Instead of wine, today I'm going to talk about chocolate. Specifically, how to make the easiest chocolate cake in the history of civilization.
No. I don't think that is an overstatement.
I like to bake, really I do, when I have time. I'm not terribly good at it, I'm better at cooking, because with cooking you can kind of just throw a bunch of random stuff together that sounds good, and it usually works out okay. But with baking, you have to measure, and measure means math, and "It was my understanding there would be no math" is pretty much my Life Statement.
But this, this is easy. Lucinda Scala Quinn, of my favorite recipe book Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys, includes this cake in her repertoire: Busy Day Chocolate Cake. If a renowned chef, caterer, and Friend of Martha makes an easy cake, well, so should you.
The entire recipe is posted here at MarthaStewart.com, but I will put it here for all of you, too. (Warning: clicking around over at Martha's place can make you feel both exhilaratingly motivated and creative or a completely incapable failure. Is kind of a bipolar place.)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 cup cold water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In an 8-inch square baking pan, whisk together all-purpose flour, sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, and coarse salt.
Make a well in center of flour mixture and add vegetable oil, pure vanilla extract, white vinegar, and cold water. Whisk until well combined. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
You guys, I don't even put frosting on this cake, it's so moist and yummy. Just plate it up with a scoop of ice cream and you're good to go.
And, while vegan cooking is not really part of my priority list, because it has no dairy this cake doesn't have to be refrigerated. It can just sit covered in plastic wrap on your counter for days, if it lasts that long.
So there you go. Yesterday I was feeling blue, disorganized, and creeped out by the weather. Today, I'm feeling better. Chocolate cake helps. So does wine, but I'll leave that for another day.