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.




Anonymous said...

haha!! good old doordarshan days. the cake looks moist and a lot like how my mom makes. Happy Easter!!

Maneka Nirmal said...

hey, can i have that piece?? pls.pls..hey shaheen do u have any plans to move to atlanta??he.he..

Anonymous said...

Yogurt?? If you think it tastes like the bakery ones, I am in. I try lots of chocolate cakes too...
Which serial is that? And hey, the pictures are wonderful. Neat idea...the map gives a nice background.

Bong Mom said...

Hey when did you go to Longwood, it was cold this weekend. Initially we had planned for Saturday too (to go to Longwood that is) but it was so cold today that nobody agreed
The cake on the roof looks great and has a picnicky feel to it

J said...

Shaheen, can I have a piece please? With the butter, oil, yoghurt.... going into it, it has to be really soft! And till now I believed yoghurt was used only in eggless cakes!

Shah cooks said...

Reena, Happy easter to u too.

Maneka, Atlanta..hmmm right now I will move to anywhere warmer.Can u find me a job?:)

RP, The serial was called "tasveer ka doosra rukh". I know, yogurt is added in a lot of choc. cakes. don't ask me why. MAybe Annita will know.

Sandeepa, We went on tuesday last..3 apr.. the weather was gorgeous but the gardens have not yet fully bloomed. Wait for at least 2-3 weeks more before going.

Jyotsana, it is soft and rich.

indosungod said...

Shaheen looks super tasty. Pound Cake is as far as I go with cake making. Will surely try this the kids will be super pleased

sra said...

Uncanny, I was thinking of rich, moist chocolate cake and there your recipe comes!

Sherry's Works said...


bless the day i stumbled onto your blog.

Supergirl, carry on!

i'll type in more after i try out these recipes

Shivapriya said...

Yummy cake. My sis is experimenting with her oven these days in India, I'm going to send her this recipe.

TNL said...

That piece looks very moist...I do love my chocolate Cakes moist...a dry cake can put me off in a split sec.

Lovely recipe...I do love the addition of cocoa and yogurt in it. I use applesauce sometimes to make it real moist,


Shah cooks said...

Indo,if u like choco. cake , ur kids will like it.Adding the nuts gives it a semblance of nutrition.:)

Sra, i think i just read ur thots.:)

The inner i..thanks for the smoochie!!

Shivpriya, do let me know if ur sis liked it.

Trupti, i have heard a lot abt applesauce to replace butter but not tried it in choco. cake. i make apple cakes with that.

Anonymous said...

that looks absolutely divine. now i'm craving choc. cake at work..and it's not even 8 a.m.!

Prema Sundar said...

The moist cake tempts me to take it from the plate . Looks rich and yumm..

Surya Hith said...

I am going to try it the weekend.Looks soft and moist.Thanks Shaheen.

bee said...

not to self.

do not, do not ever go to shaheen's blog in the middle of day when you are supposed to be working, and there's no yummy food to reach for.

only evenings in close proximity to the kitchen are safe to visit shaheen's blog, 'cos it always makes me so hungry.

Vcuisine said...

It looks moist and soft. Viji

Anonymous said...

ur recipes are great but i love ur narration equally!!!

Shah cooks said...

amna, 8am is a bit early for cake but then my son did make me make it at 10.30 am before his breakfast.

prema, go ahead, have a bit.:)

surya, do try and hope u like it.

Bee, same goes for ur blog.. make sme hungry.

vcuisine, thanks.

sindhu, thanks! and i always felt the narrative is too long!

Anonymous said...

Hi Shaheen, choc. cake sounds great! You're right, sometimes you just can't substitute. I'd rather have a teaspoon of real ghee or a bite of real chocolate than a pound of the fake stuff.

Photos of the gardens are just gorgeous! I'd love to visit that place someday. Thanks for the taste of spring!

KF said...

Cakes looks good,My kids will definetly love this..Nice write up too.

dhanya said...

Shaheen I'm not at all a choco fan, but this one looks so soft...Aa cake enne maadi maadi vilikunnu :))

Sal said...

The cake and flowers are beautiful!
I am zero in cake making.Have seen my mom cooks cake on the ordinary "thee aduppu". I tried and failed even with the help of oven.

Sia said...

good old doordarshan days:) sometimes i feel it was much better than now a days hundreds of channels.
cake has got that picnicy look to it. love that pic of cake with sunlight on it.
wow...those orchids just took my breath away...beautiful

Seema Bhat said...

Shaheen, you are so right about those old doordarshan days. The cake looks super moist and rich. Thanx for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shaheen,
I baked this cake tonight, and it is superb! Absolutely rich and melt in your mouth goodness. I have guests coming tomorrow morning, and I wanted a recipe that did not need any modifications (no time to make blunders and start all over again!!) - this certainly fits the bill.



Shah cooks said...

linda, do visit the gardens, its beautiful. and a spoon ful of ghee is indeed better than a cup of oil.:)

kitchen fairy , do try it..

Dhanya,go ahead, have some.

seena, i am no expert on cake making, i have my share of up snad downs but i just keep on trying. the cakes either go to the waste or to the waist.

sia, seema, a co-doordarshan viewer!! i do like the tv now but not the serials.

jay, thanks for letting me know. glad u liked it.

sunita said...

I love anything chocolaty...those flowers look wonderful...reminds me of the Keukenhof gardens in Holland...we visited it last year during this time...is'nt it amazing how quickly time flies...

Bijoy said...

Nice post, its a really cool blog that you have here, keep up the good work, will be back.

Warm Regards

Biby Cletus - Blog

Kay said...

oh dear! I drooled and drooled and forgot to leave a comment, I composed in my mind.


Now, THAT is one divine cake!

Deeba PAB said...

Hi Shaheen from someone from the ancient Doordarshan times, and still collecting and now making chocolate cake recipes...I can see your passion. DD is still transmitting (believe it or not), and everytime we even pause at DD for nostalgic reasons, the kids jaws drop in horror...all you can hear is NOT THIS,PLEASE CHANGE IT!!
I too have been and am still in pursuit of the perfect choc cake recipe, balance evenly on fat, taste and nutrition...PHEW!! Did try one the other day with ingredients from my mind, and can now say that it tasted darned good (last crumbs just polished off). Do drop by at my blog someday and take a look...
BTW, love yr blog, and the name.

Shalini(bodhan)Khushal said...

i'am new here ,amazed to see the interaction between the members ,its just wonderfull,will be trying the caramel custard this weekend for my friends.

Anonymous said...

baked this cake last week..it was amazing...my chocoholic friend commented that it tastes like store-bought cake. thank you. one modification i will make next time is to reduce the amount of baking soda. there was a faint smell of it in the cake.

Recipeswap said...

I'm very glad to have found your blog.Good malabar recipes.

Shaheen said...

Hi Shaheen,
This is just a divine chocolate cake. I have made this cake so many times and each time...DELICIOUS! Thanks for the recepie!

asha said...

hey i tried this cake & it came out very well...i made it with olive oil. thanks again..:)
waiting for ur prawn biriyani..:P

Ann said...

Hi Shn,
I am hunting for choc cake recipes today for my three year olds b'day, I am going to try this one, it looks delectable, saw it on Divya Kudua's website too!

buy rift platinum said...

OMG! that looks so delicious. . =)

rsk said...

Once again ,this cake has proved that your recipes are flawless and you just cant go wrong with any recipe on this blog..Thank you so much ..this is the best chocolate cake I have ever made..

Leya said...

This cake has been on my to-do list for more than a year, and finally I baked it today...I agree with the others who have commented here..this definitely is the BEST chocolate cake I have ever made! Thank-you for this wonderful recipe, Shaheen. You rock, girl!