Julie: I love that after a day when nothing is sure and when I say “nothing” I mean nothing, you can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. It’s such a comfort. [Amy Adams as Julie Powell, from the movie ‘Julie and Julia’ by Nora Ephron]
Cooking and baking brings out the best in most people. It is bliss to create culinary goodies that spread joy and happiness in the world. Simply put, baking cakes, scones, and pies was more like a hobby; I took up while I was growing up. This is an easy recipe to bake a chocolate cake that is exponentially more mouth-watering than what it looks and is sure to put a smile on a grumpy face, turn a lazy winter afternoon into a delightful one. The added benefit is the splendid aroma of fresh cakes baking in an oven, filling your room. It is as exciting as it sounds and is indeed an enriching experience. It’s your time to try it! Here is the hassle procedure.
• Time for preparation: 30 minutes
• Time for baking the cake: one cake could take 30 minutes to an hour.
• Here is what you need:
1 1/2 cups of plain flour
1 cups of castor sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
6 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 to 3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water (about 200 ml)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
250 ml of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence (even vanilla extract may be used)
For the icing one would need: 200 gm of plain chocolate, 200 ml of double cream
Get going if you have donned on your apron!
For the chocolate cake, the oven should be pre-heated to 180C or 350F.
1. In a mixing bowl of considerable size, one should first mix the dry ingredients. That is, plain flower, cocoa powder, castor sugar, salt, baking soda and the bicarbonate of soda. It is advisable to sieve the powder commodities. The liquid ingredients mixture comprising vanilla extract, milk, vegetable oil and eggs should be added to this dry mixture.
2. One should make the batter for the chocolate cake by whisking the wet and dry ingredients together by using a wooden spatula or an electric whisk. This is a tricky part where the batter should be beaten till smooth and lump-free.
3. Boiling water must be added a little at a time till again the batter is smooth. This step calls for attention or adult supervision as you would not want blisters on your hand!
4. The batter should be adequately put in the baking trays and baked for 30 minutes to an hour till ready.
5. How to know if the cake is ready? A skewer if inserted in the cake comes out clean, is indication that the cake is done.
6. The chocolate and double cream for icing should be heated in a pan till it melts. The mixture should be stirred to check if the chocolate is completely melted. Adding butter to it makes the icing glossy, rich and blesses it with a silky look.
7. The icing when cool should be put on top of the cake and spread evenly with a spatula. Worry not in case you don’t have one. You can use a spoon. Who is to see? It is a lovely cake and very close to perfection owing to its delicious taste!
• Tips for the soft, scrumptious and heart-warming chocolate cake:
1. As much as possible, lumps in the batter should be avoided. This is because lumpy batter results in a heavy cake. Hence sifting the dry ingredients when adding them is a must. In case powdered sugar is used, that too can be sieved so as to prevent lumps. This gives the cake a smooth texture.
2. Stirring the liquid and dry ingredients well into a smooth batter is a key to a hugely soft and light chocolate cake. If one has enough time, the wet ingredients may be stirred all together in a separate bowl before being added to the dry components of the cake.
3. One must never forget to grease the baking pan with butter before pouring the batter in the baking tray.
4. The cake should be allowed to cool for about 50 minutes after being removed from the oven. After being cooled the icing should be done and the cake can be cut and served.
5. Decorating with chocolate chips or edible glitter is an amazing way for a beautiful chocolate cake. In dire cases if one runs out of chocolate chips, even gems can go a long way in making a pretty chocolate cake.
My motto is food is important. Most of us will agree to it. Blessed with a sweet-tooth, I spent many afternoons with my easy-bake oven and I wish to share this key to a happy time, with all. Cakes are suitable for birthdays, weddings, get-together. Imagine the beaming smile coupled with surprise on your best-friend’s face as you wish her with a home-made, self-baked chocolate cake! It adds a great personal touch and is much more endearing and happier. Besides, you are sure to have immense fun. After one is done with it, one should pat one’s back and say “Good job! Great cake!” =)