We love chocolate! We love to get it, we love to give it! And remember, Valentine’s Day is one week from today. During these somewhat gloomy winter days, what could be better than an easy and delicious chocolate dessert to share with your loved ones? Before we get to the recipe, I wanted to cover a bit of background on the history of chocolate.
Scientists have discovered that chocolate was invented at least 3,100 years ago in Central America and not as the sweet treat people now crave, but as a celebratory beer-like beverage and status symbol. Unfortunately, chocolate languished as this sorry, bitter concoction from about 600 AD until 16th Century Europe when the Spanish began to add cane sugar and flavorings such as vanilla to their sweet cocoa beverages. From this point the French, Swiss, Irish, English and Americans all had a hand in creating the chocolates we know today. All I can say is, Thank You!
We’ve all heard that chocolate is an aphrodisiac. It contains an endorphin called phenylalanine, levels of which in the brain have been linked to falling in love. Chocolate has been used as a gift since the days of the Aztecs and Mayans and was used in marriage and fertility ceremonies. Yes we Love Chocolate! It tastes good and it makes us feel good!
Now it is possible to find several brands of Organic and Free Trade Chocolate available. I always try and use as many organic ingredients in my recipes as possible. I find that the resulting product is tastier and healthier too. If you would like to see some of my favorite organic products, visit my board on Pinterest. So without further ado, here is the recipe.
Double Chocolate Butter Cake
2 cups sugar
5 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 egg, plus 2 eggs
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened (neufchatel works well also)
1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Lightly spray a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, 1 egg, and 8 tablespoons (1 stick) softened butter, and stir until well blended. Pat mixture into prepared pan and set aside. In a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the remaining 2 eggs, and the cocoa powder. Lower the speed of the mixer, and add the sugar. Continue beating until ingredients are well mixed. Slowly add the remaining 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of softened butter, and the vanilla, continuing to beat the mixture until smooth. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips with a rubber spatula. Spread filling over cake mixture in pan.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Do not over-bake the cake; the center should still be slightly soft when finished baking. Let cake partially cool before cutting into pieces. Top with whipped cream or ice cream. Sprinkle with cinnamon for a little spice.
In the top photo, I wanted a smaller version to serve on a dessert buffet, so I simply scooped out about a heaping tablespoon of the cake and rolled it into a ball. I placed them in muffin papers and set them aside until serving time. When ready to serve, I popped them into the microwave for about
15 seconds and then topped them with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon before
placing on my serving table.
The photo below is how we usually serve it...a big square, with lots of whipped cream!
This is an especially good reward after shoveling snow!
Linked with The Charm of Home