I fought the chocolate and the chocolate won. I managed to curb the cravings over the weekend, but I really wanted chocolate cake, and finally caved in today.
My favorite chocolate cake recipe was printed in a cookbook my mom's church put out in the late '70s or early '80s... we've been making it for almost as long as I can remember! It's quick, it's easy, it calls for common ingredients and requires no fancy tools. No mixers, no beaters, no bowls. Just a cake pan and a fork. Well, measuring spoons and cups, too.
It's not a fancy, take-to-the-neighbor's-dinner-party cake. It's a weeknight family dessert cake. Why? You may understand better when you see the recipe:
Sift together in an 8x8 pan:
1 cup sugar
3 heaping tbsp. cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
Make three holes in mixture. Put 6 tbsp. cooking oil in one, 1 tsp. vanilla in second, and 1 tbsp. vinegar in third. Pour 1 cup cold water over all. Stir with fork. Bake 1/2 hour at 350. Frost with favorite icing.
Isn't that fun?!? When you're a kid, this is the coolest, weirdest, bestest recipe ever. Now that I'm 30-something (eek!), it's still cool and weird and great, and I know exactly how and why it's so good. Do you...? =)
Because it's mixed and baked in the same pan, it's not exactly a cake you turn out (I've never dared try it, anyway!) and frost all fancy-like (hence the no-dinner-party comment). You leave it in the pan, smear on whatever you want, and serve it as is. Tonight, I sprinkled a couple handfuls of milk chocolate chips on top as soon as it came out of the oven, then put back it in the (now turned off) oven for just a minute. The chips melted and I spread them out with a rubber spatula to make an instant icing. I have no idea where I read that trick, but it stuck with me, and this is the first time I've tested it. It worked out pretty well, if I do say so myself.
It never comes out of the pan perfectly -- especially the first couple of pieces! But what it lacks in elegance, it more than makes up for in flavor. It's a moist, fluffy, chocolatey, satisfying cake.
Kelli, I am so happy to see your Wacky Cake recipe! I made this years ago when my children were little and somehow lost it over the years...the recipe and my sanity!! Thank you for posting it and for your fun and creative web site.
Guess who? June 29, 2004 04:31 PM PDT
I can't wait to have my cake and eat it too. This weekend. I'm ready.
And you know what...that really is an amazingly accurate picture of you. Everybody out there, trust me on this -- I know.