When we went on yet another road trip over Labor Day I was once again faced with the challenge of finding a fish sitter. Eddy, our beloved Beta fish, doesn’t travel well and is happier when we leave him behind. To secure a comfortable spot for him on our neighbors counter I decided to bake them one of my favorites, a Mexican Chocolate Cake. Rich chocolate spiked with cinnamon, this is a luscious treat that takes regular chocolate cake to a whole new level. Luckily, my neighbors bought right into my ploy, happily taking the cake I handed to them, and, subsequently, the fish. If you ever need to bribe someone or as a favor, this is the cake for you. Or, you can just keep it in your own kitchen and enjoy it all by yourself.
Mexican Chocolate Cake
adapted from Park Avenue Potluck
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. sugar
1 t. baking soda
6 T. Dutch process cocoa powder
1/2 c. buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. vanilla extract
6 T. unsalted butter
4 T. Dutch process cocoa powder
4 T. buttermilk
2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Butter and flour a 9×13 baking pan and set aside.
2. In a bowl whisk together 2 c. flour, sugar and baking soda. Set aside.
3. Whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, cinnamon and vanilla in another bowl. Set aside.
4. In a small saucepan bring butter, cocoa powder and water to a simmer until the butter melts. Pour this mixture into the flour and stir until everything is just blended. Add the egg mixture and beat in.
5. Pour the batter in a prepared pan and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the cake is set and the top springs back to the touch. Allow to cool completely on the rack.
6. To make the frosting, combine the butter, cocoa, buttermilk, powdered sugar, cinnamon and salt in a saucepan and bring to a simmer until the butter melts. Allow cool to room temperature, then spread on the cooled cake and serve.