Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mexican Chocolate Streusel Cake

After making the atole in the previous post, I was left with almost a whole package of Ibarra chocolate. I looked in my Mexican cookbooks for ideas and found this cake. I think Rick Bayless makes amazing Mexican food, but I don't think he's much of a baker. This cake was good hot out of the oven (you can see above that I helped myself to the middle piece), but I found it very firm when it was cool. It reminded me of those snack cake mixes I used to beg my mother to buy as a child and then never ate once they had cooled off. Why a boxed mix? I thought I was deprived with all the homemade food we had. Silly me. 
Anyway, if you have nostalgia for the snack cakes of yore, this is for you. It's not extremely chocolaty and the streusel is not too streusely. Hmm, I'm not a big fan of either chocolate or streusel. This poor cake never stood a chance. 

Mexican Chocolate Streusel Cake
Adapted from Mexico One Plate at a Time, Rick Bayless et al
Makes one 9"x13" cake (I made a half recipe in an 8" pan)

One 18-19 ounce (510-540 gram) package Mexican chocolate, such as Abuelita or Ibarra, coarsely chopped
For the streusel topping:
1 large egg yolk
½ teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons (3½ oz/100g) unsalted butter, softened
⅔ cup (3 oz/85 g) all-purpose flour
⅔ cup sliced almonds
For the cake:
1¾ cups (8 oz/227 g) all-purpose flour
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
8 oz/227 g cream cheese, at room temperature
8 oz/227 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon almond extract

  1. In a food processor, pulse half the chocolate until it is like breadcrumbs. Set aside in a bowl. Add the remainder of the chocolate and process it to breadcrumb consistency. Add salt, butter and flour and pulse until just combined. It should be crumbly, not a paste. Add almonds and pulse just to mix in.
  2. Preheat oven to 350℉/175℃. Grease baking pan. Sift together flour, salt and baking powder.
  3. Cream butter, cream cheese and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until well blended after each one. Scrape bowl and beat in almond extract.
  4. Add flour mixture and mix in on low speed until almost thoroughly combined. Add remaining chocolate and mix gently.
  5. Scrape batter into prepared pan and level it. Sprinkle streusel on top, breaking it up as you do so.
  6. Bake 35-40 minutes, until springy, the edges have just begun to pull away from the edges of the pan and a tester comes out clean. Cool slightly on a wire rack and serve warm. Apparently it keeps, well-wrapped for a few days, but I found it very firm the next day. Eat this right out of the oven!


Valérie said...

Sorry the cake didn't wow you... I laughed when you reminded us that you don't like chocolate - I guess you wanted to give it another chance?

I was raised the opposite way: my mother never baked anything, and I was in my late teens before I discovered you could actually make cake right at home! Even boxed mixes were a mystery to me.

Valerie said...

I often make things which contain nothing that I enjoy...I think we do this because we're hard-core bakers! :D

This looks great! I'm with you on the chocolate issue, but not the streusel. :p

Anonymous said...

I'm with you about Rick Bayless- Great cook but not a baker. Too bad, since it's sounds so good. Maybe sour cream instead of cream cheese if you ever decide to try it again...

Rambling Tart said...

Oh, you crack me up. :-) Well, glad to know it wasn't a winner so I don't have to make it. :-) I am craving moist, dense, and warm chocolate cake now though. :-)

Lisa said...

Mary, this cake looks phenomenal, I'm so sorry it wasn;t what you hoped it would be, but truth be told, I wouldn't ,ind eating it and would probably like it. I'm not too picky lol

My mom wasn't into baking either, so boxed cake, brownies, cookies in tubes etc were what I was used to until I baked my first cake from scratch, and the difference was astounding. In any event, it looks really, really good! Great tamales below too - I totally forgot about that DC challenge!

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Mr. P said...

You can't tease like that! 'Hoping to get a batch made...' MAKE SOME RE-INVENTED LAMINGTONS! :)

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

Too bad the cake did not live up to expectations but it looks great. Hey I have that same plate too lol.