Apparently, I have a desire to deprive you, dear reader, of delicious chocolate cake. This is a bad habit I am attempting to rectify post haste. You see, I made this cake, um, ages ago. By which I mean, of course, summer. I was home, basking in the glory of my parents’ fully stocked kitchen and abundant Texas sunshine, and I made this cake. Then I ate it. Well, my dad helped. It was good and chocolatey and – well, suffice it say that it went pretty fast. Despite its tastiness, I kept this recipe from you, swathed in mystery for months. Well, NO MORE! I reveal to you at last:
Quick Skillet Chocolate Snack Cake, from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
for the cake
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
2 Tbsp vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp buttermilk, shaken well
for the frosting
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 Tbsp vanilla
3 oz dark chocolate, melted and cooled
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and grease a 10 in, cast iron skillet with butter. Line bottom of the pan with parchment paper, and butter and flour the parchment.
Step 2: For the cake, whisk together cocoa powder, chocolate, and espresso powder in a small heatproof bowl. Add 3/4 cup very hot water, wait 1 minute, and then whisk the mixture until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
Step 3: In another small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
Step 4: With an electric mixer, beat the butter and shortening together on medium speed until creamy. Add the sugars and vanilla, and beat until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until just combined.
Step 5: With the mixer on low, slowly add the chocolate mixture. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour.
Step 6: Once the flour is incorporated, pour the batter into the prepared skillet and bake 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the center of the cake comes out clean. Rotate the cake 1/2 way through baking. Cool in skillet 15 minutes before turning the cake out on a wire rack.
Step 7: While waiting for the cake to cool completely, prepare the frosting. With a mixer on high, beat the butter until creamy. Add the powdered sugar all at once, and beat until completely blended. Add the vanilla, and mix briefly. Add the melted, cooled chocolate and continue beating until smooth and uniform in color, scraping down the sides as necessary.
Step 8: Frost the top of the cake, cut yourself a slice, and enjoy your snack!