One can never have too many recipes for homemade chocolate cake, agreed? This rich cake requires no frosting; just a light dusting of powdered sugar does the trick. This recipe combines a ganache-like batter and clouds of whipped egg whites. After baking it takes on a satisfying smooth mouth feel, super chocolatey flavor and a melt-in-your mouth consistency. It really rocks.
I have recently fallen in love with the cookbook titled, The Silver Spoon. I get my workout carrying this book from the bookshelf to my kitchen counter. Weighing in at about 5 pounds, this tome, sometimes called the bible of Italian cooking, is an epic resource with 1504 pages and over 2000 recipes. The first 44 pages list cooking terms, tools and equipment. Currently, I am working my way through the dessert section where I found and fell in love with this yummy and simple chocolate cake.
This classic cookbook, first published in Italy in 1950, became a household item. Then, in 2005, the first English-language edition came out; it was updated again in 2011 with the addition of new recipes and more instructions to help the novice cook. The last two chapters are titled, “Menus for Festive Occasions” and “Menus by Celebrated Chefs.”
I grew up with Betty Crocker. What I mean is, in the 1950’s and 1960’s, in our household, making a cake meant using a mix from a box. My mom, like so many others of the post-WW2, generation, made breakfast, lunch and dinner every day and prided herself on her homemaking skills. We embodied the typical middle-class American family with Dad going off the work each morning and Mom at home attending to the care and feeding of my brothers and me. In a society based on convenience and great marketing, our diet consisted of canned vegetables, Wonder Bread and Twinkies. I thought anyone who could make a cake “from scratch” resided in another world with magic and pixie dust.
Now, I make cakes “from scratch” all the time. I have come to understand that it’s not hard and is so satisfying. In my humble opinion, the simple pleasure of making cake from scratch is in the same category as conceiving a loaf of sourdough or fashioning a decent pie crust.
The Family Meal
Thank you, Mom, for the daily sustenance, the comfort and instilling in me the importance of the family meal and time in the kitchen. It really doesn’t matter what you serve for a family dinner. Make it hot dog-filled Crescent rolls, and Twinkies for dessert. The magic comes from sharing the meal together. However, if you want to make a fabulous chocolate “from scratch,” I give you this “easy” recipe. Enjoy!
Incredibly Easy Chocolate Cake
- 8 inch springform pan or 8 inch round cake pan
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 ¾ cup powdered sugar, plus a bit more for garnish
- 3 tbsp butter, melted
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 3.5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- 5 eggs separated
- ⅛ tsp vanilla
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- Grease and flour an 8 inch springform pan or round cake pan.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. (Yes, you read that correctly. This cake cooks at a low temp.)
- Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler or in a metal bowl over water that is just boiling.
- Beat the eggs yolks, half of the powdered sugar, the granulated sugar and vanilla. Then, beat in the melted butter and chocolate.
- Sift in the flour and cornstarch and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff and then whisk in the other half of the powdered sugar. Using a thin spatula, gently fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture until a uniform color is achieved.
- Pour the batter into the prepared springform or cake pan and bake at 300 degrees F for 40 minutes. Wait until the cake cools completely before removing it from the pan. Turn the cake over onto a serving platter and sprinkle generously with powdered sugar.