Raw, noun: 13. unrefined sugar, oil, etc.

Bundt Cake Saturday! (Late again.)

Morning: breezy
Mood: breezy
Music: The Killers

(Seriously, though; we're almost done with the backlog of these guys. I promise.)

This was another May/June creation, caught up in the swirl of yoga retreats and art openings and what-have-you. This recipe came somewhat out of nowhere, in a moment of relative desperation, and it was responsible for the ensuing streusel fetish that hung around for a few weeks here in Kitchenland.

Right now, I've actually got a different little baby-cake recipe in the oven as I write, and the maintenance dude is sawing something down below, and the doors and windows are all thrown open, and the breeze just keeps blowing, and the cornflower/lisianthus bouquet on the coffee table is just opening up, and I'm rocking an old vintage housecoat from the Main St. Salvation Army in Delaware circa '97, and it's pretty much all a girl could ask for on a Tuesday in early August. We've got a few minutes before the first batch needs to come out of the oven, so let's get on with a gooey


A close cousin of the Devil's Food Espresso recipe you've seen often in these parts, but with a bit of a twist; we'll emphasize the "au lait" this time around, add a different frosting, and, most importantly, layer in a delicious cocoa streusel in the middle. Not a bad confection for anyone in the chocolate/coffee lovers' club.


1 devil's food cake mix
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
4 eggs
6 oz. chocolate (or coffee) flavored yogurt
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teas. vanilla
1 teas. instant espresso powder
6 oz. mini chocolate chips

Easy, no?

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease and flour your bundt pan. Combine cake mix, pudding, eggs, yogurt, oil, milk, vanilla and espresso powder; beat for 2-3 minutes with an electric mixer. Fold in mini chocolate chips (if you'd like). Set the batter aside while you make your streusel.

The streusel ribbon will look like this, give or take what you'd like in there:

1 1/2 cups graham crackers
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup cocoa powder
6 0z. mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Crush the graham crackers first and mix them with the cocoa powder; then add the melted butter and mix well. Finish it by stirring in the chocolate chips and the walnuts.

Pour half of the cake batter into your prepared pan. Then layer in a ribbon of the streusel, taking care to smooth it out evenly. Top with the remainder of the cake batter. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven, cool for 10 minutes in the pan, and then invert on a wire rack to cool completely.

In terms of frosting, there seems to be a consistent recipe floating around out there on the interwebz:

1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 Tbl. instant espresso powder
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar

Looks fine, right? But to be honest, and in spite of my avowed love for ice cream (a forbidden ardor that, try as I might, I just can't goddammit seem to shake), there's something about heavy cream that makes me want to vomit. I can't handle the scent of it. I can't have it in my fridge. SO to avoid buying some of that nasty shit, I went the easy route and pulled out a tub of cream cheese frosting (lazy woman's way out), heated it, added a little milk, and mixed in 2 teas. of espresso powder.

The result was a pleasingly latte-colored pourable frosting; I was running late to a workshop and thus had to frost the cake long before it'd cooled, which resulted in a meltily-delicious wet cake. Oops. The latte frosting melted down the edges in an oozy kind of way, and I grated a Ghirardelli chocolate bar on top for decoration. It was fine. Chocolatey. Messy. You know.

Clipped a quick red Gerber from the bouquet on the countertop, balanced it nicely in the middle of the bundt donut-hole, and there it was. Chocolate cafe au lait. Could've used a little more greenery to freshen it up, but overall, not bad for a rushed Saturday morning creation.

If you've the time, wait to frost your cake until it's completely cooled, and you shouldn't have any problem with the grainy/cracking frosting appearance that mine had.

(Most importantly, though, for the record: it tasted delish.)


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