High Country Baking: Food processor frozen fudge cake
June 12, 2012
Looking for a fitting finale for a Father’s Day feast? This food processor frozen fudge cake may be your answer.
The original recipe was developed years ago to introduce home bakers to the food processor and variations of it have been around ever since. The batter can be made entirely in a processor, so it’s impressively easy to put together. It takes just about the same amount of time and effort to assemble the ingredients as it does to get the cake ready for the oven. But, that isn’t its only virtue. The creamy texture, deep chocolate taste and highlights of chopped nuts and chocolate chards appeal to adults and kids alike. And, it can be made several days in advance.
Serve the cake with whipped cream … that’s all it really needs. But, if you’d like, consider additional accompaniments. Fresh raspberries and/or sliced, sweetened strawberries, with a matching fruit sauce, are beautiful with it. Or, drizzle the cake slices with warmed caramel or hot fudge sauce. If you want to fancy it up, glaze the top with chocolate ganache or cover it with dark or white chocolate curls.
The primary ingredient is sweet baking chocolate, which is dark chocolate with a slightly higher sugar content than semisweet. It’s usually available in the baking section of the grocery store; you may find it labeled German’s sweet chocolate or, simply, sweet baking chocolate.
Vera Dawson, chef instructor with CMC’s Culinary Institute, lives in Summit County, where she bakes almost every day. Her recipes have been tested in her home kitchen and, whenever necessary, altered until they work at our altitude. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Make in an 8-inch springform pan
8 ounces of sweet baking chocolate, divided
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/4 cup of boiling water
12 Tbsp (one-and-a-half sticks) of unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp of instant coffee granules
1 Tbsp of vanilla extract
1/4 cup of unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup of walnut pieces
01 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, with a rack in the center position. Open your springform pan, remove the bottom and flip it over, so the raised rim is on the underside of the pan. Place it back in the pan and secure the side. (Doing this makes cutting the cake easier). Grease the bottom and sides of the pan and set it aside. Assemble all of the ingredients except the whipped cream.
02 Chop three ounces of the chocolate into small chunks that are about the same size as the walnut pieces. You may do this by hand or in the food processor. Set the chopped chocolate aside. Add the five remaining ounces of chocolate, broken into pieces, to the food processor along with the granulated sugar. Pulse a few times, then process until the chocolate is very finely chopped…almost ground. With the machine running, pour the boiling water through the feed tube and process until the chocolate is melted. When necessary, scrape down the bowl.
03 Cut the softened butter into tablespoons and add them, with the eggs, coffee and vanilla, to the batter. Process for a minute or two, until the mixture is completely blended, thickens and increases a bit in volume. Scrape the bowl, when needed. Add the flour, the walnut pieces and the chopped chocolate and pulse only until just combined, no flour is visible, and the walnuts and chocolate are distributed in the batter (four or five quick pulses with my machine).
04 Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until the sides are set but the center remains slightly loose when you move the pan. This takes about 30-33 minutes in my oven. Remove the cake and let it cool on a rack. If the edges have risen during baking, gently press them down so the top is level while the cake is warm and still pliable. When completely cool, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the cake’s top, then cover the pan with aluminum foil and freeze overnight or for several days before serving.
05 When ready to serve, run a knife between the cake and the pan sides, pressing toward the sides. Gently open the pan sides. If the cake seems to be sticking, warm the pan sides with a kitchen towel dipped in hot water, and try again. Let the cake rest at room temperature for 5-10 minutes so it softens enough to cut. Dip a thin, sharp knife in hot water, dry it (repeat this as needed), and cut the cake into wedges. If you serve it immediately, the texture is smooth and dense; if you wait another 10 or 15 minutes, the texture is soft and mousse-like. Serve each piece with a crown of whipped cream.