this chocolate cake is not a lie

The vast appeal of a boxed cake mix, besides not having to measure dry ingredients, is that it’s a one-bowl operation.  Dry mix goes into the bowl; liquids go into the bowl; presto, cake batter.

I can get that down to a bowl, a bag and a drinking glass, with the advantage of reusing the bag – as soon as one cake’s worth of dry mix is emptied, scale in the next cake’s worth, re-seal the bag and smugly reflect on your water conservation skills and environmental conscientiousness.  Or toss the bag, preferably whilst lighting a contraband legal Cuban cigar with a Ben Franklin and laughing maniacally.

Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees.

Mixing bowl: Cream Mix

  • 115g butter, softened
  • 122g brown sugar
  • 70g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg (large, 56g)
  • 1t vanilla

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy, then add egg and vanilla and mix thoroughly.  I goofed, and only had 40g granulated sugar on hand, but it didn’t impact the final product.

Bowl 1 (or 8oz glass): Wet Mix

  • 122g milk
  • 10g vinegar

Add to glass and let sit for 5 minutes.

Bowl 2 (or bag): Dry Mix

  • 100g bread flour
  • 20g cornstarch
  • 60g cocoa
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1/4t salt

If dirtying a bowl, mix thoroughly.

If using a bag, open up a bag in a bowl.  Scale in the ingredients into the bag.  Seal the bag with some air inside to allow movement.  Shake the dickens out of the bag.

Construction: Standard 1-2-3-4 Cake Method

Dry-wet-dry-wet-dry, mixing thoroughly after each addition.  The batter will be very thick, reminiscent of brownie dough.  Pan and bake.  I anal-retentively discuss construction and baking elsewhere (tagged under Techniques).  This one was baked shielded for 30 minutes and unshielded for 10 minutes.  YMMV.


Powdered sugar, some berries, a bit of unsweetened whipped cream, a scoop of ice cream, a glass of cold milk.  Any combination of those items that sound good to you will do.  Butt-naked is also delicious – it’s silky and chocolatey but not too sugary.


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