…from the Perspectives’ Kitchen
How you doin’? Why in the world would anybody want to use a shelf-stable, store-bought cake mix?... it doesn’t make sense in most instances. This is especially true when you can make a better cake at less expense that takes about the same amount of time to make. Try my Never-Use-A-Cake-Mix-Again, Dark Chocolate Cake and be rewarded with nothing but compliments. After all people were making chocolate cakes 2-1/2 centuries ago without using a convenience mix.
The history of chocolate cake is not in dispute. It goes back to 1764, when Dr. James Baker discovered how to make chocolate by grinding cocoa beans between two massive circular millstone rollers. In 1828, Coenraad van Houten of the Netherlands developed a mechanical extraction method for extracting the fat from cacao liquor (mass) resulting in cacao butter (fat) and the partly defatted cocoa, a compacted mass of solids that could be sold as it was "rock cacao" or ground into powder. This process transformed chocolate from an exclusive luxury to an inexpensive daily snack.
Until 1890 to 1900, chocolate recipes were mostly for chocolate drinks and its presence in cakes was only in fillings and glazes. In 1886, American cooks began adding cocoa to the cake batter, to make the first chocolate cakes in the US.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 25 to 30 minutes
Cool time: 30 minutes
Yield: 3 9-inch round cake pans
Butter to prepare the baking pans
1-3/4 cups boiling water
1/4 cup hot coffee
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting the baking pans
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2-1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
ChefSecret: Butter the pans and dust with cocoa powder to get a more intense flavor and darker cake edges that are not white streaked. I like to freeze the layers before decorating so the cake layers don’t crumble. I also soak the layers with simple syrup to keep them moist and help them last longer.
Quip of the Day: “During the last year I’ve learned, when you’re dead you’re dead. The pain is only
felt by others. The same happens with stupid.”
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To you and everyone dear to you, be strong, be positive, stay well, stay safe and be kind. Take a breath and count your blessings, and if you have a little extra to share with others, please consider donating to Feeding America and/or American Red Cross.
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