Monday, February 18, 2013

Give your cake...and eat it, too!

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Sometime last year, I was on Instagram lamenting the fact that I was baking a cake for an event or a bake sale, and I wouldn't be able to taste-test it.  Oh, about eleventy-billion people chimed in suggesting that next time, I make a cupcake with a portion of the batter.

I am not the sharpest tool in the shed...that thought had never occurred to me.

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{This is one well-used, well-loved muffin tin.}

It's my new rule now.  If I'm dropping a cake off someplace, I make a cupcake, too.  It serves two purposes: 1. to make sure it tastes ok.  2. I get to eat cake.

We'll be using instant espresso powder to make this Mississippi Mud Cake into a MOCHA Mississippi Mud Cake.  Look for it near the Sanka in your coffee aisle...or on Amazon.  It looks like this:
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This Mocha Mississippi Mud Cake was actually heading to a funeral reception.  If you like to bake or cook, check into the funeral food ministry at your local church.  Food equals comfort, and it's such an easy way to give.  I think sometimes we get so wrapped up in trying to "give big" that we forget that the little acts of giving count for something, too.

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Mocha Mississippi Mud Cake

for the cake:
1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon espresso powder
2 sticks salted butter, melted
1/2 cup dutch-process cocoa powder
4 eggs, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 & 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour


for the topping:
1 (10 oz.) bag mini marshmallows
1/2 stick salted butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
1/2 cup dutch-process cocoa powder
4 cups powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9 x 13" pan. (If making a cupcake, line one muffin tin with a cupcake liner.)  Set aside.

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In a small bowl, stir together the vanilla and espresso powder until combined.  Pour the vanilla/espresso mixture into a large bowl and add the melted butter, cocoa, and eggs.  Stir until well combined.

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Stir in the sugar.  Add in the salt and flour and stir until no lumps remain.

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Pour the batter into the prepared pan (and cupcake liner, if using).  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  (Start checking the cupcake at about 18-20 minutes.)

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Remove from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack.  Immediately scatter the marshmallows over the warm cake.  Set aside.
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{Sing it with me: "I always feel like somebody's watching meeee...."}

Make the topping: in a medium saucepan, combine the butter, milk and espresso powder over medium heat until the mixture comes to a simmer.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder.  Return the pan to medium heat and whisk constantly until smooth.

Whisk in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.  Continue whisking and cooking until the mixture has come to a simmer.  Pour the hot topping evenly over the marshmallows.  Cool completely before serving.

The cake may be kept in the refrigerator for 1 week.

{Recipe adapted from Cake Ladies Mississippi Mud Cake}

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Have (or give) your cake and eat it, too?  You bet!




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