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Friday, March 27, 2009

Torta Cioccolata con Crema y Fragole

As you know, baking is not one of my strong suits, but I am trying to be better. I found this nice cook book called Cakes From Scratch in Half the Time by Linda West Eckhardt and I just had to buy it. The pictures are great, but the recipes are what won me over. This chocolate torte is incredible and easy. The picture does not do it justice, it's very dark, almost black, but I had to use a flash on the camera, it was just too dark. The cake is dense, but not heavy and not overly sweet. I think that it would be just as good sprinkled with powdered sugar as opposed to using the whipped cream. Either way, the cake is delicious.

Torta Cioccolata con Crema y Fragole

1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp. Dutch process cocoa powder, divided
1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup brewed espresso
5 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Arrange the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Spritz a 9-inch shiny round aluminum cake pan with Baker's Joy, then dust with 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder.
Whisk the flour, the remaining 1/3 cup of cocoa powder, baking soda, sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Stir together coffee, oil, vanilla, and vinegar in a 2- cup glass measuring cup. Whisk into the dry ingredients, blending until just lump free.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until top springs back at the touch and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool cake in the pan on a rack. Turn out onto a cake plate.

Perfect Whipped Cream

1 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp, sour cream or creme fraiche
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine ingredients and whip until soft peaks form. Refrigerate, covered, until time to serve.

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