Wednesday, March 4, 2009
the best chocolate cake
Ever. This recipe is taken from Quick Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin. Someday I'll become cook and baker enough to throw together my own recipes but until then, I scrounge others'. My mom recommended this book and told me this really was the best chocolate cake. I have used this recipe for - hm - maybe seven years. Almost impossible to wreck. Have a go.
The Best Chocolate Cake
2 1/4 c unbleached white flour
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 c cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 c warm water
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp white vinegar
1 c semisweet chocolate chips
8 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Wait 10 minutes before starting to make the cake. Meanwhile, butter and flour 2 8-inch layer pans and set aside. When the 10 minutes are up, thoroughly combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
2. Pour in the water, oil, vanilla, and vinegar and stir until well combined. Pour into the prepared pans. Bake 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes, then remove the cakes from the pans and cool completely.
3. To make the buttercream: Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, then remove the top pan. Let the chocolate cool until tepid. In a medium bowl, cream the butter, using an electric mixer. Add the egg and beat until blended but now smooth. Pour in the chocolate and beat until just combined.
4. When the cake is completely cool, spread some icing on one layer. Top with the other layer, then spread the remaining icing all over the cake. Chill the cake at least 30 minutes, then bring to room temperature before serving.
Suggestions & Modifications: Let's see. I use canola oil instead of vegetable oil. I also sift the cocoa. And I blend the wet ingredients before mixing them with the dry (I don't think it really matters). I also like to use a mix of semisweet and dark or all dark (70 - 80%) chocolate for the icing.
Here's a picture of The Best Chocolate Cake, served as a Benchmark Cake for my English department chair's presentation. She told us about the grade 6 Language Arts Standard 2 Benchmark 1. Hence the blurry sprinkles 6.2.1. Please, please do not submit this to cakewrecks. Learning how to ice a cake without slobbering icing all over the plate is still on my list of things to do.