While rummaging through the second-hand store the other day, as always my last stop before leaving is to check out the book section. As most of you know I am rather fanatical about cookbook collecting and while most of the thrift stores around here have abandoned their book sections there are still a few books out there to be found. I happened upon this old Hersheys Chocolate recipe book. It is one of those skinny magazine like books. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t give this kind of thing a second glance but I have been missing my mother a lot ever since Christmas and I find myself being more and more sentimental over things that remind me of her. This is exactly the kind of thing she would have liked. My mom wasn’t much for reading cookbooks, other than her old 1950s version of Betty Crocker. She was however very fond of church group cookbooks and jello and name brand types of books like this. I picked it up and flipped though it and spotted this recipe. It looked rather tempting and for the couple of dollars they wanted for this book it seemed worth it to me. I could almost feel my mom smiling down on me as I tucked it under my arm and proceeded to the check out.
Now that I have made this cake I am rather glad I picked up this little book. There are the usual throw away recipes but tucked in amongst them are a few gems worth trying and keeping. This is one of them. It is a rich and dense brownie type cake made all the more decadent by the use of Special dark cocoa. The recipe calls for pecans but I substituted hazelnuts simply because I prefer them over pecans. The cake batter goes together quickly and there are only a handful of ingredients. Each 9 inch layer is only a scant 1 inch tall in the style of European cakes. Don’t be alarmed when you take it out of the oven and find that it didn’t really rise very much. It is more of a brownie than a cake layer.
The filling and frosting is really nothing more than a flavored whipped cream but the combination of the coffee and brown sugar here make it more than a match for the dense cake. Definitely worth buying this little book.
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) butter
3/4 cup HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped pecans
CREAMY COFFEE FILLING (recipe follows)
Chocolate curls (optional)
- Heat oven to 350°F. Butter bottom and sides of two 9-inch round baking pans. Line bottoms with wax paper; butter paper.
- Melt butter in small saucepan; remove from heat. Add cocoa, stirring until blended; cool slightly. Beat eggs in large bowl until foamy; add salt and vanilla. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Add cooled chocolate mixture; blend thoroughly. Fold in flour. Stir in pecans. Pour mixture into prepared pans.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not over. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Carefully peel off paper. Cool completely. Spread CREAMY COFFEE FILLNG between layers, over top and sides. Garnish with chocolate curls. If desired. Refrigerate 1 hour or longer before serving.
CREAMY COFFEE FILLING
11/2 cups cold whipping cream
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee
Combine all ingredients; stir until instant coffee is almost dissolved. Beat until stiff.
Makes about 3 cups filling.