Post # 142 Let ‘Em Eat Cake

July 19, 2013 at 2:17 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post # 142 Let ‘Em Eat Cake

I woke up this morning at the usual time (5:30 am in case anyone cares.  The dogs need to go out about that time.)  I generally stay up since I’m not good at falling back asleep.  The dogs were in the backyard barking at the morning.  I was in the kitchen getting their breakfast ready and wondering what was on the menu for dinner.  Then I realized that I had a sweet tooth the size of an iceberg.

I rummaged around the kitchen and confirmed what I already knew to be true.  Nothing handy and sweet resided within.  There was no cake.  There were no cookies.  There were no candy bars.  Nothing, stinkin’ nothing!

Okay, so this is me.  I knew I could throw something together pretty quickly and be eating something sweet in no time.  I (very!) briefly considered a PBJ which would take care of the sweet craving, but be fairly dissatisfying.  I fed the dogs, ignored my sweet tooth, sat down at the computer to catch up on the daily news, etc.

An hour and a half later, my mind was sorting through all the things I could make to satisfy the sweet tooth that wouldn’t go away.  Friday’s tend to be a little hectic for me so the main criteria was time.  I didn’t want to spend a great deal of time in the kitchen, so cookies were out of the question.  Plus, I’d just made cookies a couple of days ago.  I’d also made brownies over the last weekend so I didn’t want that.  I have some frozen blueberries so I pondered something with that.

It took me another hour to finally decide I would make a chocolate vinegar cake.  It’s easy, quick, low fuss.  (You can find the recipe in the recipe list to the right.  Look for Jennifer’s Grandmother’s Chocolate Vinegar Cake.)  But I didn’t want a chocolate cake.  I decided to omit the cocoa, and add pecans or walnuts, whichever we had.  I knew I had chocolate chips.  I almost always have chocolate chips.  So I decided to modify the recipe and call it a Chocolate Chip Cake.

So here’s what I made:

chocolate chip cake 01

I took two cups of flour, a half teaspoon each of salt and baking soda, and a cup of sugar and used a wire whip to sift it all together in a bowl.  Then I added a cup of cool water, a tablespoon of vinegar, a teaspoon of vanilla, and six tablespoons of oil and mixed thoroughly.  Then I folded in a half cup of chocolate chips.  Turned out I didn’t have any nuts hanging around, and I was a little tired of sunflower seeds so no nuts this time.  I briefly considered adding brown sugar to give it more of a toll house cookie flavor, but nixed that for this trial.  I prepped an 8x8x2 glass pan, and popped the thing into a 350 oven for 35 minutes.  It rose beautifully, but collapsed on cooling, which is really okay.  After it had cooled long enough, I cut a piece.

chocolate chip cake 02

I squirted a small amount of whipped cream onto the top and dug in.  It was good.  It was sweet and chocolaty and the whipped cream added a light element.

However, the top was a little tough.  The sides had browned nicely, but were a little tough as well.  The flavor was good, but mostly just sweet.  So, I’m going to make this again in a few days, after this one is gone.  I’m going to omit the chocolate chips.  I’m going to add pecans.  I’m going to cut down on the oil to 4 tablespoons (the oil was included in the chocolate cake recipe to help bind the cocoa) and add two tablespoons softened butter.  And finally, I’m going to cut the flour back to the original cup and a half.  I added the extra half cup to make up for the volume of cocoa I was omitting.  With those changes, I should get a light, airy, less crusty cake that should be sweet and nutty.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is how you get rid of a sweet tooth.

So many people who ask me about cooking think that it’s some big mystery and that it’s incredibly difficult.  There are recipes that are complicated.  Most are simple.  It just takes getting in and trying things.

Enjoy!  And as always, if you try this, let me know how it goes.

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