Twenty-plus years ago, a new girl joined my class in junior high school. She sort of muscled her way into my group of friends, and – to be honest – I thought her to be kind of pushy. I tried to avoid her, but she persevered. Eventually, she found her way in and, before I knew it, I had to eat my words. It turned out that, not only was this new girl tolerable… but I really, really liked her. We got to know one another and soon we were joined at the hip… best friends.
Cat and I have been through a lifetime of things together… ups and downs punctuated by a few tears and lots of laughter. We’ve evolved from schoolyard friends to [mostly] well-rounded adults… and, with every conversation I realize that we’re still discovering our true selves along the way. I can’t wait to see “us” ten years from now… to see where we’ve gone and how we’ve continued to grow.
Tomorrow Cat will celebrate the beginning of another wonderful year (I told you September was a big month for birthdays in my world). So, today we stole away from our significant others for a girlie afternoon together. We grabbed lunch and a movie… indulged in plenty of girl talk… and then, of course, we had cake!
I found this wonderfully easy cake about four years ago over at Clotilde’s wonderful blog, Chocolate & Zucchini. Dense, creamy and absolutely decadent, I’ve made it four or five times now and it never fails to impress. Today was no different. Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a cup of coffee, or a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream (or any combination thereof), it always gets rave reviews.
Melt-In-Your-Mouth Chocolate Cake
(adapted every so slightly from Chocolate & Zucchini)
2 sticks minus 1 tablespoon butter
4 ounces dark chocolate
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 rounded tablespoon of flour
Note: like all dark chocolate cakes, this cake is best made a day ahead (or at least in the morning if you serve it for dinner).
Pre-heat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch round cake pan with parchment paper (no need to if you’re using a non-stick pan).
Melt together the butter with the chocolate (in a double-boiler or in the microwave slowly and for just a few seconds at a time, blending with a spoon between each pass). Stir in espresso powder. Transfer into a medium mixing-bowl. Add in the sugar, stir with a wooden spoon and let cool a little. Add in the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition. Finally, add in the flour and mix well.
Pour the dough into the pan, and put into the oven to bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven off but leave the cake inside for another ten minutes, then put the pan on a cooling rack on the counter to cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate, and take it out about an hour before serving.