Tuesday, April 26, 2011

On Baking that "Better than Sex" Cake...


I got a call from one of my friends a couple weeks ago.

She had several requests, one of which was to make a double chocolate coffee infused cake with pecancs. I made it for a journal writing group gathering at my house several years ago.

(That gathering unnerved me. My house is about size as of a shoe box. Not meant for entertaining. It should be against the law for me to have more than two guests. Sigh)

But she wanted that cake. She's been talking about it for the past year, wanting me to bring it to a writing group meeting. I didn't care to do that. It takes to much time to try to do it on a weekday. Stresses me out, man.

It was what she called the "Better than Sex" cake.

She has said for a long time, "This cake here, you don't need sex if you have this cake. This cake does the job!"


I don't agree with that. But we won't discuss that.

Anyway... I was antsy about making this cake. Why?

Because she had that sound in her voice like she may change her mind.

There are about 12-15 ingredients. Some of them pricey. I had to buy them all. We were gonna FIGHT if she changed her mind. FIGHT, I tell you.

Let's just say she got a few texts from me throughout the week: "You sure you want this cake!?"

I hope I didn't make her feel bad. It's just that, Man...

If I spent time on this cake...



I wasn't going to eat it. Bump that. I can buy a slice of it for 8 bucks over at the Watershed Restaurant in Decatur, especially since I would only want a taste. And I haven't had any in a good 3 years, so that lets you know how much I'm feening for cake.

Plus I ain't a cake baker. My mother is. Not me.

So, I read the recipe and listed out all my ingredients on a pink slip of paper (pink so I could easily locate it). Then I did some obsessive compulsive madness - read the ingredients over and over and over to make sure I didn't miss a thing!

I bought my ingredients and then I commenced to making the cake. I bought the last ingredient, an extra large cup of coffee, from Whole Foods on Friday night. I was not brewing up my $26/lb of Hawaiian Kona coffe. Nerp!

Now I've made this cake 4 or 5 times. I remember that I needed to make the frosting the day before, but I wasn't sure why. Dawn wanted the cake by Saturday. That meant I had better make the frosting on Friday night. But I was bone tired on Friday night and not in the mood, so I made it Saturday morning.

Here's my frosting.

It looks pretty good. Very small lumps in it, but that's alright. That meant I didn't stir it long enough. I remembered why now that I would make it the night before: it takes about 4 hours to cool and thicken up. Sigh. So I would make it before bed and leave it on the stove. By morning it would be at room temperature and the right consistency.

But me... and my hardheaded self... decided to make it that morning at 7 am. Sigh. Oh well, it was all good. The frosting was ready by noon.

Making the actual cake wasn't too bad. The worse part was shaving down the unsweetened baking chocolate bars.

It was not too bad with a good sharp knife. But still, I can do that the day before. Now, I was supposed to do the same thing with the chocolate blocks for the frosting. But it called for blocks of semi-sweet chocolate. I did the bootleg thang, and got some bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Worked just fine!

It took about 20 minutes to get that batter prepared and stirred up. I poured it in pans I had sprayed with flour cooking spray, and then placed them in the oven at 325 degrees for 40 minutes.

It looked a little soupy. I thought about adding more cake flour, but decided against it.

I was going to use that 40 minutes to get some sleep. I was tired. Tried to go to sleep but was too scared that the cake layers would overcook.

But alas, all was well... They looked good.

I let those layers cool. Took a WHOLE hour and a half. (I went and took a nap for real, then.) I assembled my layers and commenced to icing the cake.

That wasn't too hard. Took about 5 minutes. (Yeah I was ready to be DONE with this.)

I got the notion to arrange chocolate chips on the top. Not a good look. It came out crooked. Oh well. I wasn't going to start over. It would have to do.

I sprinkled on my chopped pecans... and voila! Finished that cake.


A better picture.

Something strange was going on with that design, those chocolate chips across the top, look, I don't know...

Crooked. That's the word. Crooked.

Wasn't going to worry about it. That would mean rearranging some chips. Uh, NO. Better luck next time with that.

(And do you like my Easter flowers? It's a spray of mini-roses. That's the girlie side of me. I like fresh flowers on the table for holidays!)

I wrapped it up with plastic wrap.

I was glad to wrap that sucker. They said in the cookbook that the cake didn't travel well. Well, it was gonna travel well THAT day.

I sat it on the backseat of my car and headed out to the WestSide of ATL. I was still hoping that Dawn had not changed her mind, or if she was at home. I called before I left so that was cool (It would have been left at the gate of her townhouse complex, you know. Don't try me, lol)

I dropped it off. She was pleased. Just to see the light in her eyes was well worth the time and effort it took to make the cake.

And that made it all worth it.

I don't know why I was so O_o when it came to making this cake. I haven't made it in 2 or 3 years, and I was afraid that I was going to be looking crazy. Dawn gave up chocolate for Lent, and she needed that cake for Easter. I didn't want to mess up and have to start over. (Yep, been there, done that). Add to that me not being in the most stellar mood these days, and uh... the potential for problems was at hand for real.

But it went well. I watched a good Lifetime Movie while getting it together. You can't beat Lifetime television for Womens when you're cleaning up or cooking!

So Happy Birthday Dawn. I hope you enjoy the cake.

Correction: I hope you enjoy your "Better than Sex" cake...


  1. THAT looks good!!!!
    Love the roses!

  2. Can you share the recipe?

  3. That looks delicious. And yes, Lifetime is great for cleaning and cooking. It's what I turn on purposely when I'm doing either.


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