Monday, October 28, 2013

Candid Cook: Perfect Chocolate Cake

I have a confession.

Don't hate me.

I love chocolate boxed cake mix.

I mean love love it.

When I was a teenager I remember making chocolate cake from a mix and intentionally leaving some of the batter in the bowl so I could eat it with a spoon. It was so, so good...

My hubs and oldest daughter have been in South Carolina for a few days visiting family and friends. That has left me here alone with the three younger kids. Kelsey insisted we needed to bake and decorate Halloween cupcakes. I really wanted to take a shortcut here and indulge in one of the chocolate boxed mixes of my youth. Unfortunately, I read the ingredients.


It had propylene glycol in it! And for those of you who don't know... THIS is what propylene glycol is. Warning. This definition is not for the feint of heart.

pro·pyl·ene gly·col
  1. 1.
    a liquid alcohol that is used as a solvent, in antifreeze, and in the food, plastics, and perfume industries.

It's in antifreeze! And most shampoos! I may never be able to eat a boxed mix again. With that tragedy came the need to find a great chocolate cake recipe to fill the void in my life. I figured a chocolate sour cream cake should do the trick, since the sour cream can really keep a cake moist for a few days. So the search began. It ended when the Daisy brand's chocolate sour cream cake recipe which I found online. (You can see the original recipe here.) I wanted to make a couple of modifications of my own, so what I'm posting here is the recipe I will use forever when I want a light and fluffy chocolate cake.

Side note: There is only one egg in this cake. I was skeptical, but went along with it. When I got to the amount of baking soda, I triple checked it just to be sure I was reading it correctly. It really is one TABLESPOON of baking soda. That is why you only need one egg in the cake. Don't worry about it. It really does work!

Rich Chocolate Sour Cream Cake

3/4 c. olive or canola oil
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. baking cocoa
2 c. flour
1 Tbsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c. warm water
1 c. sour cream

In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, combine oil, egg, vanilla, sugars, and baking cocoa. Beat until well combined.

For the rest of the ingredients, you need to add them in this specific order I tell you. Trust me; I know what I'm doing. Oh, and pay no attention to the different colored pictures. My new kitchen has terrible lighting and I had to use the flash in some of the pictures. (I hate using the flash.)

First, you're going to add 1 c. flour, the baking soda, and the salt. Mix it well.

Then slowly pour in half of the warm water while it's mixing.

Once the water is mixed in thoroughly, blend in half of the sour cream.

Now you're going to repeat the steps again, but this time without the baking soda and salt of course. First the rest of your flour, then your water, then your sour cream. See? Easy-peasy.

Once your done it will make a nice thin cake batter. If you are making cupcakes like I was, invest in a cookie scoop with a thump-release handle. Two even scoops makes one cupcake or muffin. It's a lot less messy than my old method, let me tell you.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. You know the drill.

See how perfect these look?

I meant to take more pictures of them done, but by the time I got around to it, we had packed them all up to give away or eaten them. This picture from before was all I had left. With whipped chocolate ganache for frosting. Fabulous.

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