The Problem: Guests arriving in approximately 1.5 hours. It is Friday at the end of a long, hard week and the last thing you want to do is prepare dessert for all 6-8 people. What's wrong with buying a pre-made pie at the grocery store?
Sigh...you're just too much of a foodie for that kind of cop-out...
The Goal: Mix, bake, frost and garnish a (guest-worthy) cake in approximately 1.5 hours.
The Solution: Dig into an old edition of The Best Recipe cookbook from America's Test Kitchen and follow the Devil's Food Chocolate Cake recipe with some minor alterations.
8.00pm Dig out old edition of The Best Recipe cookbook.
8.05pm Boil 1 cup of water and gather ingredients.
8.15pm Mix cocoa with water, mix in brown sugar, yogurt and vanilla.
8.20pm Beat a stick of butter with even more sugar then add in two eggs.
8.25pm Whisk flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Add (quickly) the dry ingredients to the butter and the cocoa. Cooks Illustrated says to add each component in a third at a time. Assume this is a bunch of B.S.
8.30pm Grease pans and pour in batter. Pop pans into pre-heated oven.
8.35pm Melt *another* stick of butter along with 8 oz of bittersweet baking chocolate over low heat. Let cool on stove.
8.40pm Make up quick and easy simple syrup and blend with a cup of frozen raspberries.
8.45pm Toast sliced almonds.
Wait for cake to bake...check cake after 25 minutes. Cake is not done. Wait for cake to bake some more. Check again and again...
9.15pm Cake that according to Cook's Illustrated should have taken only 25 minutes to bake is now nearly done. Let cake cool on stovetop.
9.20pm First guests arrive.
9.25pm Get boyfriend to pour drinks and distract guests while attempting to flip cake out of "non-stick" baking pan. Consider how much easier this would be with a springform mold.
9.30pm. Let cake sit in hopes that it will cool. Grimace at chunk of cake that is still stuck to baking pan that should have been "non-stick."
9.35pm. Pour chocolate butter frosting over still *very* warm cake. Sprinkle on sliced almonds and shove the entire thing into fridge. Hope it will set more quickly this way.
10pm. All guests have arrived and are sipping bubbly. Boyfriend mentions actually serving the dessert.
10.05pm. Cake is sliced, served with (very) yummy raspberry sauce and ice cream. It is all very well received.
10.15pm. Everyone sits around in sugar coma, happy.
11.50pm. Say good night to guests. Leave all dishes for boyfriend to clean up tomorrow.
12.15am. Go to bed.