Chocolate Eggnog Cake


Recipe written by Anne Byrn 12/10/2001

My children anticipate eggnog season with the same eagerness they have for peaches in the summertime. And you know the cartons of eggnog will be displayed in the supermarket dairy case about the same time that candied cherries, nuts, raisins, and foil pans are placed at the front of the store. Definite signals of fruitcake season. When you can get your hands on prepared eggnog, it is time to make this great cake.

From Chocolate from the Cake Mix Doctor, page 192

SERVES: 20
PREPARATION TIME: 15 MINUTES
BAKING TIME: 38 TO 42 MINUTES
ASSEMBLY TIME: 5 MINUTES

CAKE:

Vegetable oil spray for misting the pan
Flour for dusting the pan
2 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain German chocolate cake mix
1 cup eggnog
1/3-cup brandy or water
1/4-cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2-teaspoon ground nutmeg

EGGNOG BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
3 1/2 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 to 4 tablespoons eggnog
2 teaspoons brandy or pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, for garnish (optional)

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly mist a 13- by 9-inch pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pan aside.

2. Carefully rub the chocolate along the largest holes of a cheese grater to make 1 tablespoon grated chocolate. Set it aside. Break the remaining chocolate into 5 or 6 pieces and place them in a small glass bowl. Microwave for 1 minute at high power. Stir to melt any remaining lumps.

3. Place the cake mix, eggnog, brandy, oil, eggs, vanilla, nutmeg, and melted chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pan in the oven.

4. Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger 38 to 42 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake, and invert it onto a serving platter to cool completely, 20 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting: Place the butter and 1 cup of the confectioners' sugar in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds to incorporate. Stop the machine and add the remaining confectioners' sugar, eggnog and brandy. Increase the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 1 minute. Add more confectioners' sugar if the frosting is too runny to spread. Add a touch more eggnog if it is too stiff.

6. Spread the frosting over the top and sides of the cake, using smooth clean strokes. Sprinkle the top lightly reserved grated chocolate, and with a little nutmeg if desired. Slice and serve.

Store this cake, covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap, at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Or freeze it, wrapped in foil, for up to 6 months. Thaw the cake overnight in the refrigerator before serving.