April 07, 2007
Rich Chocolate Cake
I collect chocolate cake recipes like some one collecting coins or stamps. Both my mother and my mother-in-law have made an indelible impression on my son and he believes they make the best cakes. Can't dispute that, and I mostly make it their way. But I do try out every recipe that comes my way to see if it is any better.
This is my friend Asha's recipe for her favorite chocolate cake and of course I had to try it. Initially, the ingredients list daunted me and I held it thinking if I should cut down the butter or the sugar or both. The age of low fat cakes!!!An oxymoron!
Then I remembered an old Doordarshan (yes, I grew up in pre-cable TV era in India)serial where a couple made a dessert from grated carrot (Gajar Ka Halwa) from a cookery show, but substituted the Ghee(clarified butter) with oil, omitted the sugar as they were old and diabetic, and cooked the carrots in water instead of milk. Needless to say it tasted nowhere near a Halwa and they blamed the cooking show!
So this time, I made it with no substitutions, in its full fat form, resolving to eat less instead. You have to try it once. It has a melt in the mouth rich and moist quality,that I normally associate with only high end bakeries and patisseries.
I made it in the morning just before we left for Longwood Botanical Gardens in PA and could only take photos of it placed on the hood of my car on the garden's site map, so bear with the photos.The photos don't do justice to it and when I make it next, will certainly change it for a better shot. Thanks a lot, Asha, loved the cake.
You Will Need:
Sugar - 1 1/2 cup
Egg - 2
Butter - 1/2 cup (melted)or 8 tbsp
Cocoa Powder- 3 heaped tbsp.
Yogurt - 1 1/4 cup (in India, Nandini's or Nestle's 'set curd' works very well)
Soda Bicarbonate - 1 1/2 level. tsp
Sunflower/Canola Oil - 1/4 cup
Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp
Salt - a pinch (Don't add salt if the butter is salted)
Maida and/ or Whole Wheat flour- 1 1/2 cup(Mix half and half)
Walnuts/Almonds -1/2 cup ground to a powder
Sift the flour with the soda and salt (if using) and keep aside. Beat the eggs slightly and keep aside. Preheat the oven to 350 F or 175 C.
Powder the sugar and beat with the melted butter till the sugar dissolves. Touch it to see if there is any granular texture left. Add the eggs and mix well. Add the canola oil, cocoa powder,vanilla essence and yogurt one by one till well mixed. Use a whisk or a fork while blending. Add the flour slowly, blending it in as you go. Do not add at one go as it makes lumps which would be difficult to mix. The mix should be smooth textured and then add the ground walnuts. Adding it earlier makes it difficult to figure out if the batter is well mixed in or not.Do not over mix after the flour is added.
Prepare a baking pan (8x8 inch or cicular pan) with a coating of oil and then sprinkle a dusting of flour on it evenly. I use the disposable aluminium baking trays easily available at supermarkets.
Bake in the middle rack for about 35-45 minutes. It is cooked when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the whole house smells of cocoa and butter. Cool and cut into squares.
PHOTOS FROM THE LONGWOOD GARDENS, PA.