Monday, October 3, 2011

The Internet is for...

Out of the mouths of puppets.

This naughty number came from the kitchn, one of those websites I browse all day and night.

And like the guys, with their unzipped flies, I follow my impulses*.
I have-to-bake.

Sorry, Kate.
The Internet is porn!

Ready, normal people?

Deep, Dark and Spicy Molasses Cake with Extra Creamy Cream Cheese Icing
This is the cake's real name, believe it or not**.   The description in the original post says it all, so go there and read all about it.  It is as advertised. Like the most intense gingerbread you've ever had, with a dense, almost chewy texture that is far removed from a normal cake.  The flavor is rich, full and deliciously bitter, like dark beer or strong coffee, completely adult and tasting of fall on a fork.  You could have it without the frosting, but why?  That's the part of this cake that will really make your eyes roll back in your head.  If, like me, you are used to a simple cream cheese and butter type of frosting, the extra work here may seem off putting, but it's definitely worth the extra trouble.  This cake keeps well for several days in the fridge.

For the cake:
12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 c. (12 oz) unsulphered dark molasses (like Grandma's)
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. sugar
3 1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. instant espresso
generous 1 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 c. whole milk

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly butter a 10-inch springform pan.

Place the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Pour in the molasses and add both sugars. Whisk gently as the butter melts.  When the butter is completely melted and the sugars have dissolved, give it a final stir and remove from the heat.  Set aside to cool.  As it cools, the melted butter will look like it has separated from the molasses.  That's fine.

Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and espresso in large bowl, using a whisk to blend.  Set aside.

Whisk the vanilla, eggs and milk into the saucepan with the molasses.  When thoroughly combined, pour this mixture slowly into the bowl of dry ingredients. Whisk to blend, making sure there are no lumps.  Pour the thick batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool for 20-30 minutes, then run a thin knife around the edge and release the sides of the pan.  Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Click to print this recipe!

Extra Creamy Cream Cheese Icing

2 pkgs. (16 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Place the soft cream cheese into the bowl of a stand mixer, or a mixing bowl, if using a hand mixer. Whip the cream cheese on high speed for several minutes, until it's smooth and silky.  Scrape the cream cheese out into a separate bowl and set aside.

In a small saucepan, whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together.  Turn the heat on to medium, and slowly add the milk, whisking constantly.  It may look lumpy at first, but stir vigorously to create a smooth paste. Continue whisking as the mixture comes to a simmer. It will thicken all at once (wait for it!) as it comes to a boil. Simmer for a full minute, then turn off the heat. Scrape the warm paste into the mixer bowl.

Turn on the mixer (or beaters) and whip the flour-milk mixture for 10 minutes. It should now be room temperature or lukewarm, and light and smooth. Slowly add the whipped cream cheese, whipping constantly, then add the vanilla.  The icing will be very soft, smooth, and shiny, and way creamier and lighter than normal cream cheese frosting. If you can spare the time, put the icing in the fridge for 30 minutes or so before frosting the cake. It will still be spreadable, and having it a little firmer is better.   

Frost the cooled cake, and serve!

p.s. you will have extra icing, so if you happen to have some cupcakes or cookies or banana bread or pumpkin bread around, go for it!  Use any leftover icing within 2-3 days.

Click to print this recipe!

* Honestly, who would not be drooling like an idiot, especially with the words "dark, fudgy, damp and rich" written underneath that photo.  I was like a teenage boy with Megan Fox, I tell you.
** The cake's porno name would be Percy Libbit.  Much less enticing, in my opinion.

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