“Where’s the fruit?”

One of the doctors doing a locum in our clinic was going back to South Africa today. He is a super-nice guy who used to work here, but moved back to South Africa awhile ago. We’ll miss him! So I decided he required a going-away cake.

Boy, what a cake. Yum yum yum! It got rave reviews from all of the staff at the clinic. My preceptor went back for seconds. It’s a rich cake and one small slice is more than enough.

Instead of following the recipe exactly, I made some substitutions. Including adding a banana. One of the other doctors is somehow adverse to ALL things fruit. She just can’t handle them. Kiwis, apples, pears, strawberries…don’t even talk about bananas. So even though the banana taste is very very faint, she managed to pick up on it. And complained loudly to me about it. I’ve thus promised to make something strictly chocolate or vanilla with no fruit of any sort (including raisin) for her in the future.

Everyone else on the other hand, loved the cake. Someone asked me for the recipe, another person said it was the best thing I’ve made so far, and the pharmacist thought it was store-bought.

So make this cake for a special occasion. Don’t do it on a normal day, that would be spoiling people too much. And also DKA-inducing.

Chocolate Layer Cake (adapted from bakeorbreak.com)

* 1 cup All-purpose flour
* 1 cup Whole Wheat flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar (I accidentally omitted this, but it tasted fine without it because of the frosting)
* 3 large eggs, at room temperature
* 1 small banana, mashed (If you don’t want a chocolate-banana taste, omit the banana and add an extra egg)
* 3/4 cup unsweetened chocolate, melted
* 3/4 cup buttermilk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/4 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and lightly flour three 8-inch square baking pans. I used the silicone ones, so I didn’t flour or grease them. Line the bottoms with parchment paper.

Sift together flours, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, mix butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add well-mashed banana. Add chocolate, and mix until well incorporated. Add dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in sour cream.

Divide batter equally and pour into prepared pans. Bake for ~25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Then, remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

Amalgamated Frosting
I made half of this frosting originally for the inside, and I was planning on making a cream cheese frosting for the outside. However, I think I was a little overzealous in heating the milk and it clumped instead of thickening prettily. I also didn’t have unsalted butter, and the salted butter just tasted a little off in the frosting. So instead I just added cream cheese (about 300 grams) softened to room temperature to this concoction and added some more vanilla and icing sugar to taste. It was delicious like that! Otherwise you can make a traditional cream cheese frosting (or follow the suggestions for the 2 frostings on the bake-or-break original recipe). Everyone loved this frosting though, so it was a nice accident-gone-wrong. =)

Now spread it on between the three layers, and then on the top and sides. The amount I had was just right to cover it completely. If I were to make this again, I might chop up some good chocolate or some chocolate bars (like reese’s peanut butter cups to compliment the banana) and sprinkle it between the layers, but it’s not needed. Then decorate as you like! We had grand rounds in the morning at 7:30 so I didn’t have time to do anything too elaborate at 7 AM. Some simple chocolate drizzle and fresh strawberry!


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