Baking · In The Kitchen · Recipes

Repairs & The Best Chocolate Cake

Our oven is now repaired and fully functional again! It took the tech about 45 minutes of mostly fussing with wires, but he was friendly and did his job well. Rascal was in my room during this time so she would be out of the way. Jenna on the other hand refused to leave this guy’s side. She didn’t get in the way, but she stayed close too. She loved him. It was cute. He made a fuss over her when he arrived, and during the repair work and again before he left.

We did need a new power cord for the oven, something the other tech had not seen when he was out to see what was wrong. The warranty didn’t cover that as the power cord was one we had already owned previously. It was only $20 for a new one though, so not too bad. And now all is well. And I can bake again.

That said, I’ve been craving chocolate all day. I know there have been some studies done that “prove” women do NOT really crave chocolate and such when they have PMS. Yeah. Right. You try being me for a couple months and tell me that each month, like clockwork, you don’t turn into an emotionally psychotic chocolate craving mess of a woman!

But sadly for me, there is no chocolate in the house right now other than some cocoa powder. But that’s ok. I can work with that. It’s not quite the kind of chocolate I’m craving… but when you need chocolate, you need chocolate in any form.

I whipped up my favorite chocolate cake. AKA what I refer to as the “best chocolate cake”. I say this for a couple reasons. First and foremost being, the weird thing of this is… I don’t even like chocolate cake.  Let me rephrase that: I don’t even like MOST chocolate cake. I normally can’t stand chocolate cake, for whatever reason. I don’t know. There’s just something about chocolate cake that, to me…. it’s just icky. But there are two exceptions. First one is a German chocolate cake. When done right, anyway. I have had German chocolate cake that was not very tasty. But when it IS yummy, I think it’s the fact that it’s smothered in gooey, toasted coconut frosting that I love. And then there is this little gem of a recipe… for someone who normally does not like chocolate cake to say a chocolate cake recipe is good… you know it must be good. 😉

Mix In The Pan Chocolate Cake

Oh yes. You read that right. The other reason I love this cake is because it’s ridiculously easy to make, and the only dirty dishes you will have when done are some measuring spoons/cups and whatever you used to stir up the batter.

What you need to make it:

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 c. granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 cup cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

What to do:

Preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit (my conversion skills suck but I think this is roughly 175° Celcius?)

Get out an 8 or 9 inch cake pan.

In the pan, stir together the dry ingredients till they’re thoroughly combined. Add the wet ingredients and stir till well mixed, making sure you scrape the corners, bottom and edges of the pan well so there are no lumps of dry ingredients that don’t get mixed in.

Bake till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes.

This is yummy just dusted with some powdered sugar. Or a mixture of powdered sugar and some cocoa powder. If you really need to top it off with some chocolate frosting, though… I’ve got the perfect recipe for that, too. Sometimes (as I did today) I do the frosting AND a dusting of powdered sugar/ powdered sugar cocoa powder mixed together.

1 cup powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons water or milk

Sift together the powdered sugar and  cocoa powder. Beat the butter with 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar mixture till smooth. Add remaining powdered sugar mixture, vanilla and water and mix well. Spread on cooled cake.

This frosting recipe is perfect for this cake recipe, because it makes JUST the right amount of frosting for it, no leftovers and it’s not too much piled high either, just a thin (but not skimpy!) layer of frosting. It’s fast and easy to make, too. Just like the cake. You don’t need to drag out an electric mixer to make this frosting either – I always make it with a whisk. And, when it says “water or milk” it really means water OR milk. Either way is delicious, I promise. I’ve made it both ways. There’s no difference in the resulting flavor or consistency. It’s a matter of preference. I usually just make it with water.

Some recipe notes:

The cake doesn’t have any eggs. Because it has a lot of oil. I admit, I am glad I don’t like chocolate cake much and only crave it occasionally, because of all that oil. It makes me cringe every time that I do make this cake. I’m always tempted to play with the amounts and with substitutions, however with money being as tight as it is right now I can’t afford to experiment and possibly waste ingredients if the results are not good. Applesauce is supposed to be a good substitute for oil in a lot of baked goods. I never seem to have applesauce when I am going to be baking though. (Applesauce is one of those things that, in this house, it doesn’t last long. We love it!) I’ve heard that grapeseed oil is a healthier option than standard vegetable oils for baked goods, but I have no idea how well this would work. Other substitutions I’ve heard of (but have never tried personally) are plain yogurt, sour cream, or mayonnaise. And then there is the option of perhaps skipping the oil completely and adding an egg (I would beat the egg a bit before adding it to the pan.)  If you make this with any sort of substitutions for the oil I’d love to know how it turns out.

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One thought on “Repairs & The Best Chocolate Cake

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