i found this intriguing recipe in an old edition of cook’s illustrated magazine when i was cleaning out a closet a while back. it’s called emergency chocolate cake. it’s based on a recipe from the second world war. cooks had to find new ways of preparing foods when staples like butter were rationed. the idea is that you can quickly prepare this recipe with ingredients you have in the pantry. instead of the traditional fats used to give cake its moisture, this cake relies on mayonnaise. my son, the budding chef, was skeptical. “no way a cake without butter is going to taste good,” he declared. let’s check it out:
you will need: 1 1/2 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder, 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (chopped fine), 1 cup hot coffee, 2/3 cup mayonnaise, 1 large egg and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (not pictured yet because i forgot to put it out).
heat your oven to 350 and spray an 8×8 pan with pam. whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
in a separate bowl, combine the cocoa powder (like always, i used half regular cocoa powder and half black cocoa powder: so 1/4 cup of each) and the chopped chocolate.
pour the hot coffee over the mixture, whisking unitl smooth. man-oh-man, does this smell good!
say hello to the vanilla!! hi, vanilla!! sorry i forgot about you.
let the coffee-chocolate mixture cool for about 5 minutes. while it’s cooling measure your mayo in one of these cool push-up measurer thingies. this gadget is great for measuring sticky, thick stuff like peanut butter, molasses and…ah…mayo.
once the coofee mixture is cooled, add the vanilla, mayo and egg and whisk until smooth and thick. add it to the dry ingredients
and mix until combined.
place in your prepared pan…
and bake for about 30 minutes or until it looks rich and dark and chocolate like this…
cool it in the pan for about two hours. give it a dust of confectioner’s sugar…
and plate it up!!
well, little mr. know-it-all was soo wrong because this cake is FABULOUS!!! rich and moist and….just FABULOUS!! and you don’t even have to get your mixer dirty! give a nod to those resourceful cooks of the great war and make this today. emergency not required.
peace – jodi