Saturday, March 22, 2014

Brazilian Chocolate Poke Cake ("Bolo Nega Maluca")

 One Saturday afternoon this past August, I was standing over the counter with my grandmother in her kitchen in Brazil. We had a chocolate cake, still steaming from the oven, in front of us; she instructed me to poke the cake all over with a fork, and then pour on a warm, sticky glaze. With a touch of chocolate sprinkles, our "afternoon snack" was ready. We set it down on the dining room table, and with the whole family constantly coming in and out of the house, it didn't live to see the next day.
My takeaway from this little experience was that infusing an incredibly light, fluffy chocolate cake with syrupy fudge is always a good idea. A "poke cake" is (perhaps quite obviously) one that has been, wait for it, no way, poked and then had some kind of sauce poured over it; this becomes like a glaze that also makes the inside of the cake wonderfully moist and indulgent, without being overly complicated.
This is the type of cake you always want to keep around for munching on or serving up with cups of coffee. Chocolatey, rich (yet somehow an acceptable snack), and easy to whip up in a matter of minutes? I'm in.
 Brazilian Chocolate Poke Cake ("Bolo Nega Maluca")
(recipe from my grandmother)

for the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8" square cake pan.
 Sift together dry ingredients. Combine all ingredients in a blender; blend until just combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. While the cake is baking, make the glaze.

for the glaze:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup sweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup milk
chocolate sprinkles, for decorating

Combine all ingredients except sprinkles in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stirring constantly, simmer until thickened into a sauce.
While the cake is still warm, poke all over with a fork or a wooden skewer. Pour the warm glaze over the cake and decorate with chocolate sprinkles.
Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.

*Note: The recipe's title, in Portuguese, is actually kind of racist and not that nice. That said, it's how everybody refers to the cake, so pick your battles, I guess...


Von said...

I've always wanted to try poke cake- not only because it sounds amazing, but because poking a cake sounds extremely fun haha :) Yours looks great- I'll definitely have to give this a try sometime! I wish my grandma had recipes like this to pass down to me ;)

Sophia said...

Thank you! This is actually one of the few recipes my grandma still makes - she's not much of a baker ;)