Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Cocoa Ripple Ring
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/3 cups milk
1/3 cup cocoa, or more, (mixed with a tbl or so of sugar if you like)
Cream the sugar and butter. Add the eggs and beat well. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture and milk, alternately, until smooth. Layer batter in thirds, alternating with cocoa mixture, into a well greased bunt pan. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes, till toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in pan then turn out onto a plate, top with powdered sugar and serve.
So when I was growing up, my mom was the main cook/baker in the house. But my dad wasn't exactly a slacker in the kitchen. He didn't cook as many things or as often, but when he did it was always awesome. He made crepes (don't worry, we'll get to those), orange chocolate chip muffins (once I have sourdough starter, then I will make them. Yes, sourdough. Don't worry, they are wicked good) and of course, cocoa ripple ring. He used to make this on Saturday mornings. Counting cartoons, this was one of the few things that could get me up on a Saturday. It's like a coffee cake... but not really. It's muffiny, but cakey and chocolaty and... well, wicked good. It smells like heaven while it's baking (of course, I'm biased), it's very simple and there isn't really a good excuse not to make it. So, here we go. This recipe is doubled from the original (which I believe is from Better Homes and Gardens) so it fits in a bunt pan. Apparently BH&G thought everyone would make this in ramekins or something.
So, first off, cream your sugar and butter. Now add the eggs (uhm, yes. Mine is halved. I foolishly blindly followed the directions instead of what I thought would be best) and mix them up well. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder (but don't take pictures!). Add the flour mixture and milk alternately, mixing well in between each addition. Till it looks like this. Now, I will be frank, this batter is a bit hard to work with. My brother has been talking about doing some experiments to make it easier, but he hasn't gotten around to it yet. Of course, as mildly irritating as the batter may be, you can't argue with results. Oh, you haven't seen the results yet. Well, lets just keep on then. Now take your bunt pan and grease it. I'm still using my crappy silicon one. I know, it sucks. But I just don't have the cash or space to get or house a new one. Some day, some day. Anyhow, put one third of the batter into the pan. Now sprinkle it with the cocoa mixture. Then put another third of the batter down and sprinkle again. The batter is kind of sticky and tough to work with, but flawless exactitude isn't really the goal. Sweet cakey goodness layered with chocolate is what we are looking for. So don't stress the layers too much. Repeat layering till you are out of batter. Then toss it in a 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes or so. Pull it out, cool it for a couple minutes then turn it out onto a plate. See how pale and lame looking this is? That's the silicon. I really can't recommend silicon pans. Fortunately it still tastes fantastic and if you use a normal metal bunt pan, you will get some good browning. Sprinkle it with a little powdered sugar and you have breakfast.