Chocolate, Cocoa, Coffee and Cakes

Here’s my first 2014-post. Seems like I’ve still some trouble realizing we’ve already switched the year’s number! And here is my long overdue post. I’ve collected quite a number of choco-coco-coffee-cake recipes to share with you, but in the end I chose just 2 of them. One of them has been waiting from last year and the other was on our New Year’s Eve table.

Soviet cocoa packaging

How do you like these Soviet packages of cocoa? They’ve been stocked in my Granny’s cupboard for like ehm 24 years. The packs were untouched, some of them dating back to 1989. Don’t ask me why. And no, we did not dare try the cocoa! =) I just made these shots and – sadly- threw them away. I can also you that the same pack of this ‘Golden tag’ cocoa (that’s the name of the mark) with just minor variations on the theme could have been found 30, 40 or maybe even 50 years ago. I like the yellow variant better.

We went to our Granny‘s to celebrate the New Year, the traditional thing in our family. Usually the table is loaded even if we beg our Granny not to make too much effort. This year we came by just for the tea, for which purpose one of the constant things in my life were taken from the cupboard (how many more wonderful surprises does it hold?) – those plates with a blue & gold border and the teaspoons with a lantern, one of the symbols of Leningrad (St Petersburg). I remember waiting for these visits to our Granny just for that, cause you do not get to eat with these subtle things each day! Well, I have to confess that the multiple presents our Granny always prepared for us both for New Year and Christmas were in there too.)

So, the cake we’ve had on our festive table was this one:

The Omega(-3) of All Chocolate Cakes from www.kingarthurflour.com

The photos are somewhat yellowish cause you don’t get much sun here these days! We’ve had really autumn-like rain and finally some wintry weather only for two days now but the sun is missing even with the fresh snow. Well, this is just St Petersburg, that’s it.

Two years ago4 White Breads and Old New Year

A year ago – I was in Venice… : ) After which I made this post: Post in Which We Swap Sourdough Bread for Camera Lens and Finish with Apples!

The Omega(-3) of All Chocolate Cakes adapted from www.kingarthurflour.com will make very moist sponges for a multi-layered cake with your favourite filling. Go to the original website to see the recipe. I’m not sure how much of Omega-3 you get in each slice but let’s believe there is some : )

What I did differently:

I used less sugar and coffee instead of espresso powder. I don’t like coffee but when there’s just a slight hint of it in a sweet dish it’s ok. I also threw in cinnamon and chocolate shavings plus black currant jam (substituting some of the oil) to the batter. I think the jam added to the moist texture of the cake.

There’s no indication which filling and frost you should use for the recipe, so I did my usual trick – I used my Granny’s apple puree! I also cut each sponge in two (with the cool ‘cake saw’ my friend gave me). I finished the entire thing with some walnuts + chocolate shavings.

The Omega(-3) of All Chocolate Cakes from www.kingarthurflour.com

{you can spot that plate and teaspoon I was talking about, not sure how old they are…}

Result: A very-very moist cake. Not overly sweet in my version but everything depends on your frosting. The walnuts between the layers are a good extra! And I think that flax seed meal adds some healthy ehm at least idea about this cake =) Just keep telling yourself that you’re eating something tiny but healthy in it.)

Remarks: Let the cake stand so that the filling gets into the layers. The layers themselves are moist alright but in order to make it a super-moist cake just give it some time. And yes, try to eat the cake fast enough cause the extra moisture can cause this cake to keep less time than you would expect.

More multilayer cakes here: Lemon-Blueberry Layer Cake, Caramel Apple Cake, Chocolate-Coffee Cake with Fresh Figs and Perfect Chocolate Cake

Ciambellone della Nonna from silviascucina.net

A recipe which has been desperately trying to get its moment of fame here for quite a long time is this Italian ‘marbled’ cake, looking just like that cake I used to buy in Strasbourg (was so niiiice with crème fraîche!). I found the recipe on Silvia’s blog which I discovered after listening to her interview on SBS Italian.

Ciambellone della Nonna (Nonna’s Marble cake with Oil and Yogurt) adapted from silviascucina.net will make a sweet and easy marbled cake

Ciambellone della Nonna from silviascucina.net

The recipe is really easy and doesn’t need anything special to make it. It’s a shame I didn’t get any Greek yogurt for this cake (although I did buy three cans of Greek olives=) and used the Russian stuff but I guess any thick yogurt will do.

Ciambellone della Nonna from silviascucina.net

Result: So sweet and truly ‘marble’! Can be your recipe for a quick AND nice-looking cake. And not only on the outside. The slices look really marble-nice too : )

I keep trying to post some nice savory pies here, will try harder! : )



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