My Secret Recipe Club partner for this month was Everyday Mom. Even though it's the new year and we're supposed to be virtuous, I decided to make a cake from her blog...and serve it for breakfast! I totally fell in love with the idea of this chocolate pear cake when I saw it on Everyday Mom, and then a plea for baking help came from my church's Sunday-morning cafe team. I decided to just go for it...the cake has fruit in it, so it can pass for coffee cake, right?!
I baked a mini portion in a ramekin to make sure I would get to try the cake...we'll just call it quality control. :) I ended up subbing in apples for the pears, simply because that was what I had on hand, and it worked perfectly. The cake is lightly sweet, and the chocolate and juicy bits of apple make it a delicious treat. The method of preparation makes for a light texture, but be careful not to over-beat the batter - I think I overdid mine a bit, which made it a little tough (but still tasty). This isn't so sweet or rich that you can't serve it as a coffee cake if you like, but it would also be great for dessert, perhaps with a little whipped cream.
Chocolate Apple Cake (adapted from Everyday Mom, original recipe from Smitten Kitchen)
Makes one 9-inch round cake
1 cup flour
1 T baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 ounces (1 stick) butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups peeled and diced apples (2-3 apples)
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
3. Place the eggs in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on high speed for 8-10 minutes (yes, 8-10 minutes!), until the eggs are pale and very thick.
4. Meanwhile, brown the butter in a medium saucepan or skillet.
5. Add the sugar to the eggs and whip for another couple of minutes. Beat in the flour and butter in alternating additions (flour-butter-flour-butter-flour), whipping the batter just enough to incorporate the ingredients. Gently fold everything together with a rubber spatula to make sure everything is fully incorporated. Be very careful not to overmix.
6. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the apples and chocolate chips over the batter, alternating between the two a couple of times. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.