So it was a few days ago, and I seemed to make it through. I am another year older and I spent the day with my children, just relaxing and baking. I know it sounds pathetic to make your own birthday cake, but I did anyway. I knew someone else was baking me to celebrate with the family, so I made this one in secret. SHHHHH.
I found this recipe in Rick Bayless’s, “Mexico One Plate at a Time”, another book that I forgot to send the reply card back when I was apart of the book club. This one is a complex look at authentic Mexican cooking. So many of the dishes in this book look amazing, but they also look so complicated at the same time. When I have a Saturday sometime in the near future I may tackle one of them.
This recipe, “Mexican Chocolate Streusel Cake”, called out to me for a number of reasons. 1. Chocolate….. I needed it bad. 2. Mexican Chocolate, I have never used it before. In fact I didn’t even know what it was or where I could find it. I researched it and found that Mexican chocolate is made with more than just the usual ingredients in chocolate. It contains different spices and is made in little cakes that can be used to make hot chocolate. I ended up finding it at my local grocery store and when I opened the packages the heady smell of cinnamon hit my nose. I sliced a small chunk off the block and found that it crumbled very easily and turned almost into a powder. When I put it in my mouth it had a very grainy texture, not sweet at all and a little spicy. At first I thought that I had bought the wrong thing, and I almost abandoned the cake.
The cake uses the chocolate in to different ways. It is mixed in to the cake batter, which is very light and fluffy. It also uses it in the streusel topping, both parts equally delicious in their raw forms. I know, it isn’t good to eat the raw stuff, but I had to give it a taste, it smelled so good!
The cake smelled even better baking it. Cinnamon and chocolate mixed in the air. The kids and I were sitting outside reading and it wafted outside and under our noses. We couldn’t wait until it came out of the oven. The verdict? Delicious! Happy Birthday to me!
Mexican Chocolate Streusel Cake
One 18 or 19-ounce package Mexican chocolate, roughly chopped
For the Streusel topping:
1 large egg yolk
3 ½ oz (7 tablespoons) butter, room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
For the cake:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
One 8 ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
8 ounces butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature.
- The Streusel Topping: In a food processor, pulse half of the Mexican chocolate until it is the consistency of coarse crumbs. Remove and set aside for the batter. Add the remaining chocolate to the processor and process it to the consistency of coarse crumbs. Mix the egg yolk and ½ tsp salt in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve the salt. Add to the processor along with the butter and the flour. Pulse just until everything is thoroughly combined-it should look crumbly, not be processed to a paste. Set aside.
- The Cake: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 13xp-inch baking pan. Sift together the flour and baking powder.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beating on medium speed, combine the cream cheese, butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. One at a time, add the eggs, beating until each one is thoroughly incorporated before adding the next. Add the sifted flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beat for 1 minute, just until the flour is incorporated.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Crumble streusel topping evenly over the batter, making sure there are no large lumps-they may sink during baking. Bake in the center of the oven until springy and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack and sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
- Delicious with ice cream. With or without your birthday.