Last night I got the chance to bake for the fab Amanda Hesser, the former food writer for the New York Times, book and cookbook author, and currently of the Food 52 blog/cookbook project with Merrill Stubbs. My friend Myra hosted her for a potluck when she was in town for the book tour of her new cookbook, The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century.
It’s a very nice cookbook and is chock-full of recipes from the history of the New York Times dining section. This is quite a tome, too–it weighs in at 4.5 pounds and has about 1,400 recipes that Hesser evaluated, tested, and updated for the book. It was 6 years in the making and Hesser’s efforts were well worth it.
We had a lovely time with amazing food–all of it chosen from the New York Times or from one of Amanda’s books. Amanda was super-nice and touched by the fact that we all cooked for her. We were thrilled to do it! For the evening, I chose a recipe from Hesser’s family, the Chocolate Dump It Cake by her mom, Judith Hesser. The name comes from the fact that you dump everything into one bowl to make it. I’ve adapted the method a bit, so this isn’t quite so much of a dump cake. But it is amazingly moist and amazingly chocolaty–without being too sweet. And the frosting is a winner–chocolate and sour cream! You can’t go wrong with that. Delish!
Chocolate Dump (It) Cake, Gluten-Free
-adapted from Amanda Hesser
Special equipment needed
-stand mixer is quite useful, but a hand mixer will do
Note:this recipe uses my gf flour mix, Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (mix together and store in a cool, dark place):
1 1/4 C (170g) brown rice flour
1 1/4 C (205g) white rice flour
1 C (120g) tapioca flour
1 C (165g) sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum
(you can also use the gluten-free flour mixture (not baking mix) of your choice–just be sure it contains xanthan gum. Or, you can add 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum per cup of gluten-free flour. If you use bean flour, it will add a bean taste to the cake)
For the Cake:
2 C (280g) Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 C (400g) granulated sugar
1/2 C (1 stick; 4 oz; 115g ) unsalted butter (or butter substitute) at room temperature
4 oz (115g) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 C (235ml) milk (or milk substitute)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 large or extra large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
extra melted butter and tapioca flour for the pan
For the Frosting
1 1/2 C (255g) semi-sweet chocolate chips (or semi-sweet chocolate chopped)
1 1/2 C (340g) sour cream, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour your tube pan with the extra butter and tapioca flour.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together the milk and the apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the eggs for several minutes–until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat until combined.
While your eggs are beating, melt together the butter, chocolate, sugar, and 1 C of water in a saucepan set over very low heat. Whisk to combine. Once melted, remove from heat to cool for a few minutes.
Once the mixture is cool and your eggs are light and fluffy, turn on your mixer to low, and slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the eggs. Beat until just combined. In alternating batches, add the flour mixture and the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until just combined.
Pour into your prepared tube pan. Thump once on the counter to release any trapped air bubbles. Bake at 375 degrees for about 40-45 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 5 minutes then carefully turn out onto wire wrack to cool completely.
While the cake is cooling, make your frosting. Melt the chocolate chips in a saucepan set over very low heat. Stir in the sour cream, 1/4 C at a time, until the mixture is smooth.
When the cake is cool you can either frost the cake as is, or you can cut the cake in half horizontally and then frost the middle as well as the outside. There will be more than enough frosting to do either method.
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