Wednesday, February 27, 2013

When a plan goes oh so wrong: Chocolate Chip Cake

Excuse my absence for this past week.  I took a brief hiatus last week, which was the 4th anniversary of Thatdad's death.  I went up to spend the afternoon/evening with Thatmom, Thatbrother, and UDubb. 

There's an interesting paradox when dealing with death and the passage of time.  At once it feels like an instant and an eternity since Thatdad was giving me a hard time, offering advice, or answering useless trivia questions. This past year without him has felt the most "normal" so far.  Probably because I've been a little preoccupied with the other men in my life. 

And I've also been beyond busy with work.  Which has kept me preoccupied, but also made my blogging break a little longer than I was anticipating.  Which means I am just now able to share with you my special Valentine's Day treat I brought in for my coworkers.

Have you ever had a happy accident?  Like the guy who dropped a ball of peanut butter in a vat of chocolate?  That's what happened with me and this cake.  My plan was simple enough - a chocolate chip cake with a carmel-y frosting. 

Except (you knew there was going to be an except, right?) something went wrong with my candy thermometer.  You see, I've been doing a lot of boiled frostings since Thatboy complained that a lot of my frosting tastes like "confectioner sugar."  I love boiled frostings and they're pretty easy to make- if you have a candy thermometer and can take the sugar off the heat when it hits the soft ball stage.

And my candy thermometer died while making this frosting.  Which meant it must have gone past soft ball stage to hard as a rock stage.  The stage where frosting is less spreading it on to the cake and more trying not to rip the cake to shreds.

The weird thing is - this turned into something incredibly delicious.  Thatboy thinks it was one of the best things I've made in a while.  My coworkers loved the "toffee" topping.  So I guess the moral of this story is that even a disaster can be a success.

Chocolate Chip Cake with Caramel Frosting
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups dark brown sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

  1. Preheat the oven to 400.  Spray an 8x8 pan with baking spray.  Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large bowl.
  2. Mix the butter, milk, and egg in a separate bowl.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir, just until combined.  
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips.  Pour into the pan and bake for 25 minutes.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out to a rack and cool completely before frosting.
  5. Mix the brown sugar and cream in a heavy bottomed an and boil without stirring until the mixture reaches 234 degrees.
  6. Let cool, then mix until creamy.  Stir in raisins and walnuts and frost the cake.


  1. If everyone enjoyed it then it was a success.

  2. I'm so sorry about your dad, Kate, and I'm glad you could be with your mom and brother! I do love happy frosting accidents.

  3. This looks like the type of dessert I would spend too much time making small cuts in to even out the shape, resulting in eating way too much. Hope your time with your family was enjoyable. Your description of it feeling like an instance and eternity makes a lot of sense.

  4. I want to be one of your coworkers.