Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Baking Class: The Chocolate Cake

Desperate times call for desperate measures.  I got home from Wisconsin last weekend with very little food in the kitchen and was craving something sweet. I don’t really eat sweets these days and don’t keep many ingredients around.  What I did have was a container with extremely sour milk along with flour, sugar, butter and cocoa.  And an old family chocolate cake recipe that calls for sour milk (although we usually just make our own by adding vinegar to regular milk).

While it was in the oven I realized I did not have any confectioners sugar or milk to make icing and if I was going to the trouble to make a chocolate cake I wanted something on it. So I whipped up a quick batch of chocolate syrup and poured it over the top like a mirror glaze. It tasted delicious but the sauce gradually seeped deeper into the cake, making it sticky and difficult to eat. But it was just what I needed.

This is what it looks like with the proper icing. The milk for this one was made sour with vinegar as opposed to using sour milk, and you can see the difference in the crumb. Both are delicious, but it is just a touch better with actual sour milk. Enough so that I always let the last bit of milk go sour in my refrigerator just so I have it on hand when I want to make this cake.

You may wonder why it is called The Chocolate Cake. That is how it was always referred to when friends would ask us to make it. You can see the story behind it in this post from 2010.

Home Cookin v9.81 Chapter: Baked Goods (Sweet/Savory)
1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup sour milk (add 1 Tbsp vinegar to make it sour)
1/3 cup melted butter
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 stick softened butter
1/4 to 1/2 cup cocoa
1 to 2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
milk, as needed

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add the milk, melted butter and vanilla and mix until just combined.

Pour into 9-inch round or 8-inch square cake pan. Bake on the middle rack for 20 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

For the Icing:

Combine the butter, 1/4 cup of the cocoa, 1 cup of the confectioners sugar, the vanilla, and about two tablespoons of the milk in a medium size bowl and beat until well blended. Add more cocoa as needed for the flavor and more confectioner's sugar as needed to reach a spreadable consistency.

exported from Home Cookin v9.81

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