New week, new recipe, New Year, new you!
This past week was the Russian Old New Year. One of my dearest friends who I have met in Charleston is from Russia, so of course this is something that she celebrates. My wonderful friend, Elena, invited Roberto and I, along with some of our other friends, over to celebrate with her and her boyfriend—and it was amazing! She told us all about the traditions, all about why it’s particularly special, and heck, I even ate dinner at 9:00, on a Wednesday night, wild, right?!
A few days before this big party, my friend asked us to all give her 13 fortunes that we hoped to happen this year, a few to be silly, but mostly things we really wished to come true this year for ourselves. Mine ranged from eat more avocado toast (hehe) to be your own boss to Patriot’s will win the Superbowl! She wrapped all of these little fortunes inside of foil, and then stuffed them into some insanely delicious onion and potato dumplings—140 to be exact, AND Elena made them all herself…
What her families tradition is, is that you each eat as many dumplings as you can, just so that you get oodles of fortunes!...I somehow managed 16 or 17 dumplings…
After, we would read each one aloud and then Elena would truly dissect what was to happen to us this year, and that we all were to have an incredibly happy and successful 2016!
Some of our friends’ were about travel, others about career change, and mine were about being surrounded by wonderful friends and family, good health, and just all around happiness—which is 100% what I went into this year saying. Crazy coincidence, no?!
With all of these positive vibes going around, all starting with a hilarious evening with some of the greatest and most unique friends, I decided that I wanted to treat myself, and Roberto, even more! While I may be a fulltime ice-cream maker, we are about 90% of the time extremely healthy folks. Green smoothies and yogurt for breakfast, salad, carrots and hummus, fruit slices for lunch, soups, fish, grains for dinner—I can’t say that I hate it! Yes, eating to healthfully fuel our bodies is such an amazing choice that we are so lucky to have, which is why I decided to ditch the apple and peanut butter dessert for some moist, decadent chocolate cake with just a hint of coffee and a smooth maple buttercream!
Small indulgences, right? That’s what I am all about for this New Year New You thing I’ve got going on!
What do I love about this cake? First off—chocolate. Secondly, the dark cocoa, the sour cream, the great quality coffee, all of these make for such a dense, rich, spoil-me cake, that the smallest of slices is enough to satisfy. Thirdly, this heavenly cake hardly needs a frosting, but there are some things I can’t help myself with, so a lightly flavored maple buttercream certainly goes a long way—definitely doesn’t overpower, but complements perfectly the hint of coffee in the cake.
So the question, what has this Russian Old New Year taught me in its first few days? Well, definitely not to eat 16 mouthwatering dumplings in one sitting, but also that with good health and happiness, you need to treat yourself as fabulously as you treat others—and if that means a slice of this absolutely divine cake, then enjoy each bite!
Flour—5 oz, or 1 C
Cocoa Powder—1.75 oz, or ½ C + 1 TBL
Baking Powder—½ tsp
Baking Soda—¼ tsp
Coffee Grounds—0.25 oz, or 1 TBL
Butter, room temperature—6 oz, or ¾ C
Brown Sugar—9.25 oz, or 1 ¼ C
Cream—4 oz, or ½ C
Sour Cream—4 oz, or ½ C
Chocolate Chips—3 oz, or ½ C
Preheat the oven to 325˚ F.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the coffee grounds.
In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.
Beat until smooth.
Slowly add in half of your dry, sifted ingredients.
Once incorporated, scrape the sides of your bowl and add in the sour cream.
When fully mixed in, add in the second half of your dry ingredients.
Add in the cream.
When you have added in all of the ingredients and they are completely incorporated, fold in the chocolate chips.
Spray either a loaf pan or an 8” cake pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper.
Pour your batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55-60 minutes, until the cake springs back when you touch it.
Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack before frosting it!
Butter, room temperature—4 oz, or ½ C, or 1 stick
Confectioner’s Sugar—5.25 oz, or 1 C
Maple Syrup—0.75 oz, or 2 tsp
Cream—0.75 oz, or 4 tsp
In the bowl of your mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
Slowly add in the sifted confectioner’s sugar.
Once the butter and sugar have become very smooth, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
With the mixer in low, slowly stream in the maple syrup and cream.
Add in the cinnamon.
Cream until smooth.
Now this is ready to frost your cooled cake! You may either do the entire top, or give everyone a dollop on their own slice.