When I want chocolate cake, nine times out of ten, this is the cake I make. Whether eaten plain, or my favourite way, which is sandwiched with dulce de leche and topped with chocolate ganache, it’s brilliant! One little thing though: the directions are fine if you want to serve your cake in the pan, but if you want to unmould it for prettier presentation, your pan will need to be greased and floured, or brushed with bakers’ secret (which is no secret: combine equal parts oil, shortening, and flour). This means you should mix the cake in a separate bowl, but hey, it’s still really easy and cleanup is minimal.
Now! For all you people nervous about the vinegar: there is a simple reason why it’s there. For a cake to rise, you need an alkali, and an acid. When the alkali and the acid combine, they react with each other, giving off carbon dioxide, which is what makes the cake rise. All cakes other than yeast cakes are risen this way. The alkali/acid deal is present in baking powder (already mixed for you), and in recipes that call for baking soda (alkali) and, say, cream of tartar (acid). In this case, you have baking soda (alkali) and vinegar (acid). They react with each other and make the cake rise. You CANNOT taste the vinegar, so relax, make the cake, and enjoy!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups cold water
- Sift flour, sugar, salt, soda, and cocoa together into a 9 x 13 inch ungreased cake pan. Make three wells. Pour oil into one well, vinegar into second, and vanilla into third well. Pour cold water over all, and stir well with fork.
- Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 40 minutes, or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Frost with your favorite icing.