Cake & Carnitas | Teddy & Isaac

Just a quick post to share these great photos Matt took from Teddy’s birthday party this past weekend. Teddy wanted a chocolate cake. I prefer a vanilla birthday cake, so I wasn’t too excited. I’d already decided I was going to make carnitas for the pa…

Just a quick post to share these great photos Matt took from Teddy's birthday party this past weekend. Teddy wanted a chocolate cake. I prefer a vanilla birthday cake, so I wasn't too excited. I'd already decided I was going to make carnitas for the parents at the party (and the kids if they wanted, but uhm, they didn't) and was using the recipe from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. While flipping through the book, I saw Nosrat's recipe titled "Lori's Chocolate Midnight Cake." It was the way Nosrat described it that sold it to me: like one of those 90s-style, super moist, cake-mix cakes that she grew up on. I, too, grew up on those cakes and I gotta say, this chocolate cake is so so so nostalgic but also so so so good. I really feel like I found my chocolate cake recipe for LIFE. I paired it with a standard cream-cheese frosting, though one I added a nice amount of orange zest to, and the combination was truly A+. 
Please note Teddy's red, sweaty, post-trampoline-session face 
Carnitas-in-progress
I also, of course, wanted to share THIS:


I wish I had more time to comment/write about other things, but right now my free time is going into my next book. I'm currently really close to finishing a draft and need to keep my head down and plow forward. In the mean time, go ahead and take your lizard for a ride (this is a reference to something that happens in above video).

Lori's Chocolate Midnight Cake via Samin Nosrat's Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat
1/2 cup (2 ounces) Dutch-process cocoa powder, preferably Valrhona
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 3/4 cups (9 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup neutral-tasting oil
1 1/2 cups boiling water or freshly brewed strong coffee
2 large eggs at room temperature, lightly whisked

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set a rack in the upper third of the oven.

Grease two 8-inch cake pans, then line with parchment paper. Grease and sprinkle generously with flour, tap out the excess, and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, salt, flour, and baking soda, then sift into a large bowl.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and gradually whisk in the water-oil mixture until incorporated. Gradually whisk in the eggs and stir until smooth. The batter will be thin.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Drop the pan onto the counter from a height of 3 inches a couple of times to release any air bubbles that may have formed.

Bake in the upper third of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cakes spring back from the touch and just pull away from the edges of the pan. An inserted toothpick should come out clean.

Cool the cakes completely on a wire rack before unmolding them from the pan and peeling off the parchment paper. To serve, place one layer down on a cake plate. Spread 1 cup frosting of your choice (Whipped cream with a bit of sugar and vanilla extract is Nosrat's recommendation.) in the center of the cake and gently place the second layer atop it. Spread the remaining frosting or whipped cream on top.

Tightly wrapped, this cake will keep for 4 days at room temperature, or for 2 months in the freezer.