Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting
(Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten)

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1⁄2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup hottest tap water
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Pernigotti
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 2/3 cup half-and-half Mocha Frosting (see recipe)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 × 13 × 2-inch baking pan. Line with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.

Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer -fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl. On medium speed, add the vanilla, then beat in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated and the batter is smooth.

Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. In another bowl or a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the hot water, cocoa powder, and espresso powder until smooth. Add the half-and-half and whisk until smooth. With the mixer on low, add the flour and chocolate mixtures alternately in thirds, starting and ending with the flour. With a rubber spatula, scrape down the bowl to be sure the batter is well mixed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake for 25 to

35 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan. Turn out onto a flat platter or board and frost the top with the mochafrosting. Cut in squares and serve.

I’m sure right now the only thing you think are thinking about after having baked this amazingly delicious chocolate cake is “Wow, I cannot wait to try a piece!” The smell of your kitchen is intoxicating and your mouth is salivating. At this point, any thoughts about the nutritional content or origins of the ingredients you used while baking are nonexistent. However, this cookbook is here to provide not only the “how to” behind cooking or baking, but also the historical background and science behind the ingredients you are consuming.
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