Six-Minute Chocolate and Blackberry Cake

I premeasured during nap time, and Peanut made the following. Lovely, if a bit gooey.

(Original source: Moosewood Cooks at Home, from my dear godmother. Called the Six-Minute Chocolate Cake, it’s quick to mix, doesn’t use lots of bowls, and transforms well into cupcakes.)

Cake:
1.5C unbleached all-purpose flour
.33 C sweetened cocoa (we prefer Scharffen Berger because it’s local, I prefer the 40s-style graffics, and Peanut likes the girl on the label)
1t baking soda
.5t salt
1C evaporated, granulated cane juice, MINUS 2T
1 stick organic unsalted butter, melted but not hot
.25C organic Gravenstein cinnamon apple sauce
1C cold decaf, preferably French press (for the silt)
2t pure vanilla extract
2T vinegar
2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder (optional. if you skip this, add the 2T of sugar back into the recipe)
1.25C frozen organic unsweetened blackberries (optional)

Glaze:
1 small jar organic raspberry preserves
.25C sweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 375F
Sift together flour, cocoa, soda, salt, sugar, and protein into cast-iron dutch oven. In a 2-cup measuring cup, measure and mix together the butter, applesauce, coffee, and vanilla. Pour the liquid ingredients and blackberries into the dutch oven and mix with fork. When the batter is smooth, add the vinegar and stir quickly just until the whitish swirls of acid+base is evenly distributed. Bake for approx. 30 minutes. Set the cake aside to cool.

We are anti-frosting. There, I said it. I don’t like the cloying, pastiness of frosting. Sorry. I know that makes me anathema to most bakers. But we LOVE us some jam. And I wanted chocolate. So for the glaze:
Put jar of preserves into small saucepan. Do not turn on burner, but put saucepan on top of baking stove. Add cocoa and mash together. Let the ambient heat smooth it out and stir again after cake comes out of oven. Put the glaze on a large platter, and upend the cake onto it. Makes a raspbery, blackberry, cocoa upside down chocolate cake for those with no time to make icing look good.

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Can’t we just live at The CheeseBoard?

The center of my sense of home and community is The CheeseBoard Collective on Shattuck. Living near there formed some of the most important pieces of who I am, and visiting now brings back a flood of revelations, realizations, and nine-plus-senses pleasures that make me happy to my core.

So I took Peanut there.

He’s been before, but this time we went to the store/bakery and to the pizza joint. The latter is not at all the CheeseBoard where I lunched countless afternoons in the ’90s and ’00s. It’s bigger, since they took over the shop next door and expanded with more tables (shock), a bathroom (gasp), and a full area for the musicians.

The pizza of the day was roasted cauliflower, caramelized onion, mozzarella, cheddar, chive, and garlic olive oil on the trademark sourdough crust. It was gorgeous and drippy and wonderfully flavorful. But I’ve rarely had a bad slice there.

The band was the California Honeydrops. They sunk their teeth into a soulful performance and totally captivated my son.

So we ate, me a slice of heaven and him a cheese roll from the Collective. We listened to the blues. We watched the locals and newbies, alike. We basked in the glow of the new paint, the cheerful tile, and the clean bathrooms.

And he said to me, of my favorite place in the world, (except my aunt and uncle’s house at Thanksgiving), “this place make Peanut happy!”

I cried. “Me, too, bug. This place make mommy happy, too.”

I love you, CheeseBoard family.