My husband and I celebrated our 9 year wedding anniversary last week. We didn't plan anything spectacular. We both went to work, took the girls to gymnastics class and went about our business as usual. I did receive a beautiful bouquet of flowers and Jon was the recipient of a proper Popover pan. Not that he asked for one, I just thought it might give his Popovers a little "pop".
To me celebrations aren't so celebratory without some type of dessert. I hadn't planned on making a dessert until I realized how unnatural it felt to be without something in the oven for our special day. I had to think quickly as time was ticking away before my husband would be home from work. I pored over my many Better Homes and Gardens magazines and finally found a delightfully decadent Chocolate Stack Loaf recipe. This "loaf" cake was entirely simple to make taking only minutes to pull together. We both loved the dense chocolate cake and the Easy Fudge Frosting. I'll definitely make this one again and again and again. . .
Chocolate Loaf Stack
1 cup flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot tap water
Preheat over to 350. Lightly grease sides of 13x9x2-inch loaf baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add butter, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk gently until dry ingredients are moistened and mixture resembles a thick paste. Whisk briskly about 30 strokes. Tap or shake any batter from whisk. Use rubber spatula to stir in hot water, scraping sides as necessary, just until batter is blended and smooth. With spatula scrape batter from bowl into prepared pan and spread to make a thin even layer.
Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Slide thin metal spatula or knife around cake edges to loosen from pan. Invert cake onto rack. Remove paper liner; carefully turn cake right side up. Cool completely.
Cut cake crosswise in three equal rectangles. Thickly spread frosting on one piece, top with a second piece and spread with frosting. Leave top unfrosted. Thickly frost along the sides. Before serving dust top with cocoa powder.
Easy Fudge Frosting: In medium sauce pan melt 6 tbsp. unsalted butter. Stir in 1 cup sugar, 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt. Gradually stir in 1 cup whipping cream. Heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and hot but not boiling. Remove from heat; stir in 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract. Set aside; cool until thickened and spreadable. To cool quickly, loosely cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Store up to 1 week in refrigerator. Makes 2 cups.