On Baking: Mocha Cake

Yesterday, I spent the day baking. I love to bake. And cook. But mostly, bake. I’ve always found it relaxing to pop in a book on tape, some music or a tv show and create something in the kitchen. (With this recipe, I alternated between listening to Adele and watching H2O: Just Add Water.) And, of course, the end result is always delicious!

I also see baking as an artform. A baker combines all sorts of different ingredients with different textures, shapes and colors and creates something beautiful and tasty. It’s an artform that uses all of the five senses: touch, sight, smell, taste and hearing. Yesterday, as I was baking, I took pictures along the way and spent some time editing them before bed last night. Before blogging this morning, I was excited when I logged into Facebook and saw one of my favorite blogs, The ‘Thank You’ Project update with her latest post, which is all about baking! Go take a look at the fantastic quote and the gorgeous video that shows baking as the artform that it is!

I spent the day baking a Mocha Cake, from Sparkling Ink, and let me tell you, the bite I tried of this was fantastic! The coffee taste (which is strong and wonderful) is concentrated on the top. The rest of it is chocolatey and not overly sweet.

For the coffee, I used the limited edition grounds from Gevalia that I’ve been using in the morning. The grounds come from Papua New Guinea. I think when I bake this in the future, I will continue to use what I have on hand (which usually changes–or at least rotates). It will be nice to get a slightly different flavor each time I bake the cake!

I have a Keurig and make my own K-cups with my own grounds. This is how I clean out the baskets, by dumping them on a paper towel. It’s also how I clean out tea strainers.

The frosting.

This is the “Yay, this thing is finally done baking!” picture, in which I attempted to show the clean toothpick before I realized that a little toothpick would blend into the background. I attempted another shot against the counter as well and… same thing. But, just so ya know, there’s a clean toothpick in that picture! The cake was finally done. And when I was finally done trying to take pictures of the toothpick as the oven started beeping again, Miss Doggie came out to greet me and see what all the beeping was about. When I tried to give her a “Yay, this thing is finally done baking!” pat, she looked at me before turning to walk away as if she was saying, “Lady, it’s bedtime for this dog. How am I supposed to get any sleep with all this beeping and blaring music?” So, I pulled out the second cake, frosted it and turned down all the noise so that Miss Doggie could catch her z’s. Which also meant that she was licking the tip of my nose (her form of a wake-up call) to wake me up at 7am so that she could go outside and grab a bite to eat.

I made a second cake without coconut flakes so that I have two options for the people I plan to share the cake with. I’ve found that feelings about coconut are pretty strong and those who hate it really hate it! Whenever I’m baking for a group, if a recipe involves coconut I always ask those I know will be there if they’re okay with coconut or just plan on having a second option.

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