Friday, October 22, 2010

Lots of chocolate for me to eat

If you were to ask me to pick between chocolates, cakes, ice creams and cookies, I would, without hesitation choose cakes. In any flavour. There is something about a childhood staple that sticks with you for life. I think I grew up on cakes. I don't remember a day in my childhood that there wasn't grandma made cake in the house. Not that she was fantastically creative or innovative about it. It was always vanilla, lemon, orange or chocolate. With butter icing. The kind of cake that never goes wrong. The one you get deep, guttural(literally and metaphorically) cravings for in the height of any emotion.

Few make good butter icing these days. It is always adulterated with milk or water or lemon juice. And of course there's the ultimate fake: 'I cant believe it's not butter butter'. Maybe that's the reason my arteries are not completely clogged yet but nevertheless, it's sad.

I have been on a quest to find the most perfect cakes for a while now. I have made countless cakes over the past 11 years since I started baking. Good cakes, disastrous cakes, cakes with lava spewing, cakes made accidentally with rice flour instead of cake flour, cakes with too much salt and too much sugar, cakes that look like hell but taste oh so good. Every kind there possibly could be.

But last night I made the most fabulous chocolate cake that looked so pretty and felt and tasted divine!

Now before I continue, I separate chocolate cakes into two categories. Those made with oil and those made with butter. They both belong to different flavour families and texturally are worlds apart. Those made with butter are somewhat denser in texture and have a bite to them. Somehow their flavor is also more rounded and wholesome. The more the butter there is the more decadent, rich and sinful it gets. This is the kind of cake with crunchy crusts and melt in the mouth insides. The continuum could range from a cake that is too floury and almost sponge cake like to the flour less chocolate cake which I would only describe as the devil on a plate.

Oil cakes on the other hand, at its best are light as silk. They have a satiny, cloudy texture. Like cotton candy with raindrops on it! Ok that may be a bad analogy. But oil cakes are light and moist and disintegrate, rather than melt. 

If I were to compare an oil cake with an element, I would say that it would be like the air on a really rainy day. Light but with kind of a resistance to it. And oh so moist!

And a butter cake would be pure earth that has been fired to perfection.

So on that note, I give you my recipe for a chocolate oil cake. Actually it belongs to Hersheys' I think but its MINE now!



2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water 

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. 


1/4 cup Butter 
1/3 cup Cocoa
11/2 cups Icing Sugar
1/8 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting. 

If you're wondering why Ive succumbed to the adulteration of the butter icing with milk, its only because an oil cake requires something a little lighter than the classic butter icing. It needs to be lighter, more yielding and pliant. Try it. Money back if you don't love it.

And listen to this while you cook. 

And this while you eat. 

And this while you clean.

1 comment:

  1. i love your choclate cake..and the music absolutely goes with it!!


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