Saturday, September 22, 2012

Crunchy-topped Cocoa Cake

I surprised my family with a mid-week dessert one day this past week.   They were thrilled!   This is the first time I've made this cake, and I'll surely make it again.

This is a Hershey recipe which I found in a mini cookbook.  I refer to this little cookbook quite often when in need of a quick chocolatey recipe.   I adapted the recipe just a little bit to suit my tastes and what I had on hand.  

Crunchy-Topped Cocoa Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350°F.  Butter and flour 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan.
Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add water, oil, vinegar and vanilla; beat with spoon or whisk just until batter is smooth and ingredients are well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Meanwhile, prepare topping.  Spread on warm cake. Set oven to broil; place pan about 4 inches from heat. Broil 3 minutes or until top is bubbly and golden brown. Remove from oven. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

4 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup toasted nuts
1/2 cup sweetened coconut
3 tablespoons light cream or evaporated milk

Stir together all ingredients in small bowl until well blended. About 1 cup topping.

A few notes about this recipe:
I made it with pecans, but next time I plan to make it with slivered almonds.  I think it will then taste like a Mounds candy bar!  I also plan to add some mini chocolate chips to the batter to enhance the chocolatey flavor.  Mmmmmm.
I made it in a 9 inch square pan.  Use an 8 inch square pan if you'd like a thicker cake.

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