the other day while going through my things in my cleaning frenzy, i luckily found a whole bunch of missing files. in one of these was this recipe which i used to make [mostly for a friend who is allergic to many things], until i lost it. a fortuitous reunion for me since i am trying to use up excess amounts of flour before passover arrives in 3 weeks.
this is a basic all purpose chocolate cake which surprisingly has no eggs in it and can be made either dairy or parve [non-dairy]. despite being egg-less, it is just as good as a regular chocolate cake. admittedly, the texture is somewhat drier than your standard one but this can be balanced by using a moist frosting. sometimes i will use a plain strong coffee solution and, with a large pastry brush, moisten each of the two cakes prior to icing them. it is great for a birthday cake or just an everyday one. it makes terrific cupcakes, too, which can be brought to work for that single serving .... frosted, of course :)
the cake can be made with either cake flour or all purpose, however the cake flour must be sifted first, along with the cocoa. it also uses buttermilk, or soured milk, which you can make yourself. it will not work without this, as the acidity of the liquid is essential to activate the rising agent which, in this case, is baking soda. the cake is successfully made parve by using soymilk and souring it with plain white vinegar.
baker beware: for those of you who do not follow recipes, i suggest you give in and do it the way i show here. baking is an exact science. you need the buttermilk or soured [soy] milk and you need the baking soda [not powder] for the necessary leavening reaction to take place, both while mixing the batter and baking it. remember: sift, sift, sift — this ensures there are no small lumps which always seem present in both cake flour and cocoa.
1 2/3 c. cake flour or all purpose
1 c. sugar
1 tsp baking SODA
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbsp cocoa powder (dark is better)
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk or soured milk*
3 1/2 - 4 tbsp prune baking paste or applesauce**
2 tsp vanilla extract
*to make soured milk/soymilk: measure 1 c of the liquid and add 1 tbsp white vinegar. stir and wait about 10 minutes until it sets; it will become thicker. do not skip doing this.
**this is optional but highly recommended. i have found it helps to add extra moisture content due to the absence of the egg. the prune baking paste goes extremely well with chocolate and is not noticeable.
preheat oven to 350F.
butter or grease two 8 inch round cake pans (if you go larger, it will not work). you can make cupcakes too but remember to cook them for less time. test after 12 - 15 minutes.
measure out the flour and then sift it to remove any small lumps. this is required if you are using cake flour. i usually aerate the cake flour with a whisk before measuring. you do not need to sift first to measure out the flour as in other recipes.