One of my favorite things of all time is chocolate covered espresso beans. I am a bit of coffee and dark chocolate snob but sometimes in life simple pleasures like your favorite childhood candy or a cup of regular brewed coffee is all you want. No glitters of premium single origin coffee or 72 percent stuff, just plain and straightforward coffee and chocolate. Mocha is one of my favorite drink. This cake is just perfect way to enjoy if you like mocha.
The first time I made a cake myself was from those boxed cake mix from grocery store. I know they are full of chemicals, preservatives and gazillion other mysterious ingredients but that soft texture is nostalgia in a good way. Today all I wanted was a moist cake which is similar to the box mix but without the long list of incomprehensible ingredients. I never make my cakes with vegetable oil but since chocolate cakes are notorious for being dry, I thought to start with oil based chocolate cake. One of the best thing about this cake is you can eat it’s straight from the oven when it warm without icing. It is perfect with a tall glass of cold milk! Once cooled and topped with icing enjoy with a cup of coffee.
This is one of those recipes which almost everyone who bakes or wants to bake someday should have in their arsenal. I am still very new to cake baking and in the process of understanding science behind it. Baking soda is the only leavener which helps the cake to rise so please open a fresh box. I always keep few boxes handy, anything more than 30 days old is used in cleaning. Baking soda needs acid to work, hence vinegar. You can use any chocolate chip of your choice in icing. I made it with mix of semisweet and milk chocolate. If any of you have a great cake book recommendations, let me know in comments.
How to measure flour: Video by King Arthur
Adapted from King Arthur
- 180 grams/ 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 200 grams/ 1 cup sugar
- 22 grams/ 1/4 cup cocoa powder, preferably dutch processed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 240 grams/ 1 cup water (use 1 cup milk for little richer cake)
- 80 grams/ 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For icing (optional)
- 360 grams/ 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
- 80 grams/ 1/3 cup water or milk
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 inch square baking pan with baking spray, set aside.
- Mix all dry ingredients flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, coffee and baking soda in a medium size bowl, set aside. Whisk together wet ingredients water/milk, oil, vinegar and vanilla in a small bowl.
- Pour the liquid mix over dry mix and combine properly. Pour this batter into prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until skewer comes out clean.
- Serve warm straight from pan or cool completely.
- Put chocolate chips in a sauce pan with water/ milk/ half and half/ brewed coffee, heat until melted over medium heat. Stir to combine into smooth icing and spread evenly over cake.