Black Magic Cake: A 2 Cats Recipe

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Black Magic Cake

 

                This past week was a cause for celebration. It was the last week of classes before summer, which meant a performance of “Jabberwocky” for my 10 year olds and villain monologues for my teenagers. On top of that, two of my students are graduating from high school and beginning their journeys into adulthood (*ahem* I will not get sentimental….). Well, celebrations like these call for cake!  I chose to make the best cake in my repertoire, a black magic cake.

The cake line up

The cake line up

Half the black magic duo, coffee

Half the black magic duo, coffee

Black magic cake is my go to chocolate cake recipe. It’s fluffy and darkly delicious combining two of the best ingredients on earth: chocolate and coffee. This cake appeals to 10 year olds, teenagers, and their moms alike. Additionally, it’s super quick to mix together and doesn’t require the use of a stand mixer, just a good sized bowl and whisk. The recipe was originally developed by the Hershey Company around the 1950’s. My version has a few tweaks here and there, like a little more flour and espresso powder.

The dry ingredients

The dry ingredients

the cake about to head for the oven

the cake about to head for the oven

                I made the cake the morning of my last class between trips to urgent care and the pharmacy (Chris was incredibly sick for the first part of the week L). It took 10 minutes to get the batter mixed and the cake into the oven. Don’t worry about the consistency of the batter when you go to bake it; it is supposed to be really wet. Thirty-five minutes later (or a laundry sorting/ cat photography session later) you have a warm, gooey chocolate cake cooling on the counter waiting to be smothered in icing.

A picture from Tchai's photo session

A picture from Tchai’s photo session

How could you not love that face?

How could you not love that face?

I choose to top my cake with a chocolate powdered sugar icing. The super sweet icing helps compliment the dark chocolatey-ness of the cake. I also add a little espresso powder to the icing to give it an additional coffee kick.

A Gob of icing on the cooled cake. Yum!

A Gob of icing on the cooled cake. Yum!

My cake warning :-)

My cake warning 🙂

                Once the cake was completed I packed it up (with a do not touch warning) left for work, expecting half the cake would make it back home. Unfortunately for me (and Chris) only three pieces of cake made it home. It’s a super-rich cake, so a little goes a long way…but a few students liked it so much they had seconds (and possibly thirds)!  Clearly this cake is a crowd favorite; hopefully it will become a favorite of yours as well.

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Black Magic Cake

2 cups sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup Cocoa

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup strong black coffee

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder

Pre-heat the oven to 350 Degrees. Combine all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, espresso powder) into a large mixing bowl. Mix the dry ingredients well. Add buttermilk, coffee, eggs, oil, and vanilla and whisk everything to combine. Pour batter into a 9 x 13 baking dish and place in the middle of your oven. Bake for 35 minute or until a cake tester comes out clean. Leave cake to cool to room temprature before icing.

 

Chocolate Icing

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

4 tablespoons milk

2 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar

1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

1 teaspoon Instant Espresso Powder

Combine butter, chocolate and milk in a medium sized bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix the butter and chocolate until combined. Add 1/2 the powdered sugar and mix until well blended, then add the remaining powdered sugar, vanilla and espresso powder. Mix with the hand mixer until the icing is thoroughly combined. Spread on cooled cake or eat with spoon. 

 

 

 

 

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Bacon and Spinach Quiche: A 2 Cats Recipe

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Bacon & Spinach Quiche

May turned out to be an insanely busy month. There was our annual spring ballet and all of the preparation, a new floor installed in the studio, my birthday, and finally an exciting unexpected delivery to our house.

My delivery was a upright piano!

My delivery was a upright piano!

Me playing my new baby. I am so excited about this!!

Me playing my new baby. I am so excited about this!!

I tried to keep up with everything: taking care of the kitties, keeping the house clean, occasionally interacting with my boyfriend, and blogging. I tried to cook and write posts, I really did….but I failed and was not able to finish anything. I’m pretty sure there was an entire week without cooking, AT ALL (Blasphemy for a food blogger). But summer is now underway and I can yet again attempt to settle back into a regular cooking and writing schedule.

Frying bacon, one of the prettier sights in our home

Frying bacon, one of the prettier sights in our home

When my schedule becomes that hectic, I try to fall back on cooking meals that are second nature and will last for several days. One of my favorites is quiche. I find it very versatile; it can be served at any temperature for any meal without feeling forced (like leftover pizza). It isn’t fussy and really only requires eggs, pie crust, and some sort of milk/cream. The filling is totally whatever you’re in the mood for (and/or what’s in the refrigerator).

The parts of the quiche are about to be assembled

The parts of the quiche are about to be assembled

I really like quiche for entertaining guests as well as for my personal enjoyment. I think over the past five years quiche is by far the most commonly served item we have company for breakfast/brunch. I know of at least one co-worker who is a huge fan. If I tell her I’m bringing in leftover quiche, she walks into work with fork in hand.

The bottom layer of the quiche. Spinach, bacon and cheddar...yum!

The bottom layer of the quiche. Spinach, bacon and cheddar…yum!

The quice pre-oven. Eggs and cheddar go over the bottom layer

The quice pre-oven. Eggs and cheddar go over the bottom layer

The quiche recipe takes about an hour from start to finish. As I’ve stated earlier, the filling possibilities are numerous and up to the cook. I have included my most often used filling for this recipe. I believe this is a classic combination. I think its Chris’s favorite combo as well (though I’m sure he’d be happy with no green stuff whatsoever). I am sure Roz and Tchai could join Chris and forgo the green ingredients.

The finished quiche

The finished quiche

Bacon and Spinach Quiche

Ingredients set up

Ingredients set up

Makes one 9-inch deep dish quiche

1 – 9 inch Deep Dish Pie Crust

3/4 Cup Heavy Cream

6 Eggs

4 Slices Bacon, cooked and crumbled

a Pinch of Salt

20 Grinds Black Pepper

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

4 Ounces Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1/2 Cup Frozen Spinach, defrosted and the Water squeezed out

 Pre-heat the oven to 400 Degrees. Place the pie crust in the pre-heated oven and partially bake for 7 minutes. While the crust is baking, whisk the eggs, cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg together. Pull the pie crust from the oven and let cool for a minute or two. Layer the bacon, spinach, and half the cheese on the bottom of the crust. Pour egg mixture over bacon, spinach, and cheese mixture. Top the quiche with the remaining cheddar. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 – 45 minutes until the quiche is settled.