Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Chocolate Hath Charms

*** It's not Lent anymore, it's almost Christmas in The Year of Covid 19. I just found this, lingering for almost three years in my drafts folder. It's still a great recipe so there you go!

I cut this recipe out of a magazine way back in 1974. I know the date because it's still visible on the curled edges of the age-yellowed paper! That was forty years ago and it is still a hit wherever it goes (or is taken.) I lost count long ago of how many times I've made it. It was my go-to cake recipe to send to my children when they were away at college since it travels and keeps well. Whenever I was asked to bring dessert to a gathering, I knew I couldn't go wrong with this. And even more recently, when I worked in the office at a mental health clinic, having once tasted it, my co-workers would beg for this cake, one in particular who usually didn't eat cake but made an exception for this as it was "nutritious!"

It's in the oven as I write. Like Winnie the Pooh and his pals in the Hundred Acre Wood we like a little smackerel of something sweet with our tea in the evening around here. Of course it's Lent and the guilt is always with me, the nuns saw to that. We swore off candy and cakes for the forty days then gorged ourselves with chocolate on Easter Sunday. I promise not to do that. And besides, women need chocolate! I'm sure anyone reading this has had chocolate attacks in the middle of the night, getting up and rummaging through the kitchen cupboards, muttering darkly "there has to be something chocolaty here," and when there isn't taking to our beds to suffer until someone thinks to bring us some and save us from sinking into depression.....

Chocolate Oat Nut Cake

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1cup quick cooking or old fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup packed light brown (I've also used dark brown)
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs at room temperature
1 pkg(12 ozs.) semisweet chocolate pieces
3/4 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans, whatever you have)
Confectioner's sugar

Sift together flour, salt, soda and cocoa and set aside.
Put oatmeal in a bowl and stir in boiling water let stand 10 minutes. Stir in butter and the brown and granulated sugars. Add the eggs and mix well. Beat in ther flour mixture and stir 'til well combined.
Fold in half the chocolate pieces and spread in a greased 13x9x2" pan. Sprinkle remaining chocolate and the nuts on top. Note: I prefer to not mix the choc pieces into the batter. I use just a handful and sprinkle them on top with the nuts. Why? Because I found that the pieces sink if you mix them in the batter!
Bake at 350 degrees in a preheated oven for 35 - 45 mins.Poke it to check. If a toothpick comes out clean, except for chocolate(!!) then it's done.
Cool in the pan. Sprinkle with pwdred sugar if desired and serve in squares.