Yes...I hate to admit it, but there have been several emotional fits when a cake fails to rise or a pie crust refuses to roll. Baking is like therapy to me, and so when a recipe goes south, my mood tends to follow. My sweet partner has had to deal with his fair share of tears and angry exclamations emanating from our kitchen over the past three years. Thankfully the more I bake, the less these kitchen catastrophes tend to happen; I've learned a lot (especially in these last six months!) and so baking mistakes are become rare. A, I've matured over the past several years, and so even when things do fall apart, I'm learning to maintain emotional balance.
But I was tested this weekend. On Saturday, I woke with a strong desire to bake a rich, moist, chocolate bundt cake for my friend's birthday and in honor of another friend (pregnant!) who has been craving chocolate. After finding a recipe and adapting it to my tastes, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. It was a dismal, dreary day in Colorado Springs, so being in the kitchen with my hands covered in flour and a stick of butter melting on the stove was delightful.
The batter for this cake is composed of wonderful ingredients like chocolate, cinnamon, butter and a strong cup of brewed coffee. Just smelling the richness of this decadent combination nearly did me over; I was beyond excited to get this cake into the oven and to plate it on my bright yellow serving platter.
It rose beautifully, filled my house with the smells of cocoa and spice, and both Ryan and I were eager to test a slice of this chocolate masterpiece. And then I made a rookie mistake. I turned the cake out of the bundt pan far before it had cooled sufficiently. The cake broke into two, half of it stuck to the pan, and crumbs fell everywhere (along with pieces of my heart). I wanted to cry, but Ryan, seeing the potential of a baking meltdown, held me in his arms and told me, "It's going to be okay, we can fix this." And "fix this" we did. While eating the crumbs of the fallen cake, we were able to salvage over half of the chocolate goodness. We sliced the sections that had remained somewhat intact and arranged them on a platter with a handful of strawberries.
The cake was divine, moist, rich and exactly what I had imagined that Saturday morning. We took the platter over to our friend's birthday and the cake was readily eaten, devoured, enjoyed. So I learned a valuable lesson, I learned the importance of making do with the good and the bad, and of course, I learned that chocolate crumbs from a fallen cake taste just as delicious as a perfectly cut slice.
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brewed coffee
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1.Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease a large bundt pan with cooking spray and dust with flour.
2. Place butter, coffee, oil, and cocoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil.
3. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Pour the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well. Then add your buttermilk and baking soda.
4. Mix together the eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla in a small bowl, and add to the batter. Pour batter into prepared pan.
5. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow your cake to cool completely in the pan