October 22, 2010

How to make "Mikey's Mocha Chocolate Cake"

Reference post:

<-------------I took that picture with my iphone4. The cake is sitting on a manly pedestal hewn from rugged pine. No, I didn't chop down the tree myself but I coulda or at least i woulda tried if needs be. Once you get out of a narcissistic relationship, you find out that you can always do more than you 'think' you can. 

I thought a wooden cakeplate would give a Paul Bunyan feel to an otherwise dainty dessert. ha! This was such a delicious chocolate cake that I’m breaking tradition and posting a recipe on my blog. You can frost this cake a day in advance, store it in the refrigerator, and wow your guests for dinner the following evening. If you like entertaining, you know how rough it can be preparing the appetizers, main course, and dessert all in single day. So here’s an awesome recipe to keep in your cookbook---in the event you feel like entertaining again. If you are dragging your behind to the computer to figure out what just happened to your life, you may consider baking this cake on grief nights when Kleenex and Xanax are the only guests at your table.

I used an extra-heavy cream for the frosting and whipped it into a frenzy (frenzy is how you feel when the narcissist rips through your life) until the cream has nearly turned into butter. A firm consistency will prevent the frosting from weeping in the refrigerator. The only thing that should be weeping in your kitchen right now is yourself and if you are sobbing uncontrollably, please remember: this too shall pass. 

That's a promise from this veteran retiring from the Dept. of LoveUnrequited, Inc.
I call this recipe Mikey’s Mocha Chocolate Cake in honor of my nephew...the child who changed my life for the better.

Cake Layer Ingrediants
4 squares unsweetened chocolate

½ cup hot water

½ cup granulated sugar

2 cups sifted cake flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup butter or margarine, softened

1-1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 eggs

2/3 cup milk

Frosting and Filling Ingredients
3 cups heavy cream, chilled and un-whipped

1-1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

½ cup unsweetened cocoa

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons of Starbucks' Via (or any brand of instant coffee)

Fresh strawberries dipped in melted chocolate bark (or melted semisweet chocolate chips)

The Steps

1) In double boiler, combine 4 squares of chocolate and ½ cup hot water. Stir constantly over hot, not boiling water, to melt chocolate. Add ½ cup granulated sugar and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from hot water and cool mixture to lukewarm.

2) Preheat over to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9” inch round cake pans. Sift flour with soda and salt and set aside.

3) In mixing bowl, beat butter at medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in 1-¼ cups granulated sugar beating until light and fluffy (about five minutes) and then add the vanilla extract.

4) Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. At low speed, add flour mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour. Beat JUST long enough to blend! With a spatula, fold in chocolate.

5) Pour batter into pans and bake 25 minutes until center springs back when pressed with finger. Do Not Overbake. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Loosen sides of cake from pans and turn onto cooling racks.

6) In medium bowl, mix heavy cream, sugar, cocoa, salt and Starbucks Via (instant coffee). Refrigerate frosting mixture for half an hour. Whip until stiff, the consistency of frosting.

7) Use a long, thin serrated blade and slice cooled cake layers in half creating four separate layers. Place one layer, cut side up on a plate and spread with mocha filling. Repeat twice. Top with last layer cut side down. With a metal spatula, frost top and sides of cake leaving vertical ridges on side of cake. If you have a pastry bag, you can pipe the edges of the cake to create ‘ruching’.

8) Dip washed and ‘dried’ strawberries in melted chocolate and cool on waxed paper. Once the chocolate has set, place fruit on the top of the cake. You can also dip almonds in chocolate and arrange those on the cake instead of fresh fruit. My nephew requested strawberries for his cake and even though I was hesitant, they were delicious! And beautiful!

If anyone actually makes this cake, please leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you! (even if you didn't like the cake but I'll wager a bet that you did!)




  1. Well CZ, once again I have come here and sort of found myself in your words. Amazing.

    I think it's awesome that you put the recipe up, and esp., to honor your nephew. The things you say about how he made your life better makes me think of my relationship with my son. I want to remember this too, that he makes me a better person and my life too, no matter what.

    Some days I'd be better off coming to your blog, hanging out for the day, making some food, and staying safe.

    "and if you are sobbing uncontrollably, please remember: this too shall pass."

    I wish I had read this about 2,3, or 4 AM this morning but I'm glad I've read it now.

    Thank you for your work.

  2. Oh my -- I could use a slice of that cake right now. I'll have to wait until I'm back home from Barbados before attempting this one though -- I think it might just melt before it even gets to the table!

  3. Oooh, chocolate! I have a card that says, "This too shall pass" on my refrigerator. Not a day goes by that I don't glance at it to remind myself. I've been taking pictures with my iPhone too, though it's a lowly 3. I have to remind myself to carry my camera as the quality of the pix is so high. I'll have to make this yummy dessert. I've gotten to that point in life where I don't need a reason to celebrate!

  4. Hi CZ,

    I don't know much about baking birthday cakes but I sure am glad to have discovered your blog. I've been systematically reading each of your posts and feel like I found a gold mine of insight here. You manage to pick up on the subtle aspects of life that most effect adult kids of Ns and your reflective progress of reparenting yourself hits home for me. I will probably be commenting on posts to give you specific examples later.

    Thank you,

  5. Dear dogkisses,

    What opens the heart more than loving someone with disabilities? We might not realize our own 'growth' unless we reflect on the way we were before falling in love with a child. I'm sure you know what I mean.

    I hope you always find something comforting in my writing. Coming to peace with everything in my life is a challenge and of course it isn't easy but it's possible.

    Some days I could write for hours. Other days leave me speechless. There's great comfort in meeting people like yourself which keeps me writing even when I'd rather be doing something else. Like ironing pillowcases and fitted sheets for example. That's how 'hard' it is for me to put words to my experiences and feelings.

    In other words, Thank You for recognizing my writing as the challenging 'work' it is for someone who isn't a natural-born writer.


  6. And speaking of natural-born writers who 'have' the spark of genius and the willingness to practice until perfect, hello Ms. Gallagher!

    Maybe you have a natural talent but my gosh, you work HARD at it!

    For anyone who hasn't checked out Ms. Gallagher's blog, she writes nearly every morning which I can't even fathom myself. And your work is inspiring, too! (click on her name to visit her blog).

    I hope you're still having fun in Barbados...sounds lovely from what you've written. I have enjoyed reading your entries.

    Have you thought about finding a sponsor who would send you to exotic cities so you could blog about your experiences???


  7. You only have an iphone3, Jan? And you admit it to an iphone4 owner?? hehehe...

    I started referring to my little hand-held internet device as an iphone4 because my Geek-Wad-Son, the computer game programmer, only has an iphone3!

    He absolutely cringes when his Mom has a newer version of technology than himself. I probably shouldn't get so much fun out of teasing him about having an iphone3 but well, I do.

    It's fun taking pictures with this device. They're pretty darn good, too. AND, in case you didn't know, you can talk face-to-face with the "4" which might be a good or bad thing depending on your hair that day.

    Nice to hear from you!


  8. You manage to pick up on the subtle aspects of life that most effect adult kids of Ns and your reflective progress of reparenting yourself hits home for me. " ~Reflector

    How far down the rabbit hole do you wanna go? That's the question to ask when focusing on narcissism. There are so many levels of understanding about narcissism, we could spend the rest of our lives on the topic and never fully capture the peculiarities and nuances.

    Philip Bromberg says:

    "Trying to extract some coherent view of narcissism from the ongoing controversy in the current psychoanalytic literature is somewhat like trying to chill Russian vodka by adding ice cubes; it is possible to do it, but the soul of the experience is diluted."

    I write about narcissism in varying degrees. My interest in the topic never seems to wane. It's been about eight years since first learning about NPD, an extreme form of pathological narcissism.

    Most people are not dealing with "Narcopaths" however; so one of my goals is to write about narcissism on a broader level than pathology.

    I hope people are less afraid of the word 'narcissism' than we were a few years ago. Now we can recognize varying degrees of self-preoccupation, including healthy narcissism.

    I hope to hear from you again, Reflector. Step up and speak out, that's healthy narcissism! *grin*


  9. The cake looks so good I've got to try it.

  10. Hi CZ. What a sweet treat to revisit this post ;) I love the photo and the "manly" plate.

    My son's birthday is approaching. The idea of me making this cake is lovely, but when I saw 'double-boiler', my heart sank. I don't think baking cakes is where my love for him will shine. I am not that great in the kitchen, even though I think making the frosting would be fun. I do however know of delicate chocolate Mousse and rich wonderful cakes made by bakers at the local health food store ;)

    Well CZ, as I was leaving this comment, my son walked by. I asked what he wanted. "A homemade cake," he replied.


    "German Chocolate," he added.

    If I make a homemade cake, then I shall post a photo. I'm not really feeling it or able to get a good visualization of that happening. You know how people say if you want something then just imagine it already so? I can see a cake, but I don't see the ingredients...

    Hugs and doggie kisses xoxo

    PS I hope your nephew had/has a happy celebration this year too.

    1. Hi Dogkisses!

      This year, my sister was in the mood to handle the festivities for her son and she actually went to the store and bought a frozen chocolate cookie cake--the kind with ice cream between the layers.

      When she got home however, she absent-mindedly put it in the frig instead of the freezer so the candles had nearly sunk to the bottom of the cake when we were ready to eat it. My nephew had to hurry up and blow out the candles before they melted the rest of the cake left standing. hehehe

      Now you know why she isn't in charge of our kitchen. LOL

      Send my "Happy Birthday wishes" to your son! I hope he has a great birthday this year whether his cake is homemade or not. He is loved and that is the best gift anyone could ever hope for.

      I loved reading your comment again two years later! That's a special treat for me---knowing we're still a part of each other's life. <3

      p.s. If you decide to make his cake this year, the chocolate cake recipe on the Hershey's cocoa can is super delicious and super easy. It tends to sink in the center a bit, but that gives extra room for double dollops of frosting. ;-)



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