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Kay's House of Treats: One Bowl Chocolate Wonder

Friday, March 1, 2013

One Bowl Chocolate Wonder

For me baking has always been very therapeutic from the entire process of selecting a recipe then gathering the ingredients to finally presenting the finished product to friends and family - creating something with basic ingredients and some kitchen gadgetry and then hoping that everyone will go "oh, that's so delicious" - that just makes all the time and effort that's put in seem so worthwhile.

People who have eaten baked stuff made by me are so used to me randomly adding ingredients like a dash of cinnamon or a bit of coffee powder or maybe some zest (depending on whats in season); I know that baking is an art and you are supposed to follow the recipe exactly, but while I will always follow the methodology I have this habit of always changing the recipe just a little bit. I always taste the final batter and adjust if required. It's become so habitual that nowadays when I don't do this random tweaking, I usually get a response that something seems to be missing.

One of my favourite cakes to make, also the most requested is this one bowl chocolate cake; I think I found this recipe in some magazine and it was titled "Magic Cake" and it was a pretty magical cake in terms of how easy it was - first add the dry ingredients then the wet ingredients then beat it for 2 minutes and bake: no creaming, no separating of eggs, no folding in the dry ingredients just dump it all in and your ultra-moist & chocolatey cake is ready to serve.

Later when my horizons for recipe searching increased (specifically in the days of broadband internet), I found out that this recipe is actually by Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) known as Beatty's Chocolate Cake and is similar to the Hershey's Chocolate Cake

Beatty's Chocolate Cake
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home


Oil, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder, plus more for dusting the pans
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken (1 cup milk + 2.5 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice; leave for 10 minutes till the milk curdles)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, at room temperature 
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup coffee (1 cup hot water + 1.5 tsp coffee powder)            
For Random Tweaking: I recommend adding a teaspoon of cinnamon powder; or a teaspoon of orange/lemon zest depending on what's in season; increase the flavor of coffee by adding 3 tsp of coffee powder instead of 1.5 tsp


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease one 13-inch by 9-inch rectangular cake pan. Line with parchment paper, then butter and dust the pan using cocoa powder.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a big bowl. Use a fork to mix all the dry ingredients together thoroughly. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add all the wet ingredients. Use a spatula or a spoon to just barely mix the dry and the wet ingredient; the reason I do this is so that when I beat the mixture, it doesn't splatter. Beat for 2 minutes, using a spatula to scrape the bowl. Please note that the batter will not be thick as regular cake batters, but will be a bit liquid.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then turn it out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Frost with your favourite ganache topping or dust with icing sugar and serve.

Note: The texture of this cake is ultra-moist, hence I find it unsuitable for mold pans; similarly, I prefer icing it with a simple ganache or a glaze on it; 

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At May 6, 2013 at 7:16 PM , Anonymous Tooba said...

hey whats the diff between baking soda and baking powder? is the regular meetha soda same as baking soda?

At May 6, 2013 at 9:34 PM , Blogger Kiran said...

Both are basically rising agents used differently - baking soda requires an acidic ingredient to react and create bubbles of carbon dioxide which causes the cake to rise - that acidic ingredient is the buttermilk; baking soda basically includes the acidic ingredient and it reacts on either heat or moisture ..
And yes - Meetha Soda is Baking Soda :) .. let me know how it turns out - and post a picture on the Facebook page ..

At August 6, 2014 at 5:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am planning to bake this cake for 10 people....tell me if I should double the ratio or will this be enough?

At August 19, 2014 at 11:36 PM , Blogger Kiran Afzal said...

I just saw this! Sorry.
This cake should easily be enough for 10 people :) ..

At August 31, 2014 at 2:36 PM , Blogger Aiman Asif said...

hey, is it necessary to add the coffee?
And 1 cup flour and 2 cups sugar?? :S

At August 31, 2014 at 2:56 PM , Blogger Kiran Afzal said...

It's 1 cup + 3/4 cups flour so almost 2 cups for 2 cups sugar.
You can skip the coffee, and just add 1 cup of hot water.

At September 4, 2014 at 8:11 PM , Blogger Aiman Asif said...

hey thanks a lot. and if i dont use coffee, should I still add 2 cups sugar or less?


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