Saturday, January 16, 2010

Recipe Secrets: Chocolate Cake

Another thing that my MIL makes that is a hit in my house is something she calls "Obscene Chocolate Cake." Obscene in the sense that it is REALLY chocolate-y. Everyone here will eat it, and that is saying something, as i generally make at least 2, if not 3, different meals for dinner, and rarely does anyone eat dessert at all.

Not an original recipe, i don't know to whom the credit goes, but here is my MIL's recipe:

Obscene Chocolate Cake
350 degrees, 50 minutes
1 package chocolate cake mix (in the box, brand does not matter)
1 small package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 package chocolate chips (semi sweet or milk chocolate)
1 3/4 c. water 2 eggs
1/2 c. oil

mix all ingredients thoroughly. Bake in bundt or tube pan, do not overbake! Cool thoroughly before removing. Ice with commercial (canned) chocolate icing.

A very simple recipe. Pretty fool-proof, unless you disregard the instructions: do not overbake! Cool thoroughly before removing. These are the "secrets" in this recipe. If you overbake, it will be dry, and if you try to remove before cool, the little pieces of chocolate chips separate, and your cake falls apart. Ooops!

By learning these little secrets in this recipe have enabled me to learn more "secrets" that have taken my cake-baking to a whole 'nother level.
Ask the teachers at my children's schools how good my cakes are...

Here are my chocolate cake secrets:

1. use sour milk. Not kidding. Finding sour milk in your refrigerator is like finding is just that good in baked stuff! Time to make a cake! I know that sounds awful, but it is like buttermilk that you did not have to go out and buy. Sour milk is so fabulous in a cake recipe (or most baked goods,) not only do i save sour milk, sometimes i MAKE sour milk. Put a couple of tablespoons into regular milk (just what is going in the recipe) to make it sour. Of course, buttermilk will do, too, if you want to spend money on it. Don't use milk if it is GREEN. Otherwise, it just keeps getting better, the more sour it is. I substitute this for water or milk in any cake recipe.

2. Retain heat while cooling, cool quickly. Even if i overbake, i can sometimes "save" a cake this way. I like cakes to be very moist. So when a cake comes out of the oven, i only let it sit in the pan on the stove for maybe 10 minutes. Then i cover it with foil or plastic wrap and put it in the fridge or freezer...until it is really cool. This makes the cakes really moist and wonderful.

These two "secrets" help me turn my MIL's chocolate cake into a whole different animal. I bake it in a snack pan (you know, long and flat, like you would make lasagna in.) I don't even bother with the icing. I like a cake that i can cut into squares, like brownies, and people can eat with their fingers. I often bake one like this and take it to school to put in the teacher's lounge (and one in the admin lounge.)

Try it, and let me know what you think! Next post will get back to basketry, I promise! But i have already been told i need to publish my banana cake secrets too...

to see more posts in this series, click on the label "recipe secrets" below.


Nancy Jacobs Basketmaster said...

Sounds super yummy. Thanks for the recipe!

niftyknits said...

I wish there'd been a mum like you when I was a teacher!

J.R. said...

I've never been a huge fan of drinking buttermilk like everyone else in my family, but in recipes (especially baked goods) it really provides an incredible texture, and yes taste, to whatever you're making. Your "Obscene Chocolate Cake" recipe is a real keeper. Thanks for posting!