Saturday, October 18, 2008
I'm just not a big fan of chocolate cake...there I said it. It's not that I won't eat it, I like it and I'll have it every now and then, but only as a "last resort" when I'm craving something sweet. I'm more easily tempted by other flavors, like vanilla, or something unique, or something fruity. I can't resist a fresh, warm, ooey-gooey brownie however, but chocolate cake just always seemed to me rather...ordinary.
My prejudice has prevented me from ever really considering the challenge of taking on a chocolate cake. It was only after my friend made a request for two little chocolate cakes that I actually looked into the possibility. The idea was exciting, the prospect of making a cake other than carrot (I made eight last weekend and another one by my mother's request this weekend) was too irresistible.
While I was in the process of making my friend's cakes, my mother's boyfriend walked by the kitchen and was disappointed to find that what I was preparing was not meant for the family. By his request I whipped up another quick chocolate cake, which is the one shown in the picture with a chocolate fudge frosting and coating of chocolate ganache. The two for my friend were frosted with a chocolate buttercream icing and unfortunately, I was in such a rush to get them to her on friday night that I forgot to snap a picture of them.
I can't say that this cake completely changed my perspective on chocolate cake, but I did have more than one slice and it was delicious with a refreshing glass of milk. The downfall of a chocolate cake for me is its temperature. I'll go gaga for a warm brownie or a molten chocolate cake or gooey chocolate souffle, but since I can't throw a slice of chocolate layer cake in the microwave without ending up with soupy chocolate frosting it just doesn't make it on my top list. But I would never turn down a chance to make it again for a friend, any excuse to bake. Although now I can't wait for something new!
2 cups white sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water (plus 1 tsp of instant coffee)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two nine inch round pans.
In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer. Stir in the boiling water last. Batter will be thin. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Chocolate Fudge Frosting
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 teasp salt
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup evaporated milk or half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
In a heavy medium saucepan combine the sugar,cocoa and salt. Mix everything together.
Add the butter and place over a medium heat stirring to melt the butterand mix everything together into a smooth brown sauce.Add the milk,stir well and bring to a lively boil stirring often.Adjust the heat to maintain an active but gentle boil and cook for five minutes stirring often.
When the frosting begins to thicken remove it from the heat, stir in the vanilla and set it aside to cool for twenty minutes.Beat the frosting until it thickens and looks shiny then spread it over the cake or the layers you want to ice.