Cake & Carnitas | Teddy & Isaac

Just a quick post to share these great photos Matt took from Teddy's birthday party this past weekend. Teddy wanted a chocolate cake. I prefer a vanilla birthday cake, so I wasn't too excited. I'd already decided I was going to make carnitas for the parents at the party (and the kids if they wanted, but uhm, they didn't) and was using the recipe from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. While flipping through the book, I saw Nosrat's recipe titled "Lori's Chocolate Midnight Cake." It was the way Nosrat described it that sold it to me: like one of those 90s-style, super moist, cake-mix cakes that she grew up on. I, too, grew up on those cakes and I gotta say, this chocolate cake is so so so nostalgic but also so so so good. I really feel like I found my chocolate cake recipe for LIFE. I paired it with a standard cream-cheese frosting, though one I added a nice amount of orange zest to, and the combination was truly A+. 
Please note Teddy's red, sweaty, post-trampoline-session face 
I also, of course, wanted to share THIS:

I wish I had more time to comment/write about other things, but right now my free time is going into my next book. I'm currently really close to finishing a draft and need to keep my head down and plow forward. In the mean time, go ahead and take your lizard for a ride (this is a reference to something that happens in above video).

Lori's Chocolate Midnight Cake via Samin Nosrat's Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat
1/2 cup (2 ounces) Dutch-process cocoa powder, preferably Valrhona
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 3/4 cups (9 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup neutral-tasting oil
1 1/2 cups boiling water or freshly brewed strong coffee
2 large eggs at room temperature, lightly whisked

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set a rack in the upper third of the oven.

Grease two 8-inch cake pans, then line with parchment paper. Grease and sprinkle generously with flour, tap out the excess, and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, salt, flour, and baking soda, then sift into a large bowl.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and gradually whisk in the water-oil mixture until incorporated. Gradually whisk in the eggs and stir until smooth. The batter will be thin.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Drop the pan onto the counter from a height of 3 inches a couple of times to release any air bubbles that may have formed.

Bake in the upper third of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cakes spring back from the touch and just pull away from the edges of the pan. An inserted toothpick should come out clean.

Cool the cakes completely on a wire rack before unmolding them from the pan and peeling off the parchment paper. To serve, place one layer down on a cake plate. Spread 1 cup frosting of your choice (Whipped cream with a bit of sugar and vanilla extract is Nosrat's recommendation.) in the center of the cake and gently place the second layer atop it. Spread the remaining frosting or whipped cream on top.

Tightly wrapped, this cake will keep for 4 days at room temperature, or for 2 months in the freezer.


Matthew said...

The cake is so good. I will probably eat the remaining 1/2 of it over a 3 day span.

HAILEY said...

I love these yearly birthday videos from Matt! What a great post. Now I want cake, pork, and two babies! (Not all at once, of course.) Thanks for sharing. Can not WAIT for your new book!

Elizabeth B said...

After all these years and all those instagrams, I feel like I know your family!! Can't wait for the new book!

charlotte said...

NEW BOOK!! Excellent.

Mark and Marsha said...

Beautiful food. We want some. Super fun video.

Unknown said...

What a lovely window into your current lives! Keep on writing and multitasking, as I am sure that focusing on the book still includes about 50 other tasks as well! Best wishes!

Lydia said...

The best chocolate cake I've ever had/"made" was cake mix combined with pudding mix (but SO GOOD, wahhh). I like the sound of this more dignified version.

These videos are so nice now but will be SUCH TREASURES years from now. Inspired to take more video.

Kara said...

That video!!!! Best thing EVER. What cuties

DebC said...

Such a sweet video~!

Unknown said...

My dear late Mom always baked us THE QUICK COCOA CAKE from the Settlement cookbook. For my family it’s THE only chocolate cake and this recipe has now been passed down to a third generation. I know you enjoy books, The Settlement Cookbook is a classic - maybe you can find a copy to look thru. I think you may enjoy it.

Kalli said...

Thanks for the sweet vid of those fun guys. Will definitely try that cake with part regular cocoa, part super black cocoa that I'm obsessed with right now, for depth. Chocolate cake 4-eva, 4 me at least.

Jodi Drennan said...

New book, YAY! Amelia what is the turquoise low enamel pot, the one behind the Dutch oven? I always notice and I love it. Thank you! Happy bday Teddy

Amelia Morris said...

@Jodi Drennan it's a "braiser" by Le Creuset. It was a pricey gift from my dad who fittingly complained of the price. BUT, it's such a hard-worker. I use it all the time when I need a nonstick skillet. And then obviously, it's oven-safe too.

@Unknown THANK YOU! And you're right! Focusing on my book involves a lot of laundry and grocery shopping. ;) xoxx

Luisa said...

I love your children so much. Is that creepy? LOVE THEM!

jjk84 said...

Happy, happy birthday to your sweet boys and good luck with finishing your draft!! Excited to find out what you're working on! I wanted to say thank you so much for posting that amazing, intimate video of your kids...our son is almost 20 months, and we are expecting his little brother in the same month he'll turn 2. I have not yet totally come to grips with having another boy while desperately wanting a daughter...but this video actually made me excited. Thank you <3

Amelia Morris said...

@The Wednesday Chef LOLZZ (We take all the love we can get these days!)

@jjk84 awwwwww man. I hear you. But now I can't imagine anything else. PLUS, (for now at least) they're just as into gymnastics and ballet as I am, sooooo :) :)