This week's recetas nuevas are variations on two favorite recipes of long standing, made all the better with secret ingredients from our friends at L.O.V.E. -- the Lebherz Oil & Vinegar Emporium in Frederick, Maryland. As regular readers may know, this culinary treasure was recently established by a fellow alumna of UMBC, where Pam and I met a few years back. And don't worry: the "secret" ingredients are about to be revealed!
The first modification was a simple one. We were pleased to get some late-season eggplant, so of course made a bonus round of ratatouille (we thought we had put the season finale in the freezer a couple weeks ago). By adding a small hot pepper from our farm box and chipotle-infused olive oil from L.O.V.E. and cooking for four hours, this weapons-grade tomato stew was even more scrumptious than usual.
dark chocolate balsamic vinegar -- along with a few other modifications -- to our favorite pound cake recipe. Our new creation is based on the Mocha-Swirl Pound Cake on page 191 of Mollie Katzen's classic Moosewood Cookbook (just try to find another two-word title with eight Os!). The result is a perfect use of Marley Coffee from Jamaica!
Our modified version requires
- Butter (or Crisco or Pam) and flour for a Bundt pan
- 1 pound (hence the name) of butter, softened. Yes, that is four sticks. I'm going rowing in the morning.
- 2 cups unbleached, granulated sugar, preferably fair-trade organic, which is available from Costco, believe it or not!
- 6 eggs, preferably from a local chicken. Ours were from Hanson Farm.
- 4 cups white flour (use the healthy stuff on another recipe)
- 1 Tbs. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup Buffalo Soldier Marley Coffee, strongly brewed. I used medium-roasted La Orchidea from my friend's farm in Nicaragua, because I did not have time to order the Marley Coffee, but I think the medium-dark Buffalo Soldier would be even better for this recipe! (Reserve the rest of the pot of coffee -- I used a Chemex -- to serve with the cake.)
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla (also available from Costco, by the way)
- 1/2 of a 3.5-ounce Ibarra Mexican chocolate disk, which lends just a hint of cinnamon The next time I plan to use exotic pepper from Madécasse, which I happened to try the day after making this, and I think it would be even better. Melt the chocolate in microwave or on stove top.
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- 2-3 Tbs. dark chocolate balsamic vinegar (see above)
To prepare, first make the batter:
- Beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat eggs into mixture, two at a time.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Alternate mixing dry ingredients and coffee into the butter mixture, until blended. Do not beat or over-mix.
Then prepare to swirl:
- Separate one-third of the batter to a small bowl, blend in melted chocolate.
- Prepare Bundt pan with butter and flour and pour in plain batter.
- Dollop chocolate batter in clumps onto pan, and then use a knife to swirl gently into the plain batter.
Bake and glaze:
- Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes, or less if using convection. Remove to wire rack to cool, and overturn gently onto a plate, using a spatula if necessary.
- Meanwhile, sift confectioners sugar and whisk in 2 Tbs. chocolate vinegar. It will be difficult at first, but avoid the temptation to add too much liquid. Eventually, a thick glaze will form, which will drip off the whisk. Use this to drizzle glaze onto upright cake.
- Use bread or cake knife to slice modest servings -- this is rich cake!
- Garnish with espresso beans and/or mocha chips (ours were from Hilliard's)
Serve with Marley Coffee and try to contain yelps of true bliss, as the tart glaze melts perfectly into the rich mocha cake!
UPDATE: Having a professional photographer involved in the baking means a lot of cool shots of Stirring Up Mocha Cake in progress. Enjoy!
FURTHER UPDATE: We actually won this contest!
|We were modifying a fairly complicated recipe, so all members|
of the team had to study the original version!
|Yes, a pound cake does have a full pound of butter.|
But not in each slice!
|It's all about Jamaica.|
|Jamaica, coffee, and chocolate, that is!|
|The chef hat does not help the coffee,|
but hand grinding does!
|While going to the trouble of baking|
from scratch and using good Marley Coffee,
one might as well use a Chemex or
other pour-over brewing method.
|Two hats are better than one for adding the coffee!|
|And the cocoa batter|