Tuesday, October 23, 2007
The Chocolate Cake of My Childhood
Looking at my finished product, one could never tell that this baking adventure was pretty much a disaster. The batter overflowed, spilled on the oven floor, caught fire and almost tripped my fire alarm!
I started out fine. The batter tasted really good and I was in high spirits as I put the cake pan in the oven. But 15 minutes into the baking, I saw that the batter was rising higher than I expected and so I hurriedly slipped cookie sheets underneath the cake pan to catch the batter drippings. I thought I had averted the disaster but it wasn't enough. The batter dripped out of the the cookie sheets too! The batter spilled onto on the oven floor and caught fire. So I had to find a way to wipe it off. I decided to use wet paper towels and used my BBQ tongs to reach in. Of course, as soon as the paper towels touched the heating elements, they ignited and I had to run to the sink to douse them with water! So there I was, trying my best not to keep the oven door open too long so my cake could bake properly but at the same time trying to get all of the spilled batter cleaned up and prevent things from catching fire. Whew! The lengths we go to for chocolate cake, eh?
In the end, despite everything, the cake turned out fine. More than fine, actually. The edges were a tad bit over cooked but the center was chocolatey and tender. I really liked the frosting, even though I wasn't expecting much from the recipe. This recipe will see a repeat performance, but I'm going to use a bigger cake pan. And I will have a fire extinguisher nearby.
1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
3 cups sugar
3 1/4 cups cake flour
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup cocoa powder (not dutch processed)
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. baking soda
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp. white vinegar
3/4 cup boiling water
1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add eggs one at a time until incorporated.
3. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk mayo, milk, water and vinegar together.
4. Add the dry ingredients alternating with wet ingredients to the butter, starting and ending with the dry. I did 3 batches of dry and 2 batches of wet.
5. Add boiling water last and mix batter until smooth.
6. Bake in a 13x9 pan (that's what the original recipe called for, but keep my (mis)adventure in mind) in a 350 oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
7. Cool in pan and invert onto a serving tray.
8. Frost with chocolate frosting.
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup milk
1 tbsp. butter
1. In a saucepan, whisk ingredients together until there are not lumps.
2. Heat over low-medium fire until mixture begins to thicken.
3. Remove from heat and add butter.
4. Whisk occasionally until mixture cools.
I'm going to try this next time with a caramel layer in the middle of the cake. Just like the "Cookie Monster" chocolate cake of my childhood.