This week's Craving Ellie in My Belly was a little something different; it was a chocolate cake! We've been making a lot of main dishes for the group lately, which I love, but it was great to be able to switch things up a bit this time. Chaya, of Chaya's Comfy Cook Blog, chose for us to make Ellie's Mocha Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.
This was my third time making this cake, and each time I've done something differently. I love that this recipe is so versatile; I can imagine so many variations on the base chocolate cake here. Last time I made it, I used dark cocoa powder and it turned out super, duper chocolatey and delicious. This time, I wanted to spice it up...literally! I thought it would be fun to make this into a spicy mocha cake, and add a few Mexican-tinged flavors to the batter. I cut the recipe in half (because the other times I've made this, I have found that it makes an awful lot of cake!). Then, I added 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon each of cayenne pepper and ground black pepper to the batter. I felt like a bit of a mad scientist, playing around with this cake! It was a fun experiment.
I used my trusty old brownie pan, again, and it worked out well for the most part. I noticed that not all the slices of cake baked up evenly, so I had some shorter pieces and some larger ones. I reduced the cooking time by about 5-7 minutes, and it was just enough.
I also wanted to do something else for the frosting this time. I opted to make a very simple chocolate glaze to pour over the tops of the slices. I used 1 cup plus 3 Tbsp. confectioners' sugar, 3 Tbsp. milk, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, and 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder to form my glaze (pictured above). The glaze was mostly hardened and set, and then I transferred the cake pieces to the fridge. When I poked around to try a slice later on, I noticed that the glaze was softer than it had been. I guess the fridge softens it back up. It didn't matter, though: it was still totally scrumptious! I highly recommend this variation if you're ever looking for a uniquely flavored, slightly good-for-you chocolate cake to take somewhere!
Thanks to Chaya for allowing me to revisit an old favorite in a new way! For the full recipe as written by Ellie, check out the whole thing on Food Network's website, here. And to see what the other CEIMB-istas did with this one, be sure to head on over to the blogroll, here.