Wicked Chocolate Cake
Okay, if you want to get all technical and precise about it, the proper name of this recipe is Beatty’s Chocolate Cake. But it’s wicked, deliciously wicked, so that’s what I’m calling it.
Ina Garten tells a very charming story in her book, Barefoot Contessa at Home, about how a friend’s grandmother baked this cake to send along with her milkman husband on his route so that he could give pieces to his customers. Aw, so sweet, so Norman Rockwell, so heart-cockle-warming you say. Uh uh. Forget it. That woman was a pusher, and her innocent-looking offerings of cake were the milk route equivalent of crack. Get the customers hooked on chocolate cake and they’ll keep buying dairy products. Because once you have a piece of this, you are doomed.
This recipe got a big thumbs-up from three serious chocolate fiends (self included), one of whom (not me) scuttled out the door with half the cake once the party was over. If she doesn’t ask for it again next time I say, “What kind of cake do you want?” I’ll be surprised. It’s very dark, extremely rich and moist, and has a touch of coffee in both the cake and in the frosting. And like most Barefoot Contessa recipes, it’s no sweat to make and somehow magically turns out greater than the sum of its parts. I’m not sure how she does that. It’s a sneaky trick, and this is a sneaky cake.
Be forewarned that recipes sometimes vanish from the Food Network site. Snatch it up right away if you want it, just in case. Or buy the book or get it from the library–it also contains an equally diabolical recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting. (Tested and approved right here at Chez Mystery.)
Of course, the most sensible strategy is to walk away, pretend you never heard of this cake, pretend you have no need for chocolate cake whatsoever. I. Do. Not. Need. Cake. Yeah, you just keep saying that.
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