Simplicity in Chocolate

We were craving something chocolaty. Something simple and good. We were craving cake.

So I went out in search of a simple chocolate cake recipe in hopes that I could find something where I didn't have to a. melt chocolate or b. deal with multiple bowls and multiple steps. Simple was the word. And than I remembered a post I had starred in my Google Reader. I quickly searched through the recently starred items and came upon this recipe.

Simple, check. One bowl, check. Have all the ingredients, double check! And I was on my way. The first time I tried to make it I left the butter on the counter to soften. Than we went to run errands and I forgot about it. And we forgot to put the dogs outside. So, yup, the dogs (I think it was Scout) got a stick of butter wrapper and all!

Than the second time I did the same thing... you'd think I'd learn. Or at least put the butter in the microwave or oven for storage.

Third time was a charm. I made sure the dogs were outside, let the butter soften and I was on my way. I even made the recipe simpler by putting all of the dry ingredients right into the sifter instead of mixing separately and than putting them into the sifter. Easy peasy! And the results were pretty good. I mean... it wasn't amazingly fluffy and light but it wasn't a mug cake either. This is something I'd whip up for friends coming over for dinner. I could probably even add chocolate chips, peanut butter or bananas to the mix to spice things up...

Source: Smitten Kitchen

Everyday Chocolate Cake

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (6 7/8 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (2 5/8 ounces) Dutch cocoa powder* (see below for a natural cocoa adjustment)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter and lightly flour a 9×5x3-inch loaf pan, or spray it with a butter-flour spray. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat well, then the buttermilk and vanilla. Don’t worry if the batter looks a little uneven. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt together right into your wet ingredients. Stir together with a spoon until well-blended but do not over mix. Scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack for about 10 to 15 minutes, at which point you can cool it the rest of the way out of the pan. Serve with whipped cream and fresh berries, if you’re feeling fancy.

*If you only have a natural or non-Dutched cocoa, you can still use it, but you’ll want to use 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and no baking powder.

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