It's been almost a month since we had anything chocolate around here. I know, I don't know what's wrong with me either. But let's right it, shall we?
Before we go any further, I feel I must clarify what I'm talking about when I say "coffee cake." This is not the sort of cake you eat with coffee, like a crumb-cake or that wickedly good cranberry-orange upside down cake. It's more of a literal coffee cake, a rich, chocolate cake loaded with enough espresso to give you the same jolt your morning cup o' joe would. Only you can chew it. And when push comes to shove, I will always take food over drink.
That, and my family gene pool makes me a sitting duck for heart problems, so I try to avoid caffeine at all costs, but I feel like this doesn't count. I mean, if I eat it, my conscience can be clear when the doctor asks me about my coffee consumption and I tell him, "None, no never, never touch the stuff." I use this irrational rationale all the time - like when I swore off soda but had a root beer bundt cake instead, or dumping booze into baked goods that I wouldn't drink straight up. It's all in how you look at it.
I don't know what it is about graduate school nights, the long day and lack of sweets; the mind-scattering thoughts that start to kick in at 9:15 p.m. when I am still in a classroom in Baltimore, kicking my heels off under the desk and wondering if it will be too late to bake by the time I get back home (an hour and a half later, ugh); or the ice cold wind that creeps down my neck during the trek back to my car, cursing those same high heels while the undergraduates pad all around campus in their squishy boots and leggings while I have to be a grown-up, but I always crave chocolate cake.
This recipe comes from the same book that brought us the most luxurious black cocoa brownie wedges (well, tweaked by yours truly) ever to grace this girl's lips, so I didn't think twice about flipping back to find another chocolate cake recipe - because you can really never have too many. This one is more along the lines of a mocha cake with a double whammy of espresso powder and brewed coffee in the batter, studded with nubs of chocolate chips in each slice and a slick of chocolate frosting on the top (should your little heart desire), you might just be able to sidestep that cup of coffee and have this instead.
P.S. Thank you to everyone who has voted for Give a Girl a Cookie at the Mobbie Awards! It's been a close race so far and it's been really fun having new readers, so if you haven't voted yet, hop on over there and do it! You can vote for me in the Foodie category and for Best Overall, so you'll be voting twice. You can vote once a day until November 12. 'mmkay, thanks!
Chocolate Espresso Coffee Cake
Adapted from Brownie Points
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, soft
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1 cup brewed coffee, cooled
1 cup chocolate chips
Center a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the sugars and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the melted butter with the cocoa to hydrate it, set aside.
Add the eggs to the butter/sugar mixture one at a time, beating for a full minute after each addition. Add the butter and cocoa mixture and mix until just combined. Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the cooled coffee, until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, mix in the chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs stuck to it. (My ovens runs a little hot so it may take up to 50 minutes for your cake to bake through, but start checking it at 35.) Allow the cake to rest in the pan for about 20 minutes before turning it out.
Dust with powdered sugar to serve or make a lazy frosting as I did. I don't have a recipe for it because I eyeballed it, but whisk together enough powdered sugar with milk and a few heaping tablespoons of cocoa until it's a spreadable frosting.