I could not in good conscience let Jun-blog’s third pass without a proper birthday cake. Birthdays are never complete without cake. It is a fact of life. An unavoidable truth. Irrefutable, in my book.

And so I made a cake. It wasn’t a sinful seven-layer or a meticulous meringue but a simple chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. But, mind you, the chocolate cake was like no other chocolate cake. I used tablea [tab-ley-ah], the thick, round blocks of Filipino cacao for a Filipino twist. I crushed a few blocks of Antonio Pueo into fine powder in my heavy almires [ahl-mee-res], mortar and pestle, and added it to the usual suspects. The result of the alchemy is a cake that is deeply rich in flavor and so delightfully moist.

The six-inch cake worked well for me and Dennis plus our neighbors. It left us with no guilt but with little extra slices for breakfast the following day. For a nine-inch chocolate cake, double the recipe or better yet head over to Yummy Magazine to grab the original.


Chocolate Tablea Cake Recipe
Recipe adapted from Yummy Magazine, makes one 6-inch one-layer or multi-layer cake

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup crushed tablea chocolate, about 3 tablets
1/2 cup boiling water
3/4 cup plus two tablespoons cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
pinch of salt
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup plus two tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour two 6-inch round pans.

Combine cocoa powder, tablea, and boiling water in a bowl, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Cream butter and sugar in another bowl using a mixer on medium speed. Add egg and beat well. Stir in vanilla. Add cocoa mixture and beat well. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating well until blended.

Pour the batter equally into the pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place the pan on a cooling rack for ten minutes. Remove from the pans and allow the cake to cool completely on a cooling rack. Frost with chocolate buttercream frosting.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

1/2 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine butter and cocoa in a medium bowl. Blend by hand or use a mixer. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk and beat gently until smooth and spreadable. Stir in vanilla.


Chocolate Tablea Cake