“a chocolate cake . . . when the cupboard is bare!”

by mulberryshoots

DSCN0566Today, we woke up to a layer of sleet and light snow on the driveway. Really? It’s the running of the Boston Marathon today – and it’s intermittently pouring rain outside.

Since I didn’t feel like going out to get anything at the grocery store, I rummaged around the freezer for some meatballs I had made awhile ago. Instead of spaghetti, I think I’ll make a combination of Swedish meatballs with farfalle pasta and alfredo (adding parmesan sauce.) There’s still a nice portion of kale to go with it tonight.

For dessert, I looked at a box of Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa in the pantry and decided to make half a recipe of a chocolate cake in a 8 inch springform pan and ice it with some chocolate frosting too. Here’s the recipe. Double it to make a two layer cake or bake in a bundt pan.

For a small 8 inch cake:

1 cup sugar, a scant cup of flour, 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa, salt, 3/4 tsp. baking soda, 3/4 tsp. baking powder. Stir all dry ingredients in a bowl. Then add wet ingredients and beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes: 1 egg, 1/2 cup milk, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 cup boiling water. Pour into a well greased cake pan (mine was 8 inch springform which I sprayed with Pam. Bake in preheated 350 oven for 30-40 minutes or when toothpick comes out cleanly.

For the frosting, I softened 1/2 stick of unsalted butter, added 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa and a scant cup of confectioners flour plus 1/2 tsp. of vanilla. Add a splash of half and half or milk. Beat well until mixed. When the cake is really cooled, spread a layer of frosting on the top.

It took about 45 minutes to make the cake and frosting from start to finish – and now, there’s a nice small chocolate cake for dessert tonight. Also, a pan of dishes to wash. But looks like it’s worth it! For the two of us, I usually make half a recipe of most desserts – and it turns out to be just right and still enough to share with others.

Footnote: We found this cake to be one of the best chocolate cakes ever! It was moist and rich of crumb plus it wasn’t overly sweet. The frosting was just right with a creamy mouth feel from a little extra butter that I added at the last minute. I thought it might last longer, but what the heck – it’s tempting to cut a small slice as you walk by it! A winner and a recipe I’ll go to now that I’ve tried it. LMK if you like it too!