Wednesday, September 19, 2012

spiced honey-chocolate cake

I was charged with making dessert for Rosh Hashanah dinner this year. Aiming to be a good little shiksha, I started looking for a kosher Rosh Hashanah recipe and, alas, most of them relied on apples and honey for their source of sweet. This, of course, posed a problem as I've told you my husband doesn't like any fruit and he doesn't make exceptions for fruit symbolizing a sweet new year. But then I found this recipe from Diana Baker Woodall's website, Diana's Desserts. It had lots of honey but no apples. Perfect! I zipped to the store and bought all the necessary ingredients. And then Jon told me we didn't have to keep kosher after all. So I went back for some milk and heavy cream and set out to make some ice cream, too, just in case the recipe was a dud. Everybody wins when there's ice cream, I figured.

Well, this cake wasn't a dud and it doesn't need ice cream. And it shouldn't be reserved for Rosh Hashanah alone, either. It was chocolatey without being too rich, and had a good spice--a nice nod to the changing season. Just be sure to take it out of the oven after 65 minutes even if your knife doesn't come out super-duper clean. The cake will continue to bake just a touch as it cools. (Please note that I altered a few things from Ms. Woodall's recipe.) Now, without further ado ...

- 3 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 c. canola oil
- 1 c. honey
- 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 1/2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
- 3 large eggs
- 1 c. water
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 c. chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch bundt-style cake pan and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground cloves and allspice. In a medium mixing bowl, combine honey, oil, and sugars. Beat the wet mixture on low to medium-low speed for 1 minute. Add eggs, water, and vanilla to the wet mixture and beat for 2-3 minutes on low. Slowly add the wet mixture into the dry mixture, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as you pour. (The sugar in the wet mixture had a tendency to settle.) Once fully incorporated, beat on medium-low speed for another 2 minutes until the batter is smooth. Fold in chocolate chips, then pour batter into bundt pan. Bake for 50 to 65 minutes. Let cake cool in pan for 15 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioner's sugar just before serving. Yield: 12-14 servings. 

I served the chocolate cake with one scoop of both vanilla and apple cider-cinnamon ice cream. (Had to sneak apples into the mix somewhere! Sorry, Jon!)