Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Easy Chocolate Cake
This is truly the easiest chocolate cake ever, and surprisingly delicious. It's fun and different to make -- you've heard of a one-bowl cake -- well, this is a one-saucepan cake. Yes, it's all mixed on the stove top.
In an essay entitled "The Low-Tech Person's Batterie de Cuisine" in Home Cooking by the late great Laurie Colwin, she writes that fancy (or a lot of) equipment isn't needed to turn out wonderful home-cooked meals. (Who needs a food processor when you have a knife?) This cake recipe, probably from the 1940s, is proof of that. It requires just a saucepan, a fork (to beat the egg), a spoon to stir the batter, a measuring cup and a baking tin.
Start by cooking the milk, chocolate and butter. Add the sugar and cool. Then add the egg and dry ingredients. Stir and pour into an 8- or 9-inch cake pan. (Or you could divide the batter to make a layer cake.)
When it is done baking, let it cool. You can slice off the "dome" as I did. A nice way to get a flat top (and taste-test the cake -- we gave it an A).
I was rushing when I made this cake because I was bringing it to a friend's house just an hour after I began the preparation. I whipped up some vanilla frosting quickly and, because the cake was still warm when I had to frost it, left the sides unfrosted so that the heat would have an escape route. I added some sprinkles so no one would notice.
I followed the recipe exactly, baking it in an 8-inch pan. (Not sure what a utility pan is.) I used unsalted butter and Scharffen Berger unsweetened chocolate. Because I didn't have any whole milk on hand, a combination of skim milk and half and half was a nice substitute.