Well guys….I finally did it!! I finally did some baking with basil!!! That only took about a year. I’m not sure why I got the major slant going on. Usually the middle of the cake sinks?? But that’s neither here nor there.
When I started Baking with Basil, I never actually knew you could do such a thing. I always assumed it was for pesto, margherita pizza, sandwiches and so on. The title was just my quirky spin on posting recipes about baking and cooking. So I set out to find a recipe that was truly a sugary and sweet baked good.
Now, I’m not a huge fan of chocolate cake. If I had my choice it would be plain ol’ vanilla or strawberry and loaded with frosting. I was that girl at birthday parties that would ruin the cake by swiping my fingers across the frosting. OK – not really, I think I was too shy to do something like that, but I was always tempted to. I think the reason I’m not too keen on chocolate cake is because it doesn’t really have a rich chocolate flavor. It’s like a weak hot chocolate – just not worth the calories. I’m getting way off track……
This cake is definitely worth sparing a few calories or running a few extra minutes. The chocolate cake is wonderfully flavored and moist (I HATE that word – but it really is the best way to describe it). And the chocolate ganache adds an extra layer of depth. The directions call for you to add sugar and basil to a food processor and pulse until combined. The mixture turns into this gorgeous green sand that smells amazing! I was surprised by how much the chocolate over powered the basil in the cake. You could tell there was basil in it but there was a subtleness that was very pleasant. Who knew basil and chocolate would make such a great couple! Know somebody that loves chocolate cake, switch it up this time and try this one! I took sample size bites into work and it got rave reviews. Hope you are having a great week!!
Chocolate Basil Cake
Recipe adapted from Enlightened Cooking
- Nonstick baking spray with flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves (plus addition leaves for garnish)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup hot water
Chocolate Ganache Ingredients
- 8 oz bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp butter, cut into cubes
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick baking spray with flour.
2. Place the sugar and basil in a food processor. Process until basil is chopped fine and uniformly green in color (it will look slightly wet). Take a moment for a deep breath…..so summery!
3. In a large bowl whisk the melted butter, cocoa powder and basil sugar until well-blended. Whisk in the eggs, 1 at a time, until blended and smooth. Stir in the baking soda, vanilla, and salt.
4. Gradually add flour to bowl, stirring just until blended (do not overstir). Add hot water to mixture, stirring just until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
5. Bake 22-25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into squares. Cool completely.
6. Prepare ganache: Place chopped chocolate and butter in a large bowl. In a saucepan, heat heavy cream over medium high heat. Stirring frequently until cream starts to boil. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate. Stir until chocolate and butter melt and mixture is smooth. Allow ganache to cool, stirring occasionally until thickened but not pasty, about 10-12 minutes.
7. Spread over cake and garnish with basil leaves, if desired.
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