In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, ground coffee, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and baking powder, mixing well.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together sugar and oil. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, beating well.
In a microwave-safe bowl, mix together milk and instant coffee. Microwave, uncovered, on High for 20 seconds, until just slightly warm. Mix until coffee is dissolved. Add to egg mixture, mixing well.
Stir in dry ingredients alternately with brewed coffee, making three additions of dry and two of coffee, mixing just until smooth.
Spread batter in prepared pan, smoothing top. Sprinkle chopped chocolate over batter. Lightly press chocolate into batter, but not too much or else it will all sink to bottom of pan. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean and cake starts to pull away from sides of pan. Let cake cool in pan on a rack for 15 minutes.
Chocolate Glaze: In a microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate and cream. Microwave, uncovered, on Medium (50%) for 1 minute, stirring every 30 seconds, or until cream is hot and chocolate is starting to melt. Stir well until chocolate is melted and mixture is thick and smooth. If chocolate is not completely melted, return to microwave for another 10 to 20 seconds or until chocolate is soft and melted. Stir well. If glaze is very thin, let stand for a few minutes to thicken slightly.
Carefully invert cake onto a large plate. When cake is cool, pour glaze over top. Refrigerate until glaze is firm.
Variations: This cake can be baked in a Bundt pan, but omit the chopped chocolate. (The chocolate will sink to the bottom and make pan removal almost impossible.) If baking it into a Bundt cake, serve it with a dark chocolate sauce to make up for the missing chopped chocolate in the cake. This cake looks great garnished with a sprinkle of chocolate-covered espresso beans or grated or finely chopped chocolate.
These chocolate cookies are the perfect size when you want something big and chocolaty. I like to serve them for dessert, lightly dusted with confectioner's sugar. But even without the dusting their taste and texture is so light and airy, just like a cloud. Alternatively, you can make these much smaller, scooping them by the teaspoon.
Makes 16 large cookies
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) Need: 2 baking sheets, lined with parchment paper
In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate, uncovered, on Medium (50%) for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, or until chocolate is soft and almost melted. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Let cool slightly.
In a bowl, using an electric mixer, whip egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, whipping until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into chocolate just until blended. Fold in coconut.
Scoop batter with 1⁄4-cup (50 mL) measure and mound on prepared baking sheets, about 3 inches (7.5 cm) apart. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until puffed, cracked and lightly firm to the touch. Let cool completely on baking sheets on racks.
TIPS Don't make these cookies on a rainy day, as the moisture will affect the cookies (they won't be crisp, but will be sticky instead). These cookies are best eaten the day they're made. Do not remove these cookies from the baking sheets until they are completely cool. They are quite fragile and will break if you try to lift them off the parchment paper too early.
It's fun to help a recipe evolve. This one started out as a chocolate banana muffin, but then I decided that it would be fabulous as little loaves. If you can't find mini-loaf pans, don't worry. You can bake the batter in an ordinary muffin pan. See how things evolve?
Makes 12 mini loaves (see tips, below)
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) Need: 1 mini loaf pan or 12-cup muffin tin, greased
7 ounces (210 g) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, divided 2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon (5 mL) baking soda 1⁄2 teaspoon (2 mL) baking powder 1⁄4 teaspoon (1 mL) salt 1 cup (250 mL) mashed ripe bananas 3⁄4 cup (175 mL) granulated sugar 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) vegetable oil 1⁄3 cup (75 mL) sour cream 2 eggs 1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla 1 cup (250 mL) walnut pieces
In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave 3 ounces (90g) chocolate on Medium (50%) for 1 to 1-1⁄2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, or until chocolate is shiny and almost melted. Stir until smooth. Let cool slightly.
In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, oil, sour cream, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Mix in melted chocolate.
Stir flour mixture into banana mixture just until combined. Stir in walnuts and remaining chocolate. Scoop batter into prepared pans.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer to rack and let cool completely.
TIPS You should be able to find mini-loaf pans at a well-stocked grocery or home store. If you can't bake 12 mini loaves at a time, bake the extra batter in a muffin tin or refrigerate the remaining batter and bake once the mini loaf pan is cooled. Be sure to grease the cooled pan before adding the second batch of batter. These cakes freeze very well. Store them in resealable plastic freezer bags for up to 1 month.
Recipes from125 BEST CHOCOLATE RECIPES by Julie Hasson (Robert Rose, Inc.; $18.95/Trade Paperback/$19.95 Canada; September 2004)