Hot Cocoa Cake
when you want something sweet that isn't a cookie
I’ve settled into an evening routine of hot cocoa before bedtime while curled up in the requisite flannel pajamas this time of year. While sipping my hot cocoa one evening recently, I was reminded of a cake I developed for Marley Spoon last December—a deep chocolate cake topped with a crackled chocolate meringue, and in between those layers, a pudding-like chocolate layer forms making it what Matthew recently called the best chocolate cake he’s ever eaten.
It’s rich, so while it might seem like a small single layer cake, all you need is a sliver. This cake is also one that has staying power. Wrapped in parchment paper it keeps well, settling into a dense cake with an even richer chocolate flavor. If you’re looking for something sweet that isn’t a cookie this Christmas, I think this cake will satisfy your cravings.
The base itself comes together in one bowl with just a whisk. An electric mixer is always my preferred method for whipping the egg whites and sugar into a meringue but you can use a whisk to whip them, too. When whipping egg whites to make meringue, it’s important to add the sugar slowly—very slowly. If you rush this process, your meringue will deflate.
One last note about this cake: it’s naturally dairy-free since I find oil-based chocolate cakes to be far superior to butter-based ones. Writing in this space doesn’t allow me to add tags (maybe it does and I just don’t know how yet?!) or categorize recipes, but I know there’s at least a few of you would appreciate knowing it’s inherently dairy-free. I’ve not tested it with gluten-free flours but if anyone gives that a try (because I know someone will ask if it’s possible), please do share your experience in the comments.
I’m in a little disbelief that it's already December 23rd. Feels like just yesterday I woke up on Thanksgiving, excited to start Christmas cookie baking and watch my fair share of cheesy Christmas movies. The more I wish the happy, quiet moments would stand still, the faster they seem to whoosh by.
Wishing you all the merriest and happiest of days, and sending peace-filled vibes. Remember kindness is a free gift you can give any day of the year. —xo,j.
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