One thing baking and blogging (and my engineering background too) has taught me is to always see the whole as a sum of parts. A fancy cake may be nothing but ‘less fancy’ parts coming together to form a ‘super fancy’ final product. Or in the case of ingredients, simple everyday pantry basics can combine in the right way to create magic in the kitchen. It calls for substituting, prepping ahead, planning, experimenting, innovating, learning, researching and the biggest of them all, patience. So how does it link to blogging. Well, I have realized that a lot of times I avoid blogging about elaborate cakes that I create simply because I hate tryping out the basic recipes again and again. SO, I decided to create the Building Blocks, which is about simple but classic recipes/ideas that act as the foundation of other fancy recipes/ideas. And what better way to inaugurate than with the most basic pleasure of a chocolate cake 🙂
I have experimented with a whole lot of chocolate recipes varying from bad to awesome. It will be a lie to say that I have only one recipe I use for my chocolate cake needs but I can very well say that I have one fallback recipe. I don’t know the origin/creator of this one but I got the recipe from a random magazine sometime back that I was browsing through at my dentist’s office. And I am sorry to say that I can’t even remember the name of the magazine now. I just know that I jotted it down while waiting for my turn to prep my teeth to withstand the Attack of the Butter :D. This cake is simple, moist, delicate and very very delicious. Needless to say, it is my fallback, classic chocolate cake recipe that I use every now and then. I hope you find it as yummy as I do.
Ingredients: Serves 8 generous slices
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (add another 1-2 tbsp if you want a reallly chocolatey cake :D)
1½ cups cake flour (use substitution if you are using all purpose flour)
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
4 Oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup water (substitute this with 1/2 cup coffee or a mixture of 1/4 cup water + 1/4 cup liquor of your choice to make a decadent adult chocolate cake :D)
½ cup whole or low-fat milk
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9″ cake pans (or spray liberally with baking spray). You can also use a single 9″ pan with deeper sides (3″).
2. Sift together the cocoa powder, cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl and mix well. Sifting helps in creating a light and delicate cake texture which just ups the yummy quotient, unless you are baking a torte 😀 (though depending on time and patience I have been guilty of skipping on the sifting 😦 )
3. Using a stand/hand mixer, or by hand using a whisk, beat the butter and sugar together till smooth and creamy, around 5 odd minutes. Add eggs one at a time until fully mixed. Make sure you keep scraping the sides to mix everything uniformly.
4. Mix together the water (or coffee/liquor mixture) and milk.
5. Add half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, the add the coffee and milk. Mix on low-medium speed till mostly blended. Then add the remaining dry mix and blend till the batter come together.
6. Pour the batter into the cake pan(s) and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 5-10 mins in the pan and then cool it out completely on a cooling rack,if you have.