No, seriously… it’s fall now. I wait for this season the whole year long and while we all try to fake it on September 1st or whatever, then really try and fake it on September 21st (I think?) when it’s still 80 degrees outside, fall doesn’t really start until the air smells crisp and the leaves turn vibrant pinks and you bake a chocolate cake with cayenne pepper in it.
Trust me, I’m just as anxious as you to bust out my Barry Manilow and N*SYNC Christmas albums but fall is meant to be savored, enjoyed and covered in chocolate.
And now I’m stuck wondering if I’m really 16 years old or 58 years old. I can never figure it out.
Hmmm… by the way, that’s not some boring caramel blanketing this ring of chocolate. It’s a brown sugar glaze, which I have made four times in two weeks for four different recipes.
Okay, three different recipes.
I had to make a fourth batch because I ate too much of it off the spoon while waiting for a cake to cool. It is THAT GOOD. Yes, it warrants ALL CAPS. Best glaze I’ve had in, well… forever? You know I’m all about the glazes because adding more sugar to desserts is just the smart thing to do.
Oooh but you’re just freaking out about this who cayenne thing, right? Do not fear.
It’s not just cayenne… there are a bunch of spices in there like cinnamon and ground cloves and nutmeg and all that jazz. It may sound incredibly atrocious but it’s really just tastes like a big old chocolate cake with a heavy handed shake of autumn sprinkled in.
It’s not too sweet either.
That’s totally not my thing (ever), but it works sometimes. Plus, I gotta show some love for you crazies who don’t like your desserts so rich that they make your teeth ache.
See, I told you I loved you.
Spiced Dark Chocolate Cake
[slightly adapted from food and wine]
makes one bundt cake (serves 8-10)
8 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup strong coffee
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dutch process or dark cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with non-stick spray and set aside. In a bowl, combine flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda and spices and mix with a spoon.
Melt chocolate in either a double boiler or a large microwave-safe bowl (I melt in 30 second increments) and let cool. Whisk in oil, sugar, vanilla and heavy cream until smooth, then whisk in egg. Add in half of the flour + cocoa mixture, then half of the coffee and buttermilk, mixing until just combined. Add in the remaining flour mixture and then the remaining coffee and buttermilk, stirring until smooth. Lightly toss chocolate chips with a spoonful of flour, then fold into batter. Pour into bundt pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out almost clean.
Let cool, then drizzle with glaze of your choice. I used a doubled recipe of this brown sugar glaze which was the perfect sweet accompaniment.
Hurry up and eat your slice or else it’s mine.