Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Basics Part II: Chocolate Cake

I have several recipes for chocolate cake filed away, some from family, others from blogs, still others I've created on my own, or adapted. I discovered this particular recipe when I was searching for a simple and easy way to make chocolate cake: no buttermilk, no beaten egg whites, and no difficult methods. I was living in an apartment I hated, with no electric mixer or quality measuring tools. My need for dessert was pressing. This cake saved me.

I originally baked this in an 8-inch square pan, and drizzled it with a simple glaze. Most of the pieces I cut went straight into the freezer. This, I reasoned, would prevent me from consuming the entire cake in one sitting. As it turns out (lamentably), this perfect concoction is also delicious frozen. I may have to fashion it into cakesicles one day soon.

Perfectly Simple Chocolate Cake

The recipe I give here is with sour cream chocolate frosting, as pictured.

1 cup flour (all purpose or whole wheat pastry)
1 cup sugar (white or turbinado)
1/4 cup butter or margarine (I use Earth Balance)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup coffee (optional--if you omit the coffee, use 3/4 cup buttermilk)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Melt the chocolate in a pan with the butter. Let cool.
3. Combine sugar, coffee, and buttermilk.
4. Add egg and vanilla, then chocolate mixture.
5. Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and salt) together and add slowly.
6. Pour batter into greased 8" square pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until toothpick/knife inserted into center comes out clean

Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

1/3 cup butter
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup sour cream (TIP: I usually use fat-free for this, and find that it tastes just as good! This goes for most dairy--milk, yogurt, or sour cream--found in recipes.)
2 tsp. vanilla
2-3 cups powdered sugar

1. Melt butter and chocolate in saucepan over low heat. Allow mixture to cool.
2. Stir in sour cream and vanilla.
3. Slowly add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and beat until frosting is smooth and spreadable.

Over at Method, my friend Ashley has made some gorgeous vegan Pain Au Chocolat (chocolate croissants) with one half of a big hunk of bittersweet chocolate we purchased this weekend. Check them out, and stay tuned for my own recipe (coming this weekend)!


steph- whisk/spoon said...

oh man--that looks soooo good!!

Ashley M. said...

delish! and i love that plate!

MJ said...

I am confused. If I read the steps, I see: melt the chocolate with the butter; cream the butter/sugar; add the chocolate mixture - and no mention of the buttermilk. So one of the times you must mean the buttermilk instead of the butter. Can you explain? (yes, I really need that much help with a simple recipe)

Laura H-B said...

Thanks, MJ! I think I mixed up my original directions with the changes I made while working with it. It should be less confusing now! I should also note that I've used 3/4 cup yogurt instead of the buttermilk and coffee, and it was still delicious!

d said...

you know you don't ave to add egg to this recipe? i make it with apple cider vinegar instead of buttermilk. plenty of leavening and a bit of tang. easier and vegan!dracks