I religiously watched Martha Stewart as a child on Saturday mornings. I loved her Polish work ethic, East coast toughness, yet down home sensibility. To this day I still find myself turning to her baking and cooking shows on PBS. She was pioneer in homemade DYI movement. This simple cake is something I could see her whipping up on one of her shows.
This cake is so easy to put together, no separate bowl needed to beat egg whites or a trip to the grocery store for weird ingredients. I am not a fan of cinnamon and chocolate together, and usually omit the cinnamon (never the chocolate, that would be crazy!) whenever the two are paired together. I find that cinnamon doesn’t always place nice with chocolate, and can often overwhelm it. This recipe only calls for a 1/2 teaspoon, and I thought that so little cinnamon would not compete with the chocolate, and added it. This recipes calls for sour cream, but some possible substitutions are given, one being crème frache. I still had some unexpired crème frache left over from the Gay Cake, and used the rest, 1/2 cup, with the remaining cup being straight up sour cream. I was worried about these cakes overflowing as it seemed like a lot of batter for such little pans. They did doom up over, but never spilled. I had to bake mine slightly longer than 35 minutes, around 39.
I made the frosting for this the day before baking the cakes. I made the mistake of having my butter and cream cheese really warm. In addition I only had three cups of powder sugar at home. My frosting was very runny, but I placed it in the fridge and hoped for the best. From my experience with the Gonzo cake, which used a similar cream cheese frosting, it was a success because both the cream cheese and butter were still cold while mixing.
The cake smelled amazing while baking up. It was that cinnamon coming through. I let my frosting come to room temp before spreading. It was still pretty thin, so I just kind of glopped it on. Great,I thought. Runny frosting and chocolate and cinnamon. I was ready to chalk this one up as a disaster. However, sometimes looks (and I guess smells) can be deceiving. This cake was really good. It is a little denser than I usually like; it reminded me of a light pound cake and like most cakes it got denser as it aged. You know that cinnamon I was so worried about. Well, you really wouldn’t even know it was there unless you were the one to assemble this cake, but it does add a subtle hint of flavor to what I usually consider to be a pedestrian cake. I felt like this cake was a great homage to Martha. Find out if the other Baked Sunday Morning bakers felt the same way.
Recipe from: Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito