I know I’ve mentioned, probably all too often, that I have a large number of cookbooks–so large, in fact, that I haven’t used all of them. That’s by way of explaining why a copy of One-Pot Cakes by Andrew Schloss sat on a shelf for some years before I took it down and started looking at it the other day. I decided to make the first recipe, which is for Chocolate Applesauce Cake, just to get my bearings. The basic method is to melt the butter and chocolate together over low heat, and then to add the other ingredients. The premise is that it’s almost as easy as a mix cake, but it’s from scratch. The result was delish–a velvety, moist cake with undertones of butter, vanilla, and a hint of coffee. I call it “Easy One-Bowl Chocolate Cake,” instead of Chocolate Applesauce Cake because the presence of the applesauce is only betrayed by the cake’s moistness, not by any apple flavor. Also, the original recipe is made on the stove in a large, heavy pot. Nowadays, it’s easier to use the microwave, so that’s how I do it here. Also, I added a generous handful of semi-sweet mini chips to add little pools of chocolate to the cake.
Easy Chocolate Cake
1/4 pound of butter (one stick)
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
1-1/4 cups applesauce
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
handful of semi-sweet mini chips (about 1/4 cup)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8-inch layer pan. (I used a small–8-inch across–Bundt pan.)
Place the stick of butter in a large Pyrex bowl, and microwave until almost melted. In my microwave, this took about a minute and a half at a low power. When the butter is partially melted, add the pieces of chocolate, and microwave for about a minute more, or until both the butter and chocolate are almost melted. Take the bowl out of the microwave, and stir the butter mixture until completely melted. (You can also melt the butter and chocolate over low heat on the stove.)
Stir in the applesauce, sugar, instant coffee powder, and vanilla extract. Stir in the eggs. Measure the flour, and mix with the baking soda and pinch of salt. Stir into the butter mixture just until blended.
Pour batter into the greased pan and bake for 50 minutes. I made this cake twice. It looked done at 40 minutes, but was too moist. So 50 minutes it is! Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, and unmold on a plate. When cool, dust lightly with sifted confectioners sugar.
Baking note: This is moist and velvety–not light and fluffy. When adding the baking soda to the flour, crumble it between your fingers to ensure that there are no lumps.
This is the painting you can see some of in the above photo. It’s a copy of a work by a 17th-century Dutch painter, and I really enjoy seeing it as I cook.
A primrose touch of spring.
Love blue and white! This is a collection of blue and white tin cookie boxes–some are vintage, some are from Trader Joe’s. Hope your week is a good one. Namaste. Fran
Oh, one last pix. I found this daylily photo from last July, and thought I would include it to remind those of us in winter’s deep freeze of sunshine and summer!