Monday, September 6, 2010

Gavin's Chocolate Cake

All the boys in Dan the Man's family love chocolate cake, but there's one catch - no frosting can be involved. They'll eat it plain, or even with chocolate pudding on the side but don't want anything to do with overly sugary stuff. I originally developed this recipe for Dan's brother Gavin because, if you're going to eat plain cake, why not eat the best? 

The recipe involves making your own cake flour (you'll see that in the strange measurement for flour, and the addition of cornstarch). If you have cake flour handy, just ignore the flour / cornstarch in the recipe, and use 3 cups of cake flour. You'll also want to have toothpicks on hand to check for doneness so you don't burn this delicious treat.

Lastly, if you've never baked with baking chocolate, be sure to get the right kind. You'll be sorry if you accidentally use unsweetened instead of the semisweet baking chocolate called for by the recipe...not that I've ever done that before. Additionally, you can substitute semisweet chocolate chips if you've got those on hand - according to the substitutions on this website, sub in a little over 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips for the 3 1/2 oz. semisweet baking chocolate required in my recipe.
five 1/2 oz squares of semisweet Baker's baking chocolate

  • 3 1/2 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 3/4 cup salted butter (equal to 1 1/2 sticks, or 12 Tbsp)
  • 2 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (unbleached is best)
  • 6 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease 9 x 13 cake pan. Set aside.
  3. In small saucepan, melt butter and chocolate together over medium-low heat. Let cool.
  4. In medium bowl, mix together flour, cornstarch, and baking soda. Set aside.
  5. Pour sugar into large mixing bowl. With electric or stand mixer with whisk attachment at medium speed, pour in chocolate/butter mixture and mix for about 1 minute.
  6. With mixer still on medium, add vanilla, then both eggs (one at a time). 
  7. Then add flour mixture gradually, alternating with cold water. Scrape down sides of bowl and continue to beat for another minute or two, until batter is fluffy.
  8. Pour batter into greased 9 x 13 pan. 
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Check for doneness using toothpick.
  10. Let cake cool at least 15-20 minutes. Serve alongside chocolate pudding, whipped cream, or any other sidekicks you might enjoy.

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