Monday, October 17, 2005

Paddington Nooner

When Hannah's friends all came over after Homecoming last week for a scavenger hunt and late night movies, this is the cake that I had ready to give them that extra blast of energy.

I got it from the newspaper many years ago and I remember that it originally won second place in a chocolate recipe contest. As for the name, I know there is a character called Paddington Bear but never read the books.

What I do know is that this is hands-down the easiest, most chocolatey, not-too-sweet chocolate cake I have ever made. It always turns out perfectly and is a favorite with everyone.

Step 1:
Cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup tube or bundt pan and dust sides/bottom with cocoa.

Step 2:
1-1/4 cups strong black coffee
1/4 cup dark creme de cacao or other liqueur (I have used Grand Marnier, creme de menthe, and cherry liqueur ... basically any flavor that goes with chocolate will work here)
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup butter, softened
Heat the coffee and creme de cacao over low heat; add the chocolate and butter. Cook, stirring constantly, until smooth.

Step 3:
2 cups sugar
Remove from heat; stir in sugar. Let stand 5 minutes.

Step 4:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Sift together. Add chocolate mixture to flour in small parts.

Step 5:
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Bake approximately 1 hour or until cake tests done. Cool completely on rack before unmolding. Best if served cold.

UPDATE: Photo now included, per ukok's request. Much thanks to Veronica on the Verge who provided food photography (along with rave reviews ... she used peppermint schnapps as a flavoring liqueur).

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