Deep Dark Chocolate Cake from The Room of Earthly Delights

I often escape from my “outside life” into my “inside life” both methaphorically and physically. These days more so than ever. My outside life is partially on hold as I am sure yours is. My inside life is rich and full and can really be whatever I make it to be.There are various “inside rooms” that I go to.  There is the “reading room” which is often my bed or sofa. I have my “South office room” that is not actually in my real office, which is upstairs or North, but is wherever I land downstairs with my laptop. There is “la petite cafe” which is our deck for enjoying drinks and meals al fresco, rather than sitting at our kitchen counter.

Some days the room previously known as the kitchen might be the “the room of earthly delights”. Those are the days when I make craveable delicious desserts such as this cake.

Densely chocolate and easy to make this is a cake to soothe both your “outside and inside life”.  It is a cake that will make staying inside more tolerable and nice. Has the way you use the rooms in your home changed recently? Do you think of your home differently and see new uses for old spaces? Do you, like I do, give them names to specify their use? What are you baking in your “room of earthly delights”?

Do something sweet for yourself….then share it.

This recipe is from one of my favorite cooking books “Modern Baking – cakes, cookies and everything in between” by Donna Hay, published by Fourth Estate and can be purchased online or at many bookstores. My written recipe is directly from the book with a few minor changes.

Glazed Dark Chocolate Cake

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Ingredients for cake:

  • 250 grams unsalted butter, chopped
  • 200 grams 70% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups milk (330g)
  • 1 cup caster/superfine sugar (220g)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar (175g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 1 3/4 cups self-rising flour, sifted (260g)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted (35g)

for glaze:

  • 200 grams 70% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 100 grams unsalted butter, chopped
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup (90g)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a tube pan or Bundt pan well.
  2. Place the butter and chopped chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth.
  3. Whisk together in a large bowl the milk, both sugars and the vanilla. Add the melted chocolate-butter mixture and whisk to combine. Add the eggs and whisk until well blended.
  4. Add the flour and cocoa and whisk until combined. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour or until the caked is baked inside when tested with a skewer. Invert the pan onto a wire rack and let stand for 15 minutes before removing the pan. Let cake cool completely.
  5. For the glaze place the chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth. Add the oil and stir to mix.
  6. Place the cooled cake on a wire rack over a tray and spoon on the glaze. Allow glaze to set before moving the cake to a serving plate. (I had glaze left over which I stored in the refrigerator in a glass jar and used a a topping for scoops of ice cream. Delicious.)

Recipe from: “Modern Baking – cakes, cookies and everything in between” by Donna Hay published in 2018 by Fourth Estate

teresablackburnfoodstyling.com foodonfifth.com

Easy Five-Layer Mini Celebration Cake and Happy 6th Birthday Food on Fifth…Enjoy Your Day!

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Six years ago today I posted my very first Food on Fifth blog post. It was short, the photos not very good and I got “1” comment. I don’t remember but it was probably from a relative! So here, today, is my blog’s birthday with a wee celebration cake that is easy to make, festive and delicious! And now we are “6”.

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I have often been asked why I started blogging. One day while poking around in an antique store I purchased the first of my collection of old recipe boxes with handwritten recipes. I had not inherited any such thing from my Mother or Grandmother so I decided then and there to start a blog so my daughters would have a “modern-style recipe box”, and would, through my blog, learn more about me as a person, about my travels and my creative side via Food on Fifth. That’s all. No intentions other than creating a modern-style recipe box to leave for my girls chock full of memories.

Six years later I am still at it and I have learned a lot about taking photos of food and about how much I love that part. I have learned much about food failures (I don’t blog about all those!) and how to really embrace the beauty of imperfection.

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It’s easy to turn a sheet cake into a quick festive cake that serves 4 people using a large round cookie cutter, lemon and lime  curds and raspberry jam.

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Stacked with a smear of flavors in between.

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Fresh berries on top and a dusting of powdered sugar.

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Voilà ! A Happy Birthday Cake for Food on Fifth. Enjoy.

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Easy Five Layer Mini Celebration Cake

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: very easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp softened butter
  • 2/4 cup sugar
  • the zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup lemon curd
  • 1/4 cup lime curd
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam
  • fresh blackberries and blueberries
  • powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 9 x 13 inch sheet pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper and spray paper. Dust paper with flour, shaking off excess and set aside.
  2. Whisk together all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Beat together softened butter and sugar in a mixer until fluffy. Add lemon zest, almond and vanilla extracts mixing well.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed and alternately beat in flour mixture and milk until blended.
  5. Spread cake batter into sheet pan. Bake for about 15 minutes or until center is set. Remove from oven to cool on a wire rack.
  6. When cake has completely cooled, use a 4 inch round cookie or biscuit cutter to make 5 cake rounds.
  7. Place one round on a serving plate or cake stand and smear first layer with half the lemon curd; top with second layer adding half the raspberry jam; top with third cake layer and spread with all the lime curd; top with fourth layer and  smear with remaining raspberry jam; top with fifth layer and spread with remaining lemon curd.
  8. Add a ring of blackberries around the top of the cake and fill with blueberries. Chill cake for about 1 hour, dust with powdered sugar and serve cut into small wedges. A scoop of ice cream would be nice.

Note: I used jarred citrus curds that I found at World Market, you could make your own if you like…but these were very good and make the cake “easy”.

Teresa Blackburn   http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com   http://www.foodonfifth.com

A Perfectly-Imperfect Golden Polenta & Pear Bundt Cake

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I wanted some cake, I had some polenta & pears. This is what I made.

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Three fresh, ripe red Anjou pears……..

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…and a new Bundt pan…things do not always end up the way you plan…

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…careful greasing, making sure I got into every crook, curve and cranny and the top of my cake still stuck in the pan! I really didn’t mind. I gently perched the pointed tops back on for this photo. The moist, just right sweetness, the fresh pears & golden polenta still tasted fantastic…that was really all I cared about. Life is not perfect, but delicious.

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Perfectly-Imperfect Golden Polenta & Pear Bundt Cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Print

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Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup polenta
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cup raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 3 firm, but ripe, pears, cored, peeled & cubed
  • 2 tsps lemon zest

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a Bundt pan well.
  2. In a mixing bowl whisk together the polenta, flour, baking soda & salt.
  3. Using an electric mixer beat together the sugar, olive & canola oils, eggs & vanilla extract until pale yellow.
  4. Add dry ingredients to mixture and beat on low just until combined. Fold in the pears & lemon zest.
  5. Scrape batter into the prepared Bundt pan, gently tapping pan on counter to release any air pockets in the batter.
  6. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and cool on a rack for 20 minutes. Turn cake out onto a dish and cool completely. Serve in slices warm or room temp. This cake is so moist that is good for a few days.

A Seasonal, Southern Red Bartlett Pear-Almond Cake (with Grits & Molasses)

Red Bartlett Pears

Three beautifully deep red Bartlett Pears, a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour & a box of yellow grits, a bit of raw sugar & Muddy Pond sorghum molasses collided in my kitchen this afternoon. They did not start out intending to meet. They were all minding their own business sitting quietly on their shelves. It was really all the pears fault. They entered, sitting boldly on the counter, which is where I found them.  Perfectly ripe today, tomorrow they would not be so. The skins, soft and edible, melding with the flesh as I bit into one. They begged to become a cake, nothing fancy, just a simple rustic cake. I agreed.

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“A Seasonal Southern Red Bartlett Pear Almond Cake”

Here is what I used:

3 Red Bartlett pears, 1 cup raw sugar, 1 1/2 sticks softened butter, 2 TBSP sorghum molasses, 3 eggs, 2 tsp bourbon vanilla extract, 1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal Flour, 1/2 cup yellow corn grits, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt, homemade “Very Vanilla Bean Sugar” (or store-bought vanilla sugar)  & Powdered Sugar to garnish

Very Vanilla Bean Sugar

Here is how you make it:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9″ springform pan.

2. Mix together the almond meal, grits, baking soda & salt. Set aside.

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3. Cream sugar, butter & molasses together until fluffy. Beat in vanilla & eggs.  Turn mixer to low and add dry ingredients, mixing  just until well blended.

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4. Scrape batter into the prepared springform pan smoothing the top.

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5. Cut pears in half & remove cores from each. Cut each half into quarters. Place half of the pear quarters in a circle over the top of the cake batter.  Bake cake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and quickly add another layer of the pears on top of the partially baked cake. Return to oven and bake another 10 minutes or so. Remove cake from oven and while still hot sprinkle generously with “Very Vanilla Bean Sugar”. Sugar crystals will melt on top of the hot cake.

Pear Almond Cake

Pear Almond CakeA dense, very moist cake with lots of texture and flavor, almost like pear pudding in the middle. To gussy it up serve with a light dusting of powdered sugar.

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clean your plate please