Here I am again...a pie-girl baking another cake. Pretty soon I'll have to answer "cake" to that question. NEVER! I'll just answer..."that all depends..." I have had my eye on this cake for ages (another recipe from the Master). Only mine didn't turn out like the picture in the book. Huh. Not that it looks bad; matter of fact, I think it looks pretty good, but I was expecting a chocolaty-brown color to the cake itself as opposed to just the delicious streusel topping. Not that it matters...just sayin'.
I think I've mentioned before that I'm super fortunate to have friends & family who travel to and/or from Mexico fairly often...and a couple of those regularly bring me homemade Mexican Chocolate. For those of you who love that good, cinnamon-y, rustic texture of the stuff you get in the market...the homemade would blow your socks off! One day I hope to take some cacao beans, canela, almonds and sugar and grind it up and make my own version of Mexican Chocolate...but until then, I look forward to my hand-delivered, hand-made goodies! Can I just mention how soft it is, too? Whew, I'm gettin' the shakes over here just thinking about it. When you get that package of chocolate discs from your grocer, they're pretty hard. Not hard bad, just hard regular...or expected...I mean, it's a disc of chocolate. But when they're handed to you still warm and pliable, with that inviting aroma seeping through the soft paper they've used to wrap it in...it's a sensation like no other!
Mexican Chocolate Streusel Cake
Pastel de Chocolaté Mexicano
from Mexico One Plate at a Time by Rick Bayless
I think it actually serves 24...it's rich and I like it in smaller doses
One 18 or 19 oz. package Mexican Chocolate, roughly chopped
for the streusel topping:
1 large egg yolk
3 1/2 oz. (7 Tbs.) butter, at room temp.
1 c. (4 1/2 oz.) all-purpose flour
for the cake:
1 3/4c. (8 oz.) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
One 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, at room temp.
8 oz. (1 c.) unsalted butter, at room temp.
2/3 c. granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temp.
Powdered Sugar for dusting the cake...I was so excited to eat the cake that I forgot all about dusting it with powdered sugar. Still good.
1. Streusel topping: In a food processor, pulse half of the chocolate until it is the consistency of coarse crumbs. Remove and set aside for the batter. Add the remaining chocolate to the processor and process it to the consistency of coarse crumbs. Add egg yolk and 1/2 tsp. of salt (if using unsalted butter) in small bowl, stirring to dissolve the salt. Add to processor along with butter and flour. Pulse just until everything is thoroughly combined-it should look crumbly, not be processed to a paste. Set aside.
2. The Cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 13x9" baking pan. Sift together the flour and baking powder.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beating on medium, combine the cream cheese, butter and granulated sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. One at a time, add the eggs, beating until each one is thoroughly incorporated before adding the next. Add the sifted flour mixture, scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for 1 minute, just until flour is incorporated. Last, use a large spoon to stir the reserved chocolate into the batter.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Crumble the streusel topping evenly over the batter, making sure there are no large lumps- lumps may sink during baking. Bake in center of oven until springy and passes toothpick test, 35-40 minutes.
Cool on wire rack, cut into squares and serve dusted with powdered sugar. This will keep, tightly wrapped for several days.
What crazy forces are at work in the universe that want to turn me into a cake-lover? That I do not know...but they're pretty powerful.