Saturday, February 27, 2010

Simple Chocolate Cake {Flavor of the Month}


February’s flavor of the month with Bridget over at Bake at 350 is chocolate.

Ohhhhh yeeeeaaahhh.

Read. My. Lips.


This is not a hard topic for me. Because chocolate is like second nature to me. I mean, you know how I adore my friend Lisa over at Stop and Smell the Chocolates (where I am also linking up this recipe for her weekly Chocolate Friday carnival). But I hadn’t made anything new lately.

Then I came across this recipe in one of last year’s issues of my favorite cooking magazine, Cook’s Illustrated. I had been wanting to try it and all of the sudden one afternoon I had an insatiable chocolate craving. The kind that the candy version just wouldn’t fill. I needed a baked good. Enter this Simple Chocolate Cake recipe.

This is a surprising little cake. The surprising ingredient is mayonnaise. NOT “salad dressing,” mind you. No. The real stuff. Mayonnaise.

It was a method used in war-times when butter and eggs were scarce due to rationing, so the mayonnaise served as a substitute for those ingredients. However, the writer of the article was working to bring out more chocolate flavor in it and invited coffee to the party along with a combination of cocoa powder and solid chocolate.

It is a perfectly sized small cake so that there is not the guilt of making a whole big cake that your family would never finish. And, it is definitely simple enough for a week-night dessert.

(I apologize ahead of time for the availability of decent pictures for this recipe. We, um, well, we kind of ate it… fast.)

Simple Chocolate Cake
from Cook’s Illustrated (March/April 2009, pg. 25)



1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup (2 ounces) Dutch-processed cocoa powder (or “Special Dark”)
2 ounces dark, bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (chopped fine)
1 cup hot coffee (or equivalent mixture of hot water and espresso powder)
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

You will also need:

8 inch square cake pan
Non-stick cooking spray
1 large mixing bowl
1 small-medium mixing bowl
Confectioners’ (powdered) sugar for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare cake pan by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.

In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In smaller bowl, combine cocoa powder and chopped chocolate; pour hot coffee over cocoa/chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Let this mixture cool for several minutes then whisk in mayonnaise, egg and vanilla. Pour mayonnaise/chocolate mixture into flour mixture and stir until combined.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth it all around. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out with few crumbs attached after being inserted into the center of the cake. Note: the cake will have a nice rounded domed middle and cracks on the top. This is normal.

Allow cake to cool in pan on wire rack for 1-2 hours. Turn cake out onto serving platter and dust with confectioners’ sugar to serve.

7 Way More Homemade comments:

Nicole said...

Wow that is a truly surprised ingredient to me. I never would have thought to include mayo in my cake but I bet it makes it really moist!

Donna @ Way More Homemade said...

Yes, it is very moist.

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

YUM!!! I like the ingredients in this cake much better than the mayonnaise cake I tried. This is a must try! Glad you linked it up friend! :)

Melinda said...

This is the perfect way to use up the mayo in the fridge left-over from the family reunion! (I have to admit I'm a Miracle Whip girl myself!) Sounds delish!

bridget {bake at 350} said...

YUM!!! I love the was so good, it never made it off the cooling rack! ;)

TidyMom said...

Oh I bet that was SOOO moist!! YUM!! I'm getting chocolate overload just looking at all of these recipes! LOL
Thanks for sharing!

ClassiclyAmber said...

Um yum yum! I just love cakes like this! I make one similar - but instead of mayo, I use vinegar and sour cream. I wonder if that was also started during those war times?

I'm gonna save this recipe to try! =-D