12 October 2011

Heavens ordered chocolate cake, and so I did

Did you ever had this feeling like a higher force is commanding you to bake chocolate cake? I had. Actually, I do have that often. Sometimes I even think I have psychic powers or something, because I also have visions of chocolate melting and I can feel the smell of it in the oven. No, I'm not pregnant. I don't even want to know what I'll become when I get to that. Dear me... Well, but so that you won't start thinking I'm crazy (unless you have the same psychic powers I have) I need to tell you that, this time, I had proofs. Yes, its plural. Not one, several proofs. Heavens ordered, and I obeyed. This is how it happened.

There I was, minding my own business, wandering over pinterest when I bumped into this chocolate cake. The picture itself isn't that much appealing, it's not like I was drooling over it (c'mon you see pictures of cakes every day on the web... at least I do), but still, for some reason I clicked it. Well, it said 'black magic cake'... that was probably it.

Then there was that title saying 'best chocolate cake ever!'. At this point I was already suspicious. Is this going to be one of those recipes that includes a ready made cake mix? (wait, is cake mix actually an ingredient? never mind...) So I kept on reading. Hum... This doesn't sound bad, I thought to myself, no cake mix, pudding mix, nor any stuff ready mixed like that. Oh, and it uses buttermilk! You see, this would be the kind of thing I would put aside for lack of ingredients. Finding buttermilk here is like trying to find a wool scarf on a beach, on a summer day. But then I found I could use yogurt whey as a substitute in many recipes, and has it happens I had just made labneh (yogurt cream cheese / greek yogurt) and had kept the whey on the fridge waiting for something to happen. And, you know, it doesn't last that long on fridge, so the recipe came right on time. So, you see, I was not looking for it, but the recipe came to me. I present you this as exhibit A.

So, I thought, I might just give it try... I was going to measure the amount of whey I had and then work from there. The recipe asked for one cup, and I had EXACTLY one cup. There you have, exhibit B.

Then there was that thing without which you can't do chocolate cake. Chocolate, obviously. The recipe asked for 3/4 cup of cocoa powder. I looked at the pantry and found two packages with some leftovers (don't know why but this keeps happening to me...), I crossed my fingers and measured it. Guess what? 3/4 cup, not more, nor less. This shall be exhibit C.

More? Yes, there's more. I also needed one cup of strong black coffee. I grabbed the instant coffee jar and there was just a tiny bit on the bottom. I could easily make some fresh coffee on the machine but that would take longer, and you cannot wait that long for chocolate cake, now can you? I knew I needed at least three tablespoons to make it strong, so I pour it carefully and without wasting a bit I had exactly three tablespoons. (I made it with boiling water and I needed it to be near cold to be able to use it, but no worries. I used that old technique of pouring the liquid from one cup to another repeatedly till the temperature drops. Quick and easy.) Finally, I present you this as exhibit D.

I could go on and present hubby's happy face as exhibit E, but I think this is enough. I rest my case.

Oh, you wanna know about the cake?? Ok. Saying it's the best chocolate cake ever it's an overstatement, but it's pretty close I assure you. It's tasty and incredibly moist like a cake you'd eat in a fancy french pâtisserie. Too bad the lousy photos don't show it, but trust me. And the best, it's deadly easy to make and make's you look like a baking queen. It really is magic! Do yourself a favor and try this.

Black Magic Cake

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt 

2 eggs
1 cup strong black coffee
1 cup yogurt whey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven at 175º Celcius (350 Fahrenheit). Combine dry ingredients on a bowl. Add wet ingredients (coffee must be almost cool) and whisk by hand with a balloon whip, or with a mixer at medium speed for about two minutes. The batter will be really thin, more like a chocolate soup. Resist the temptation to eat it by spoon and pour it into a greased and floured pan. Make sure it is perfectly greased because the cake will be really soft and you don't want to ruin your work (yeah, stupid me). Bake it for 40 mins, not one minute more. Don't open the oven while baking to check cooking, it is too moist and you wont be able to tell. Just trust that in the end it will be perfect.

I just did a simple cream cheese and butter frosting instead of the chocolate one on the original recipe because I was lacking ingredients for that. But next time I will definitely try. Well, the only thing better than chocolate is chocolate-over-chocolate! Right?

all photos by me
I'm really annoyed for not having one decent photo of the inside of the cake. 
Give me a break here, it was dark, my camera sucks with low light, and well, I was more into eating it...

recipe from here


  1. Wow, well I have buttermilk laying in the fridge waiting, so I will take that as my own proof . This looks delicious, and chocolate cake has to be moist, there is no other way !
    Umm and yeah I do get the chocolate cravings.

  2. Girl you've been given a task and, if you choose to accept it, you'll end up with a glorious cake! Do not try to defy the chocolate gods!

    OH, I've been meaning to tell you, I try that hangop (http://www.kayotic.nl/blog/hangop) and it is delicious. Oh, and I made quite an impression with a dutch dessert :)

  3. sounds so good, must try!!

  4. ugh, you mention my weakness!! chocolate and cake!
    i usually ignore recipes that mention buttermilk. once i tried to make it myself, with lemon juice and then vinegar and nothing happened. so probably won't make this... :(

  5. That sounds amazing and I love the goey-ness in the pictures.

    There is something about autumn that makes me want to bake and cook lots and lots!

  6. Whether it's from a higher power, psychic powers, or voodoo powers - never pass on the calling of making a chocolate cake! NEVER!!

    Looks yummy!!


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