This month for Secret Recipe Club, I had Grandma Loy's Kitchen. It wasn't hard to pick a recipe. When I saw the chocolate ripple cake, I knew that was the one. Sometimes life is just like that. Now Grandma Loy had warned that her ripple didn't ripple in her recipe. Instead it sank to the bottom of her cake making a sort of cheesecake layer on the bottom. I was hoping mine would ripple, but was totally cool with it if it didn't because I thought that cheesecake layer on the bottom looked delish.
Well, it didn't ripple.
But it is delish. The cake is light and chocolate-y. In some ways the texture is a lot like a cake mix cake. For some people that light, moist cake box texture is a huge selling point, though I know there are others thinking, "I'm not reading food blogs so I can make something that tastes like a boxed cake." So let me emphasize that the flavor is so much more delicious than a boxed cake (which always tastes like fake chocolate to me). Light, chocolate, simple cake. And then that cheesecake-ish layer on the bottom almost gave it a tres leches sort of flavor. Top it with a frosting of your choice and you're in business (we used chocolate of course, though I think a rich vanilla might have been even better). This cake with its cheesecake bum could also totally rock a berry sauce instead of (or in addition to) the frosting. It could even be a sort of upside down cake. The cheesecake layer doesn't stick at all, so you could easily flip this baby over, drizzle some raspberry sauce over it and go nuts.
And if you're still pining for the ripple that wasn't, know this: The only change I made to the original rippling recipe is that I used butter instead of shortening (Grandma Loy used butter too). Thus, the original recipe was either a fluke or shortening is how you'd get a ripple. However, I would never use shortening in a cake recipe not for a million years even if you paid me (unless you paid me more than $5 in which case I could probably be persuaded to make you a nasty shortening cake). But I wouldn't do it for a ripple, not when you get your tasty cheesecake bottom and a buttery chocolate cake as a consolation prize.
Cheesecake Bottom Chocolate Cake
adapted from Grandma Loy's Kitchen
Makes 1 9x13 or 2 layers
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Cook time: 40-45 minutes (for 9x13, probably less for layers)
Cost: $3.95 (or about $.15/small piece)
butter: .50, sugar: .15, eggs: .10, flour: .20, cocoa: .35, buttermilk: .75 (or .25 if you make your own buttermilk from milk and vinegar), cream cheese: 1.00, butter: .15, sweetened condensed milk: 1.00, egg: .10, other stuff: .15
For the Cake:
1/2 C (1 stick) butter (I melt mine; I believe this makes for moister cake)
1 1/2 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 2/3 C all-purpose flour
2/3 C cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 C buttermilk
For the cheesecake:
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp butter softened
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
Grease 1 9x13 inch pan. Preheat oven to 350.
In a large mixing bowl, melt butter. Add sugars and beat. Add eggs and vanilla and beat.
In a smaller bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add part of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Beat. Then add about 1/2 the buttermilk to the batter. Beat. Add more dry ingredients. Beat. Add the rest of the buttermilk. Beat. Add any remaining dry ingredients. Beat. (Note: This is the textbook way to add dry ingredients and milk to a batter. But sometimes I'm lazy and plop things all in. I do think it's better when you alternate though.)
Pour your batter into your greased pan.
Now make your cheesecake part. Beat cream cheese, butter, and cornstarch. To this gradually add in your sweetened condensed milk, beating all the while. Then beat in egg and vanilla.
Pour this over your chocolate cake batter as evenly as possible. It will look like this:
Bake this at 350 for about 40 minutes. (Mine took 45.)
Remove from oven. If you're making a layer cake, let layers cool 10 minutes, then turn them out on racks to cool completely. If you've gone the lazy road like me and make a 9x13, then just let it sit there.
When it's cook, frost it with Kip's Fudge Frosting or Vanilla Butter Frosting or any other frosting that floats your boat. Truth be told, I think this cake could stand alone without frosting (gasp)--yes, I do.