Rainy Day Chocolate Cake
By Jen Ubelaker
Today was one of those blustery Pacific Northwest days where you know you probably have work to do outside, but any excuse to stay in the warm and dry is a good one. We’ve been working hard trying to get our place ready for summer and the growing season, and my husband is a complete beast. I tease him from time to time about being part robot. How else could you explain a 40-hour-a-week ‘town job,’ then evenings and weekends spent working around here? He can function on just a few hours sleep a night, and I need the full eight or someone’s going to pay. It’s not an easy life, but we try to make sure that the other one feels appreciated for everything they do. I get the occasional world-class foot rub, and every once in a while, I make my man a cake.
He loves those chocolate bars with the coconut (not naming names – but sometimes he feels like a nut, sometimes he don’t), and I thought it would be fun to try and re-create that in cake form. Here’s what I came up with:
For the cake:
I do like to make cakes from scratch, but it’s hardly a necessity. For this one you can use your favorite box mix of chocolate cake. They have all sorts of flavors from regular chocolate to triple fudge, just depends on how deep your chocolate obsession goes, I guess. One thing I have found is that an extra egg added to the recipe helps make a more dense cake. If that’s something you like, then consider adding another egg when you make your batter.
For the filling:
I played around with this a little bit and think I have a winner.
Beat 2 egg whites until foamy. They should almost double in size. Then add 1/3 cup sugar to the eggs and beat until firm peaks form. You are basically making a marshmallow fluff. When you have firm peaks in your egg mixture, turn off the beaters and gently fold in 2 tablespoons flour and 1 cup shredded coconut. This will be your filling mix.
I planned on baking the cake in a tube pan, just for looks. Follow your cake mix’s directions about oven temperature and time for baking the cake. Because this is a chocolate cake, I didn’t do the traditional “butter and flour” on the pan but instead used a baking spray on the pan so the cake would release cleanly. If you aren’t careful, a butter and flour coating can leave traces on your cake and for something like this where it won’t be frosted, you want it to look as clean as possible.
I poured a little more than half the batter into the prepared pan, and then put the filling around the center. Be careful to keep your filling to the center and not touch any of the edges. Then top with the remainder of the cake batter to cover your filling and bake according to directions. When you remove the cake from the oven, let it sit for 10 minutes or so until you can turn it over cleanly onto a rack to finish cooling.
At this point, you can dust your cake with a little confectioner’s sugar, but because I was trying to emulate the candy bar, I just melted some chocolate chips and topped the cake with slivered almond pieces.
It smelled delicious and I honestly couldn’t wait for the full cooling time to be over before I dug in. It’s hubby’s treat, sure, but someone has to make sure it’s good. We wouldn’t want to serve an inferior product, now would we?
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