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This cake is pure celebration and my chocolate go- to. Not too rich but ridiculously moist, it is decadent without being overly sweet. It’s almost impossible to mess up and so easy to make; it gives Betty Crocker a run for her money. If you have a whisk and two large bowls, you can pull this off. Since the batter is very runny, avoid using a springform pan, which can leak. This cake is a slight adaptation of my dear friend Simon’s recipe. He effortlessly cooks for thirty people without breaking a sweat, and everything he makes tastes delicious— including this cake. There’s also an added bonus: the final product has some serious shelf life— it will keep fresh for days, and it freezes well if you would like to bake it ahead of time.
Makes: 10 x 3-inch round cakePreparation: 20 minutes
1 ¾ cups (225g) all-purpose flour½ cup (45g) unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder1 ½ teaspoons baking powder1 ½ teaspoons baking soda½ teaspoon salt1 ½ cups (300g) granulated sugar2 eggs, at room temperature1 cup (240ml) whole milk½ cup (120ml) grapeseed oil or any mild- flavored oil½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract1 cup (240ml) boiling water
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 10 by 3- inch round pan with butter, line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper, and grease the paper. (I’ll let you just grease, line the bottom of the pan, and lightly flour the sides if you’re feeling lazy.)
Place a large sifter or a sieve in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and sift. Add the sugar and whisk until combined. In another large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla together. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until there are no lumps and the batter is smooth. Carefully pour in the boiling water and stir until combined. (Watch the little ones with the hot water!)
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the center of the oven for approximately 50 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, and the cake bounces back when lightly pressed.
Remove from the oven and let the cake stand for 10 minutes. Run a butter knife around the cake to gently release. Peel off the parchment paper from the sides. Invert the cake, peel off the bottom piece of parchment, and cool on a wire rack.
Try these other pan optionsTwo 8- or 9- inch round pans. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.12 by 8- inch or 13 by 9- inch rectangular pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. 10 to 12 individual ramekins (grease and fill halfway). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.24 cupcakes (fill liners no more than halfway). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
ToppingIn Simple Cake I give many topping suggestions for how to top this cake, but the simplest is a generous dusting of confectioners sugar when the cake has completely cooled, served with a dollop of whipped cream, or ice cream. Or sign up to my newsletter to receive my delicious Chocolate Mascarpone Buttercream recipe!