MLK Day

January 2011

I always appreciated having a day off school or work, but it never seemed an appropriate commemoration of a man who gave his life for equality.  When I was in college, the administration must have shared my view because they gave us a half day and the opportunity to attend lectures on the history and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.  This year, I spent the day reflecting as I do best- in front of a mixer and cake supplies!

How to make a statement about MLK’s tenets in a cake?  Part of my inspiration stemmed from a classic Seinfeld quote…

Jerry: You see, Elaine, the key to eating a black and white cookie is that you wanna get some black and some white in each bite. Nothing mixes better than vanilla and chocolate. And yet still somehow racial harmony eludes us. If people would only look to the cookie, all our problems would be solved.

Having already dabbled in social commentary via a Black & White Cookie, I created a cake of equal layers of dark and white chocolate, resulting in a decadent blend of flavors. 

The dog lent moral support to the entire effort.

Base Ingredients

3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1-⅓ cups Dutch-processed Cocoa
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
2 cups organic evaporated cane juice sugar
1 cup local wildflower honey
2 sticks Unsalted Butter, melted
4 whole, local, free-range Eggs
2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant coffee

Topping Ingredients

16 oz (2 packages) Cream Cheese, at room temperature
2 sticks organic unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 whole local, free-range eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups Organic Powdered Sugar
1 cup local maple sugar
1 chunk of fancy Callebaut white chocolate

Preparation Instructions

Heat the oven to 350 F and grease a 9″x13″ and a round, spring-form pan with butter.  Line the 9×13 pan with unbleached, parchment paper.

For the Base

In the bowl of a mixer combine the flour, cocoa, baking power, baking soda, salt, and sugar until well mixed.

Dissolve the instant coffee in the vanilla.  Set aside.

Add the melted butter, all the eggs, honey and vanilla and mix until a stiff dough forms. Turn the dough out into the prepared pan and press it so it covers the pan evenly. Set aside.

For the Topping

Melt the white chocolate chunk in a maria bath.

In a medium bowl cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth and evenly mixed. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Next add the vanilla, powdered sugar and melted white chocolate and mix until thoroughly combined.

Pour the topping over the base and spread evenly.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the top is browned and the center is just slightly jiggly.

Cool at room temperature for one hour then chill in the refrigerator until very cold, at least 2 hours or overnight.

Enjoy!

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