Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Not Just Choclate Cake
This chocolate cake has a history. Besides being one of the most used recipes I have, it was also the recipe my very close girlfriend made the day she went into labor. She gave birth to her son three weeks before me, and like me, she had a home birth. We also had the same midwives. Our birth experiences were very similar, and in an effort to not completely freak me out, she omitted all the horrid details of her birth experience during her birth story debriefing. The day after I gave birth I called her up and basically said "Why didn't you tell me it was going to be that hard!". We had a good laugh about it. And, from time to time we talk about the chocolate cake incident, which I still think about each time I make this cake. She had made this cake to enjoy after her birth. Having chocolate cake to eat after giving birth is a very important. It is like the cool drink of water after running a marathon. Do not get in the way of a nursing mother and her chocolate cake.
Turns out the cake had been eaten while she was in labor by the midwives and husband. And they told her she should not have eaten it anyway because of the caffeine from the chocolate.
A whole cake eaten over 24 hours.
That is how good this cake is.
This cake is easy to make, and has a very rich chocolate taste. It is not overly sweet and it very moist. It is foolproof. No beaters required or complicated ingredients. Well, you do have to hand whisk the eggs, but if you have a fork, your in luck. So, here is one of the stars in my personal recipe box. I have been making it for 8 years. I think it was from a Cooks Illustrated Magazine, but I cannot say for sure. So, I will give them credit just in case.
Makes two 8" rounds or 11x7" rectangle pan
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour (I use unbleached organic)
1/4 tsp salt
80z. semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 tlbs butter (1 1/2 sticks)
Whisk by hand:
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Add the melted chocolate slowly to the egg mixture. Whisk by hand while doing this. When mixed, slowly add the sifted ingredients to this.
Last step..mix together
1 cup buttermilk (I use plain yogurt if I don't have this)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Add the buttermilk/soda to the wet cake mixture.
Pour into a buttered pan and bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick.
*****NOTE******If you are using cake rounds, line the bottoms with parchment. This will prevent your cakes from breaking apart when you are trying to remove them.