Thursday, May 20, 2010

Baking Frenzy - 15 min Chocolate Cake

I think this will probably be the last post of my baking frenzy. My cake-mixer badly needs a rest, at least for a week or so. So many cakes and rolls have been baked for His Majesty 's 1st birthday during the past few days. I have used up god knows how many packets of butter, sugar and flour. Not very good for my bourgeoning waistline. Although most of the cakes were not eaten by me, but I must say I always have a share in everything (good or bad) from my oven. 

I baked this 15 min chocolate cake yesterday afternoon, when H.M. was snoring in his sleep. Yesterday was his actual birthday. It took me 20 min, from the time I measured the ingredients and preheated the oven to the time I popped the cake in. I was pretty amazed by this recipe from Andrea of VietWorldKitchen. No cake mixer, just a spatula and 2 glass bowls, very little to clean up. No beating of egg whites til soft/stiff peaks or beating of egg yolks til creamy. Eggs were simply not required. I didn't even have to fold in the flour. Just stir everything together and pop into the oven. The batter was really thick, and I really had to stir hard to mix the ingredients well. Now I know why the author of the recipe said that no folding of the flour is required.

This is really a quick and easy recipe especially suitable for baking mums with cry-babies like mine! Also ideal for vegetarians who don't consume eggs and for folks who don't have cake mixers. At first I was quite skeptical about whether this recipe will work, but after seeing that a 3 year old can make this cake (see here), I was convinced my 1 year old son can make it too, with a little help from me. But alas, he was soundly asleep, so he wasn't able to join in the fun. :)

I must say that this cake tasted differently from my moist chocolate cake, it tasted more like a brownie. So I now have another chocolate brownie recipe in my collection. :)

Here is the recipe adapted from VietWorldKitchen

Makes 1 (9-inch) cake to serve 8

3/4 cup (90g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3/4 cup (220g) plain flour
1 cup (200g) sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Optional ingredients: (choose one or none)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used choc chips)

1/2 cup (115g) melted unsalted butter, cooled
1 cup buttermilk (I used 1 cup milk + 1 tbsp lemon juice)

2 tsp vanilla (I used only 1 tsp)

1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 350F (175C). Oil a 9-inch, high-sided round cake pan and line it with parchment paper. Flour the pan, tap out the excess flour.

2.  Stir together the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the cinnamon, ginger, or chocolate chips, if using.

3. Whisk together the buttermilk, butter, and vanilla. Stir into the dry ingredients until all is moistened and mixed well. (The batter is very thick, hence you really have to stir hard. Do not use a whisk otherwise the batter gets trapped in the whisk. Use a wooden spoon or spatula instead. I added in a few more drops of buttermilk when the batter was too dry and unwieldy.)

4. Pour into the prepared cake pan, spreading the thick batter out to the edge. Bang the pan on your counter to even things out. 

5. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the cake has risen and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes before unmolding. (My oven is a bit quirky when it comes to baking chocolate cakes. I always have to bake longer and at a higher temp. For this cake, I baked at 190C for at least 45 min, until the inside of the cake is no longer wet.)

Note: Although the recipe explicitly stated that a 9-inch cake pan is required, I would suggest a 8-inch or even a 7-inch cake pan so that the cake can rise higher. Otherwise it is a pretty flat cake for a 9-inch cake pan.

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