To complete my Best of 2006 series, I thought I'd post my favorite new recipes of the year. They happen to be two recipes that friends created for contests -- and both are relatively light!
My pal (and fellow Rochesterian), Karen, won a $10,000 category prize for her Blackberry-Almond Bruschetta in the Pillsbury Bakeoff. It's easy to prepare, attractive, and delicious, and particularly good for brunch.
My contest buddy, Anna, won even more money at Pillsbury. But my favorite recipe of hers that I tried last year was the one she created for the Cooking Light contest in 2005. This won her a well-deserved category prize. It is very moist and the coffee flavor isn't too strong. I would post a link to this recipe on the Cooking Light site, but I couldn't find it on their Web site using their search function. So here it is:
One-Bowl Chocolate Mocha Cream Cake
From the Cooking Light Reader Recipe Contest, 2005
2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup hot strong brewed coffee
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1/4 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow creme
1 (8-ounce) container frozen light whipped topping, thawed
1/3 cup light chocolate syrup (such as Hershey's Lite Syrup)
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare cake, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl. Add mayonnaise and oil; beat with a mixer at low speed until well blended. Slowly add brewed coffee and vanilla; beat with a mixer at low speed 1 minute or until well blended. Stir in chocolate; pour batter into a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
To prepare mocha cream, combine water and coffee granules in a large bowl; stir until granules dissolve. Add marshmallow creme; beat with a mixer at low speed until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spread mocha cream over top of cake; drizzle with chocolate syrup. Chill until ready to serve.