Memories from a Recipe: Chocolate Cake
This past Sunday morning, I got a text from a friend. Her husband had died unexpectedly of a heart attack that morning. He was 48.
I got the cake recipe out. I first got this recipe from my mother-in-law, Judy, when my oldest was newly diagnosed with a digestive disease that required us to cut out egg, dairy, and soy. (Have you ever made a cake without those ingredients? I never had and was skeptical.) Judy and I made that cake for Asher whenever we needed an “Asher-safe” dessert for a party we were going to. Asher is better now. As an 11 year old, he often makes himself a plate of eggs for breakfast. But, the comfort that cake brought me when I had no idea what this kid’s life was going to look like reminded me how far we had come and the love his grandma showed for him and for me in finding this recipe.
“She wants to have baked a cake that banishes sorrow, even if only for a little while.”
from In the Sweet Kitchen
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 c sugar
1/4 c natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tb canola oil
1 Tb white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 c cool water
Oven to 350. Whisk together first 5 ingredients. Mix in wet ingredients until most of the lumps are smoothed out, but do not overbeat. Bake in 8×8 pan for 30 minutes (9×9 pan for 23-25). Cool completely—this extremely moist cake will fall apart if removed from the pan too soon. I like to serve it topped with ganache or chocolate sauce, although it’s even good topped with only a sprinkle of powdered sugar.