Friday, November 21, 2008

The fastest and easiest and moistest chocolate cake you will ever bake

Confessions of a girl who oft-denies her feminine side: I don't like cake. I'm not a cake person. I like the idea of the gratification that cake brings, but after a bite of chocolate, cheese, berries or whatever the heck is in those things, I feel like throwing up and go into anaphylactic shock (literally). I've made a couple of cakes on this blog, but mostly those were pretty healthy, involved minimal use of butter and were ready in 45 minutes flat.

I recently bought a Food & Wine cookbook from 1998 at Half-Price Books for $2. I don't do Gourmet or Bon Appetit subscriptions. I'm cheap like that. In the Food and Wine book was a recipe for a mix-in-the-pan chocolate cake. I was semi-thinking: How good can a chocolate cake that didn't involve a mixer be? Wouldn't that just taste like brownies (which I find marvelously gross)?

I decided to try it anyway because a) I didn't get cake for my birthday (I'm anti-cake like that) b) I have a potluck tomorrow for someone's birthday, the cake would be my contribution. And also, lately, I've been craving chocolate so much. I blame that both on Ina Garten and leftover Halloween-goodies, and oh, on the economy, on General Motors, on my thesis advisor, on Eric Cantor and change we may never believe in.

Have a go at this chocolate cake that is so easy, it's laughable. To make it more elegant, you can (and should) bake it in a round cake pan - the recipe will yield two round 8" cakes. Otherwise if you're like me, this recipe will yield a moist, soft and supremely chocolatey 8" square cake, dripping with chocolate glaze and sparkling with chopped walnuts.

Fast and Easy Chocolate Cake
Adapted from Food and Wine, 1998

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 lb unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten lightly
1/2 cup very hot water
1 cup low fat yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line an 8-inch square cake pan with parchment paper.

In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. Whisk in the eggs, butter, hot water and vanilla. Then whisk in the yogurt. Mix together with a rubber spatula and pour in to the prepared pan until it is half filled. (Note: Do not overfill or you cake will resemble a chocolate volcano!) . Bake for 40 minutes at 350°F until a thin knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn the cake out gently on a wire rack and cool completely. Top with chocolate glaze and chopped walnuts.

Chocolate frosting
4 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Melt the chocolate and butter in double boiler. Gently pour over the prepared cake, starting from the middle of the cake and letting the glaze drip over the sides. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.


Anonymous said...

i am definitely a cake person but i seldom eat cake..only when the craving hits now and again. this is one beautifully decadent chocolate cake and that frosting is such a tease! love the photos. x

test it comm said...

That looks so moist and chocolaty and good.

Anonymous said...

Brownies in a cake sound good to me, you weird, weird person! ;) Actually I know how you feel---I don't like ice cream and everyone thinks I'm crazy. Oh god, I used to flip out if someone got me a ice cream cake for my birthday...

Anonymous said...

Looks yummy.
Im sticking this one in my rainy day file.

Anonymous said...

Nice recipe.. at what temperature should be oven be and is the oven to be pre-heated?

Amanda said...

@ Anonymous: Thanks for bringing that to my attention! I've modified the post and it's suppose to be 350°F, preheated oven.

Anonymous said...

oh you are my saviour!! I have been looking for a decadent choco and late cake recipe that is moist and gooey without having EGG in it, as I am allergic, I read your ingredients list with JOY in my heart!! its going in my faves list IMMEDIATELY!!!

Amanda said...

soozechelon: I'm so very sorry but you must have misread the recipe list, unfortunately there are 2 eggs in this recipe, perhaps you can make my Eggless Banana Chocolate Bars:

Will Higgins said...

Putting yoghurt, sour cream, cream cheese or other things in baked goods is a great trick to make them moist without adding tons of butter.

Anonymous said...

Yum! Just made this cake. I used the round pans and stacked them together, turned out great.

Dazy said...

This recipe is really going to keep me busy in the kitchen with all its glamor. This is another must for the weekend! My kids would just hug me for this.

s. said...

But... how did it taste?

kloo said...

I just tried it today and I used an oven dish instead of a baking pan (because i am a poor student who happens to have one which is used by all my friends) which was okay but i guess the cocoa i used wasn't rich enough because the inside was pale and not as gooey... it was sort of spongy... oh and i used baking powder instead of soda cause i didn't have t he other... but in general it was an okay cake... tasted fantastic... but wasn't as moist as i wanted it :(

Amanda said...

Hi kloo:

It is supposed to be spongy - you add the chocolate frosting to make it chocolatey.

As for it not being moist, if you used baking powder instead of baking soda, then the amount of baking powder will have to change.

Eleanor JW xxx said...

It looks like the chocolate cake from MAtilda! :P LOL