December 16, 2010

What's For Dessert? Chocolate Cake!

There is a reason I keep putting off buying that fabulous Kitchen Aid mixer. Baking! I'm a much better cook. Throwing a little of this, and a little of that together seems more natural to me. But what I am good at is eating all of those delicious baked goods... warm loaves of French bread, baskets of some-what-good and not-so-good for you muffins. I'm not much of a sweet eater, but I've never met a loaf of bread I didn't like! That's when I found this recipe for chocolate cake - not too sweet, easy to make, and not an ounce of butter, even in the frosting. (Add a sprig of Holly and you'll have a delicious holiday treat to serve to your guests.)

Vegetable oil or cooking spray
1 cup warm water
1 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

2 ounces dark chocolate (preferably at least 70 percent cacao.)
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat an 8-inch round cake pan with spray. Whisk water and cocoa in a small bowl until smooth. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add cocoa mixture, oil, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in vinegar and then pour into pan. Bake 30-35 minutes and let the cake cool before glazing.

For the glaze: Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl set over simmering water. Stir until smooth and let cool slightly. Whisk together sugar and water until smooth and then slowly add melted chocolate to the sugar mixture whisking until thickened, about 1 minute. Immediately pour glaze over cooled cake.