Kristin Simmons is the owner and Head Baker in her company, Kristin F. Simmons, located in Kennebunkport, Maine. She is also a wife, mother, and home chef. She created her company as a way to bring together all of the passions in her life. She was trained as a chef by her father. You can read her bio on my CityRoom article.

Kristin will have Belizean Chocolate Cake with Frosting at the Kennebunkport Festival 2012, as she has just finished a stint of being on-site in Belize and learning about all the foods.

This is an oil cake recipe – no butter is used. This results in a moist cake that can keep for several days. It’s easy and can be mixed in one bowl. Belizean chocolate comes from Criollo, Forestero and Trinitario beans. The result is a rich, nutty and fruity note to the chocolate that can be tasted in your finished products.

Makes 2, 10″ rounds or 36 cupcakes

Belizean Chocolate Cake with Frosting

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups cocoa powder – preferably from Belize. I like Kakaw brand. Do not use “Dutched” powder for this recipe. Ghiradelli or Valrhona are great alternatives.

3 cups sugar

1 tablespoon baking soda.

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder – I like Bakewell Cream for the most loft.

3 cups King Arthur All Purpose Flour – sifted

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3 eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 cups warm water

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

3/4 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons Belizean Vanilla extract -I like “Belize Spice Farm.”  Any good Bourbon vanilla can also be used.

1/2 cup extra cocoa powder for dusting pans

Shortening for pans or wrappers for cupcakes

Method:

Grease pans with shortening and dust with extra cocoa powder.  Line with parchment paper. If making cupcakes, line tins with wrappers.

Preheat the over to 350 F degrees.

In bowl of electric mixer, mix all dry ingredients with paddle attachment on low speed to combine.

Continue on low speed and add eggs, water, buttermilk and oil.

Scrape down sides to combine.  Continue on low speed, beat until smooth – about 2 minutes.

Pour batter into pans or scoop into cupcakes wrappers using spring loaded ice-cream scoop.

Fill cups a generous 1/2 full.

For cakes, bake 35-40 minutes and check, rotating as needed.

Bake 5-10 more until cakes are springy.

You should be able to smell the cakes.

Poke cake tester or toothpick into center of cakes. It should come out clean.

For cupcakes, bake 15-18 minutes.

Cool 30 minutes and then turn cakes out on to rack before frosting. Cool completely and then frost with desired icing.

Kakaw-style Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients:

3 sticks (1 ½ cups) butter

1 1/3 cups Kakaw cocoa powder

3 pounds powdered sugar

1 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon best quality vanilla extract

Melt 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) butter.

Add 1 1/3 cup Kakaw cocoa powder to melted butter in bowl of electric mixer with whisk attachment.

Beat until smooth.

Scrape down sides and prepare to add 3 pounds powdered sugar, alternating with 1 cup whole milk.

Add in additions like this: 1 pound sugar, 1/3 cup milk, 1 pound sugar, 1/3 cup milk and so on until all sugar and milk are used.

Frosting should be smooth but not runny.

Add more powdered sugar if too runny, more milk if too dry.

Just before finishing, add 1 tablespoon best quality vanilla extract.

Frost cake or cupcakes with pastry bag fitted with large star attachment.  Pipe in large swirls and top with chocolate pieces or chocolate chips.

Keeps 3-4 days wrapped or under cake dome.

WINE PAIRING: Cake is served best with after dinner drink like Alcyone Tanat Wine from Uruguay.  The wine has rich chocolate, and sweet floral notes that make the cake taste even more decadent. Alcyone Tanat is available through Devenish Wines of Maine.

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This event is produced and presented by Maine Magazine in cooperation with The Kennebunkport Festival Committee. There are many sponsors who support this endeavor as it benefits Share our Strength. The event will have art shows, cocktail parties, dinners and unforgettable experiences.

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Maralyn D. HillThe Epicurean Explorer

President, International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association

Editor-at-Large, CityRoom

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