When people find out that you have a food blog, they start making requests. Sometimes, the requests are things that I would not normally want to make or eat. I flipped through this recipe in the Thanksgiving issue of Sunset and did not look twice at it. A friend of my husband’s mentioned that he would love it if I made it for him, and since I love to make people’s baked good dreams come true, I happily obliged.
I read the recipe and thought that it had the potential to be absolutely amazing, or a complete bomb. I am happy to say that it is in fact amazing. The balsamic vinegar, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon are not at all overpowering and just bring out the deep, dark chocolate flavor of the cake. This cake also could not be any simpler to make. I made it by hand, and it took no time at all.
The recipe called for a cinnamon ice cream, but I had a transport problem. I did not want to make a homemade ice cream and have it not make it to its final destination frozen. So instead, I made a cinnamon mascrapone frosting to go on top. The frosting is rich and not overly sweet. It is the perfect compliment to the complex flavors in the cake.
This recipe makes 2 (8-inch) frosted cakes.
For the cake:
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla
Put all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
It helps when you remember the flour. Duh.
Add all of the liquid ingredients.
Mix until smooth. How gorgeous is this batter? It is almost black. Yum.
Spray two 8-inch pans with cooking spray. Put a piece of parchment on the bottom of the pan and spray again. Here is the best tip I have ever learned. To get even and flat cakes, take two strips of old towel and dampen them. Wrap them around the outside of the cake pans. Your cakes will come out completely level. I did not believe it until I saw it for myself.
Pour the batter into the cake pans. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Turn them out and let cool completely.
For the frosting:
1 (8-ounce) tub of mascarpone cheese
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
pinch of salt
2 cups heavy cream
Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. In another bowl, whisk together the mascarpone, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and sugar. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cheese mixture.
Use half of the frosting and cover the top of your cake.
Sprinkle cinnamon on top for garnish.
This cake is moist, flavorful, and delicious. A perfect ending for a Mexican feast or something to bring to a Cinco de Mayo party.