Chocolate cake ‘Mascota’
The first dessert that I wanted to post on the blog just had to be my future mother-in-law’s recipe of Mascota chocolate cake.
Mascota means mascot, I could not find out why it’s called this way. My in-laws live in the south-western part of Romania, in the Oltenia region to be precise. Here, in Bucharest, the name Mascota is given to an entirely different dessert: a ganache-based cream with candied orange peel, covered in a thick layer of chocolate. Even so, my fiancé’s mother’s recipe clearly states that this is the name we should give to this cake, so I certainly won’t modify it!
The first time I ate this cake was during college, when I spent my first New Year’s Eve with my (now) soon-to-be husband. It was so good that I had to get the recipe right away. His mother told me that she got it from one of her colleagues more than 10 years ago, and she always follows the recipe with extreme accuracy.
When I tried to bake this cake for the first time, we lived in a rented apartment, and the oven we had was a complete disaster! I tried the recipe several times before managing to get it right, exactly how my future mother-in-law does, but when I got the hang of it, I started making it for everyone around me, mostly friends and family. I promise you, if you follow the recipe and your oven is your friend (unlike my old one), you will see that it is easy to make and it will turn out fantastic.
The brownie-like batter transforms into a spongy, puffy cake base, and the creamy topping is filled with rum and vanilla flavors. Oh, that topping! Why is it that good? It has 2 sticks of butter in it! No, this is not a cake for folks who are on a diet, but a piece or two, occasionally, shared with family and friends, is divine.
Top it with sour cherries from compote (or even ‘dizzy cherries’, picked from our visinata drink, a sour cherry liquor) and some shredded coconut, and you will find out why this is the cake of my dreams.
100 g (3.5 oz.) butter
400 g (2 cups) sugar
1 rum flavoring essence
½ vanilla flavoring essence
10 g (2 teaspoons) baking powder
250 ml (1 cup) milk
4 tablespoons cocoa
270 g (9.5 oz.) flour
250 g (1 ¼ cups) sugar
250 g (2 sticks) butter
3 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons cocoa
300 ml (1 ¼ cups) milk
2 rum flavoring essences
1 sour cherry compote
100 grams (1 ½ cup) shredded coconut
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Lightly beat the eggs with the soft butter, add the sugar and mix well.
- Add the cocoa and the rum and vanilla flavorings. Mix well until everything is combined.
- Mix the flour with the baking powder, then add this mixture gradually to the batter, alternating with the milk.
- Pour the batter into a buttered, rectangular cake pan, and bake it at 180°C (350°F) in a preheated oven for 35-40 minutes.
- Take the cake out of the oven and leave it in the pan to cool.
- Dissolve the flour in 50 ml cold milk. Make sure you don’t have any lumps.
- In a large sauce pan, beat the eggs with the sugar and the cocoa. Add 250 ml milk and place the pan on the stove, on low to medium heat. Add the flour and milk mixture.
- Stir constantly and pay extra attention when it starts to boil, so that the cream doesn’t stick to the pan. Stir vigorously until the mixture thickens.
- Add the rum flavoring, stir a few times, and remove from the stove.
- Add the butter to the hot cream and mix until they are well combined.
- Let the cream cool for 20-30 minutes, then pour it on top of the cake base.
- Sprinkle the shredded coconut all over the cake, and decorate with sour cherries.
- Let the cake cool in the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving.