Bologna to Bolognese: Adventures With Food

Food is necessary. Food is fun. Food is an adventure!

My name is Shannon and this is my adventure, my love affair with food.

I hope you'll come along for the ride.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Back to Basics Chocolate Cake

What to do? You’re dying for a piece of chocolate cake but haven’t got a box mix to hand and the local bakery is closed. Don’t despair Better Homes and Gardens has got you covered.

One of my favorite cookbooks is the “Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book” I received it as a wedding gift and it has been invaluable since. If you knew nothing about home cookery you could pick up this book today and be whipping up marvelous mains, scrumptious sides, and delicious deserts by tomorrow. This book has it all. You are guided through everything from setting a table, selecting quality ingredients and kitchen tools and making everything from home baked breads to more sophisticated meals. Better yet it accomplishes all of this without alienating the reader so even an inexperienced cook can feel comfortable making a foray into the wonderful world of food.

So, back to the topic at hand, simple, from scratch, chocolate cake.

This recipe is Better Homes and Gardens One Bowl Chocolate Cake


1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup milk
1/3 cup cooking oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg


1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Grease and lightly flour a 9x1-1/2-inch round or 8x8x2-inch baking pan.

2. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed just until combined. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add egg and beat 2 minutes more. Pour batter into prepared pan.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan. Cool thoroughly on a wire rack. To serve, top with Chocolate glaze or sprinkle with powdered sugar (or both if you’re feeling naughty) and transfer to a serving plate. Makes 8 servings.

Chocolate Glaze

4 oz coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate (or ss chocolate chips)
3 tbsp butter
1 ½ cup powdered sugar
3 tbsp hot water

Melt chocolate and butter together (you could do this on the stove over low heat…or you could give in to the temptation of the microwave like me. If you do use the microwave, melt them in short bursts and stir often say… 30 seconds then stir, rinse repeat till done) then stir in the powdered sugar and water and mix till smooth. (You can adjust the powdered sugar and water to get the right consistency which should be loose enough to drizzle but not runny. I only used 1 cup of powdered sugar and found it was plenty for me.) Now drizzle the icing over your cooled cake and dig in.

Cakes baked from scratch have a different texture and flavor than box mixes and if you start with this simple recipe I’m sure it won’t be long before you’re back in the kitchen looking to stretch you wings.

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