Monday, September 1, 2008

Chocolate Cake

About a week ago, for a friend of mine's birthday, I made my first from-scratch cake. It actually happened quite by accident. I was walking through the kitchen, a few things fell into a bowl, and out of the oven popped a cake! (Okay - it wasn't that much of an accident. What really happened was...)

Bryan went into the kitchen to bake a cake. There was no box of cake mix to be found.

"Look again!" I insisted, standing on tip-toe.
"I can actually see above this shelf." said my 6"1' husband, "We don't have any."

The wheels of my brain are turning furiously. With his right foot in a cast, Bryan can't drive right now, and I loathe going to the store. I was also remembering that during my last 27 fling boogie when I dove into my recipe stash, I had kept a recipe for chocolate cake because I really wanted to try it. Well, what was I waiting for? Here was my chance to avoid the store and make a cake I could be proud of!

"I can make one."
"Oh, you mean from scratch?" he looked surprised.
"Yeah. If I can bake bread, I'm sure I can make a cake." Now he looked cautious. That settled it, stubbornness set in as if he had just said "No, I don't think you can make a cake" and I was now determined to do this.

(My husband was really trying to be a nice guy - I'd like to point out. He knows that I take it pretty hard when things go wrong in the kitchen - and we had four guests coming over for dinner that night. The same six of us who endured the bean fiasco, incidentally.)

So I headed for the cupboard and fished out the recipe a co-worker had given me nearly a year ago. (By the way, thanks Heather!)

Heather's Chocolate Cake
  • 1 cup margarine, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup Dutch processed cocoa, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups HOT water
Let's get started!

In a mixing bowl, cream margarine and sugar.

Add the eggs,

one at a time, beating well after each addition. 

Beat on high speed until light and fluffy.  Stir in vanilla.

Combine dry ingredients;

add alternatively to the creamed mixture with the hot water.

I must add, at this point, that your batter is likely to look much runnier than this, because I got so caught up in taking blog pictures that I accidentally left out almost half of the water the recipe called for.  Oops!

Pour into three greased and floured 9-inch round baking pans (or one 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan)

(I only have two round pans, so I also made a batch of mini cup cakes.  They were super cute.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes

before removing from pan to cool completely.

After cakes are completely cool,

frost with desired frosting.
 She suggests caramel frosting.  

Stay tuned to see what frosting I made instead... as well as the finished cake!

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