- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks, 6 ounces) unsalted butter*
- 1 3/4 cups (12 1/4 ounces) Baker’s Special sugar or granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 3/4 cup (2 1/4 ounces) Dutch-process cocoa
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) cool water
*If you use salted butter, reduce the salt in the recipe to 1/4 teaspoon.
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) half and half or milk
- 1 cup (7 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon pecan flavor or pralines & cream flavor, optional
- 1 cup (2 1/2 ounces) shredded or flaked coconut, sweetened or unsweetened, toasted*
- 1 cup (3 3/4 ounces) chopped pecans, toasted*
*Toast the pecans and coconuts till golden brown in a 350°F oven. This
is most easily done if you place each in a 9″ round cake pan, and put
them in the oven as soon as you pull out the finished cake. Bake for
about 10 minutes, watching carefully towards the end, as the coconut
will brown quickly. Remove from the oven, and stir the coconut to
distribute the less-browned and more-browned pieces together evenly.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan.
To make the cake:
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter,
sugar, salt, espresso powder, baking powder, and vanilla till very
smooth and creamy, beating for 5 minutes.
- Add the eggs to the butter
mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping to
scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl after you’ve added the first 2
- Stir in the cocoa.
- Add one-third of the flour to the creamed
mixture, then add half the water, another third of the flour, the
remaining water, and the remaining flour.
- Scrape the sides and bottom
of the bowl occasionally throughout this process.
- Pour the batter into
the prepared pan.
- Bake the cake in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until a
cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, and the cake
begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
- Remove the cake from the
oven. Cool the cake for 10 minutes, then run a table knife all around
the sides of the pan to loosen the edges.
- Use a spatula to gently lift
the cake free of the pan all around the edges; you’re going to turn it
out of the pan, hopefully without sticking.
- Place a piece of parchment
or waxed paper on a cookie sheet, put the sheet, parchment-side down,
atop the cake pan, pick up the cake pan/cookie sheet, and turn the
whole thing over. The cake should settle down atop the cookie sheet.
- Lift off the pan, and allow the cake to cool for 5 minutes.
- Use a 2 ¾”
to 3″ round biscuit or cookie cutter to cut 12 circles out of the cake.
Or use whatever shape cutter you want: hearts or scalloped flower
shapes are nice, too. Whatever you use, it should be around 3″ in
- Carefully transfer the cakes to a cooling rack, right side
up, and allow them to cool.
- As for the leftover scraps, snack on them
(baker’s privilege!), or stir into instant pudding for an easy dessert.
- You’ll have about 4 to 5 cups of coarse cake chunks, just in case you
have a recipe calling for that amount.
To make the icing:
- Heat the chocolate chips and cream till the cream is
very hot; this is easily done in the microwave.
- Remove from the heat,
and stir till the chocolate melts and the mixture becomes smooth. Don’t
panic; it’ll look very sloppy at first, but keep stirring and it’ll
become a smooth, rich glaze.
Icing the Cake
- Working with one cake at a time, grasp it in the center with thumb and
forefinger, and roll it through the chocolate like a wheel, to coat the
- Place the coated cake onto a piece of parchment paper, to catch
- Repeat with the remaining cakes.
To make the topping:
- Combine the butter, salt, half and half, and sugar
in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a simmer, and cook gently,
stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, and stir in
the flavors, coconut, and pecans.
- Spoon the topping evenly atop the
cakes; you’ll use about 2 1/2 tablespoons for each. A tablespoon cookie
scoop is perfect for this task.