Saturday, June 16, 2012

Chocolate Cake Saves the Day

a white puppy playing with a purple disk on the bedI have a little Monster at my apartment for the summer. He likes to play with squeaking toys and one of his favorite is a purple disk. It lets out a wimpy squeak when you press a particular spot. The toy is losing its yarn at the back, and I'm pretty sure it is losing its squeak once all the air leak out. I wish Monster can lose its energy too! He whines like a puppy when I put him back in his cage. Once I let him out, he dashes around the house like he's never been let out before. It's only being a week since my little guest arrived, and already I'm baking a chocolate cake to calm nerve.

When the little one calms down and settles with his toy, it's nice to relax on the couch with a cup of milk and a piece of chocolate cake. It doesn't need frosting because it is rich on its own. The center is dense and moist. The sides crumble apart when I dig in with my fingers. Who need a fork when you have a loaf of steaming cake from the oven? The flavor comes solely from Valrhona's cocoa powder. Best of all you only need one bowl, yes just one.

Two slices of dark chocolate cake lying next to a loaf of chocolate cake
I actually made this chocolate cake twice. On the first loaf I skimped out on sugar, so the body was a tad dry. The dark color made it look moist, but it was just too crumbly on the tongue. I was determined to adapt the recipe, knowing the problem to the first cake. Moreover, Monster was potty trained. I needed to reward myself with the ultimate moist chocolate cake. Adding half a cup more sugar on the second try yielded a much much more satisfying cake. I must thank Debra from Smitten Kitchen for sharing her Everyday Chocolate Cake that cured my craving.

Now that Monster has settled in and I let him crawl at my feet in bed, we are really getting along. I am not losing sleep when he cries and cries in his cage, and I don't need to fret about stepping on wet carpet. It's not bad having a company at the apartment after Evelyn moved out. I like to think it's the magic of chocolate cake. It made everything p-e-r-f-e-c-t.

a list of ingredients and steps to make the chocolate cake




Note on the recipe, if you don't have buttermilk like me, simply squeeze half a lemon into a cup of milk and let the acid react with the milk for five minutes before using! The original recipe called for 325F and 1 hour baking time, but my cake took an hour and twenty minutes at that temperature. So I cranked the temperature up to 350F and checked that the cake was done in forty minutes. Remember to adjust your oven and baking time accordingly.

a slice of chocolate cake is lying face up and you can see air bubbles and texture of the cake

a small loaf of chocolate cake with two slices on the right; one fell and is lying face up

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