, and chocolate in a saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium-low heat, and whisk gently until the butter and chocolate are melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sugar. Quickly whisk in the buttermilk and then the eggs and vanilla. Using an electric mixer set at medium speed, beat the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients just until combined and a smooth batter forms, about 1 minute.
4. Pour the batter immediately into the prepared pan. Bake until the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, make the icing: combine the chocolate, butter, buttermilk in a saucepan and cook, stirring over medium heat, until the chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla, salt and 3 cups of the sifted confectioners sugar. If you would like the icing sweeter and thicker, whisk in the remaining confectioners sugar to taste. Stir in the pecans.
6. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and pour the warm icing over the cake while it, too, is still warm in the pan. Let cool completely, then cut into squares and serve.

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