This photo seemed to get some of you enthusiastic for chocolate cake, and it would seem rude not to share the recipe for this absurdly easy to make, but gratifyingly towering and delicious one.
Here's the thing about chocolate cake for me - it has got to taste really good to justify the silly amount of calories it contains, and bonus points if it looks good and is simple to make. This has led to about twenty years of hunting out a recipe that fulfils my picky-princess demands. It has been a rather yummy journey as you can imagine, but one littered with overly dry, or sickly sweet, or frisbee shaped failures.
But this cake is up there in my favourite pile. It falls into the celebration category for me because it just looks so special and is suitable for a range of luxurious fillings. It is loosely a Devil's Food Cake relying on vegetable oil for its moistness and having a wickedly dark crumb. You do have to like a certain gloriously trashy box-cake vibe to love this cake, it is not a classic victoria sponge kind of affair. I play slightly with the oil/cocoa powder ratio to avoid any dryness or bitterness from the enormous amount of cocoa powder in the recipe - so I am generous with the oil and slightly skimpy on the cocoa powder. This is not a super sweet cake, but it has a wonderful decadent flavour.
At this point I have to tell you that I found this recipe in the fabulous recipe section of The Angry Chicken blog, and it not the only total winner of a recipe I have mined from this most rewarding seam of foodie loveliness - go check it out for yourself here and the recipes are in the 'in the kitchen' section on the right hand side bar.
So here is the recipe: Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate"Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
11/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup boiling water
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350 degrees F
Stir sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water - the batter will be thin. Pour into prepared tins - I used two 8" round tins and baked for half an hour. How easy is that? No creaming, splitting, frantic adding of flour etc! For a one pan cake use 13x9x2" pan and cook for 35-40 minutes. You could also make about 30 cupcakes which need 20-25 mins.
Hershey's recommend frosting - 1/2 cup of butter melted and added to 2/3 cup of cocoa powder into which 3 cups of icing sugar, teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1/3 cup of milk are then slowly mixed until a spreading consistency is achieved. Spread onto the cake, only when the sponge is thoroughly cold.
I like this cake with the frosting or with whipped cream in the middle instead. In the summer, strawberries, cherries or raspberries folded into the cream is deeeelish. Sprinkling of icing sugar on the top. Enjoy!
*Edit: obviously not geek enough, it was a nearer 8" pair of cake tins I used it transpires, not 7" - I am so sorry for my sloppy pan measuring, (mine are a wierd size, just under 8") - it is corrected in the recipe now. *