Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tried and True


This always happens at night: "Would you make a cake for tomorrow?" Or cupcakes. For an office party, someone's birthday, last day at work, baby shower... When the kids were younger I got caught once or twice unprepared, but now I am on to their game. I am prepared for anything in the cake category. Here is my go to, never fail, tried and true, last minute suprise chocolate cake recipe. Keep the ingredients in your cupboard and no one will catch you unprepared either.

Surprise Chocolate Cake

Preheat your oven to 350

3 cups flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Mix all this in a bowl with a whisk.

Then in a separate bowl, mix
2 cups cold water, or cold coffee (I always feel so frugal using up the leftover coffee)plus it makes the chocolate taste chocolaty-er
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use canola)
1 Tablespoon vanilla (or use dark rum, or Amaretto, or hazelnut liqueur)
2 tablespoons white vinegar

Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry and mix together. Pour into 2 9 inch round greased and floured cake pans or 1 9"x13" cake pan, or 24-30 lined cupcakes
Bake about 25-35 minutes. Cupcakes cook faster than a 9x13 inch cake.

This tastes like it is full of chocolate, butter and hard work, but only took a few short minutes of whisking. I won't tell if you don't! Notice that there are no eggs, butter, dairy products or other perishables in this cake. You can keep the ingredients on hand and no one can catch you unprepared.
Leftover cupcakes can be designated as muffins and eaten for breakfast. I hereby give you permission to have cake for breakfast. You deserve it!

My daughter made these for her Italian class party yesterday and says that they were a big success. She also notes that carrying a large Tupperware cupcake carrier around town is a sure fire conversation starter, and that if you want to meet people, just carry around decorated cupcakes. On her way home from class, she says that several people at the Metro station and the Old Town trolley stop struck up conversations. Some rough looking young men approached while she was waiting to change trains and asked what she had, and she said "chocolate cupcakes, want one?" All of a sudden they were all smiles as they each took one. There's a moral there somewhere.
Happy baking!

1 comment:

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Yum! I wish I had run across your daughter yesterday.