PPQ: The Cake That Nearly Killed Me

by Shawnda on February 20, 2012

in Cakes, Cupcakes & Brownies,Chocolate,Project Pastry Queen

Mexican Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon Vanilla Bean Buttercream

This week’s Project Pastry Queen challenge was selected by Jen of Sweet Morris: Mexican Chocolate Fudge-Pecan Cake.

And I’ll be honest. It nearly killed me. Or at least started a day that nearly killed me.

If you learn nothing from today, make sure that you always keep your kitchen countertops clean. Especially the area surrounding your freshly frosted cake. Because you never know when a stray elbow into the side of a cake plate will send your beautiful cake flying and crashing into it.

It was an appropriate start to the day which included a pricey dessert dish shattering on the floor (totally unrelated to the cake), running out of gas on I10, and finding water dripping from the kitchen ceiling.

But at the end of the day, there was cake served out of a bowl by the scoop and grapefruit margaritas. And that made it mostly better. Until it came to the part where I had to clean up drywall dust.

I wasn’t actually going to post a picture of my sad, crumbled little cake but let’s be honest, everyone sends a cake flying at some point or the other. The cake itself is killer whether you serve it by the sad, crumbled scoop or a perfect slice. It reminds me a lot of the best chocolate cake recipe ever, Martha Stewart’s Devil’s Food Cake. It gets its deep chocolatey flavor from Dutch process cocoa and a spicy warmth from a generous dose of ground cinnamon. And it stays insanely (my apologies to those who hate the word) moist for days.

The original recipe is written for a bundt pan (or 18 cupcakes, served inverted), topped with a fudge-pecan glaze. I made half the cake recipe in 6-inch pans, reducing the sugar by 33% and replacing the buttermilk with fat free Greek yogurt. I also skipped over the glaze because I had half a batch of buttercream frosting in the freezer that I wanted to use – to which I added a well-rounded 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste to the frosting. Magical, I tell you. Completely magical.

My husband debated which was better – the cake or the frosting. My vote was cake… but it was made exponentially better with the magical frosting.

You can find the full recipe for the cake and glaze over at Sweet Morris. Next week, I’m hosting a rummy pound cake. The recipe had me at “Rum” :)

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