Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cocoa Ripple Ring

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
4 eggs
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.


Emily said...

Mmm, looks great!

I've never tried silcone before. I just love Bundt pans.

Spryte said...

Looks great! I think my family would really like it!

Jenny said...

Now that looks like a great cake. I'd love a slice right now for breakfast!

Bob said...

Thanks ladies. :) I wish you could see the cocoa rings, but since I didn't double the recipe when I made it they aren't very visible. But you sure can taste them.

Anonymous said...

That looks delicious! I used a silicone pan the other day and loved it.

Bob said...

Thanks Candy. :)

I like the concept of the silicon pans (particularly the ease of removal). I just don't like the way they don't brown things very well unless they are cooking for a long time. The banana bread I did came out nicely browned, but it was in there for over an hour. Anything quicker than that stays all pale.

The Brutal Gourmet said...

The main thing I do to make the layering easier is pretty simple: I double the recipe and make thick layers :) Maybe I will make one tomorrow and see if I can add a little more milk to thin the batter just a bit. I am just a little concerned about what it might do to the texture of the finished cake, but I think another 1/6 cup of milk (making 1 1/2 total) should be safe enough...

I did make crepes the way dad used to (filled with egg, cheese, onion and bacon) the other night. They were great!

By the way, you said you wanted my quick mozzarella recipe, so here it is:

1 gallon milk
1/4 tablet rennet, dissolved in 1/4 cup spring water
Lemon juice

Heat milk to 80 degrees. Add enough lemon juice to make it curdle. Start with 1/4 cup, and watch it. If it looks like it is getting a little grainy, you are good. Add the rennet and stir quickly but gently. Keep heating to 105 degrees, then cover and let it sit for 15 minutes or so. Pour through a cheesecloth lined colander. Don’t bother keeping the whey — there is not much you can do with acid-set cheese whey. If you are working with fresh cultured milk, you can make ricotta from the whey, but not with this — all the proteins are broken by the lemon juice.

Squeeze the cheesecloth to get as much whey out of the curd as you can, then put the curd in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 45 seconds. Knead the curds with a spoon, and more whey will come out. Repeat this two more times, microwaving for no more than one minute per knead.

After the third knead the curds should come together into a nice mass. You may want to wear gloves, because it is quite warm. Pull the curds like taffy: stretch them out and fold over, then repeat. When they start to break instead of stretching, heat them again for 30 seconds in the microwave on high, and pull again. Once it reaches a state where it is smooth and glossy, cut it into smallish pieces, roll it into balls and drop it in ice water to cool quickly (1 gallon of milk will make 5-6 balls).

kaje said...

Brutal did make the crepes, and they were awesome. Thanks, sweetie! And any time you wanna make a cocoa ripple ring, I'll be happy to help you eat it.

DynamiteDebbie said...

Do you have the orange chocolate chip muffins recipe? Because I found that same sourdough cookbook online and I have it and I use it ALL the time; the muffins taste even better than when we were kids because I use fresh orange zest and fresh juice, but besides tasting better they taste exactly the same--ha!

I love cocoa ripple ring. It makes me happy.

Bob said...

I do have the muffin recipe, but I don't ever have sourdough starter. I bet fresh juice does make a difference. Didn't he used to used that frozen condescend stuff Mom would always buy?


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