Full disclosure: this cake pan was the whole reason I got the idea to do a King Arthur menu to begin with. I saw it on ThinkGeek several months ago, and it immediately went on my Christmas list. I’m pretty sure it was designed to appeal to the Game of Thrones crowd, but I couldn’t help thinking it’d be just right for a King Arthur dessert. The cake recipe itself is a chocolate pound cake from BHG. It was perfect for getting the pan’s little details to stand out! I decorated mine with raspberries, mint, and whipped cream, but you can decorate yours however you want. You’re king (or queen) of your kitchen! 😉
“One have I seen–that other, our liege lord,
The dread Pendragon, Britain’s King of kings,
Of whom the people talk mysteriously,
He will be there–then were I stricken blind
That minute, I might say that I had seen. ”
— Lancelot and Elaine
3 cups flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- For the Decorations: raspberries, mint leaves, and Cool Whip. I used 10 berries and 20 mint leaves to decorate the plated cake. You’ll probably get more than 10 pieces out of the cake depending on how big you cut it, so I recommend having extra berries and mint on hand for those pieces. In fact, I got generous and started adding 3 berries to each piece. The more the merrier! 🙂
Makes approx. 12 servings
- Preheat your oven to 350°. Melt your chocolate either in a double boiler or in a microwave. Allow it to cool.
- While you wait, grease and flour your pan. This step is VERY important, so take your time. Spread a thin layer of vegetable shortening into every nook and cranny inside the pan, leaving no spot ungreased. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of flour into the pan and shake it around, rotating the pan to spread the flour evenly throughout. Repeat the sprinkling, shaking, and rotating until it’s completely coated with flour. Overturn your pan into the sink and tap the sides and top with a spoon to dislodge any excess flour. When you turn it back over, the inside of the pan should be completely coated with a thin layer of flour. If you missed any areas in the greasing stage, they’ll be visible now. Apply a tiny amount of shortening to any bare areas with a toothpick and sprinkle on a little extra flour, tapping out the excess.
- Combine your flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. When the chocolate is cool, add it to the bowl along with the milk and butter. Beat with an electric mixer on low-medium speed until combined. Continue to beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla and almond extract. Beat for 2 more minutes.
- Transfer the batter to the dragon pan. Break up any large air bubbles in the batter by cutting a zigzag pattern through it with a knife. Be careful not to let the knife scrape the bottom of the pan, since this can disrupt the grease layer.
- Put your pan on a baking sheet to keep it steady and place it in the oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. It’s possible that the bottom of the cake (the part exposed to the oven’s heat), will start to overcook before the center is finished. If it’s starting to look too brown, fold a piece of tinfoil loosely around the exposed area.
- Remove the pan and baking sheet from the oven and place them on a wire rack. Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes.
- To remove the cake from the pan, first take the baking sheet out from under the pan. Overturn the baking sheet and hold it firmly over the bottom of the cake. Keeping a firm grip on both the cake pan and the baking sheet, flip them over so that the cake pan is right-side-up with the sheet underneath it. Gently slide the pan from the cake (it should come off without any sticking). If the pan and sheet are still too hot to hold firmly, complete this step using oven mitts.
- When the cake is cool to the touch, you can decorate however you want. I wanted to preserve the effect of the details, so I decided not to use icing. The cake can be a little plain on its own, though, so I topped it with Cool Whip, raspberries, and mint leaves.
- Serve to a round table full of the land’s greatest knights.