Monday, January 28, 2008

Friday Foodie - Chocolate Mayo Cake

I'm a few days late: blame the cold I have...

Friday Foodie

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Flavor: Rich chocolaty goodness for all chocolate freaks. One of my favorite comfort desserts.

Texture: Heavy sponge-cake feel

Satisfaction: Among the best of chocolate cakes I've ever tried.

Ingredients: 4 C Four, 2 C Sugar, 8 TBL Cocoa, 2 TSP baking powder, 2 TSP baking soda, 2 C Mayonnaise, 2 C Cold Water, 2 TSP Vanilla

Discussion: I hesitate to even put the central ingredient in the title because it is such a turn-off to many people, yet our grandmothers knew the secret of mayonnaise: mayo = egg + oil, so a recipe with those ingredients could have mayo as a replacement.

Mayo has an effect on some people much as mustard has on other people – you like it or you don’t. A friend I grew up with was so freaked out by mayonnaise, Miracle-Whip, or whatever incarnation it had, he would become physically ill at even smelling it. As kids we had great fun putting mayo in the most unexpected places just to make K. hurl.

Hurling is not generally a topic one brings up in a food column; however, this is the cake I served at my 40th birthday party. K ate some and I’m happy to report – he did not hurl; he didn’t even realize what was in the cake. The flavor is disguised by the rich chocolaty character of the cake.

This is a favorite cake to take to picnics and parties because it travels well and does not need frosting. It comes out much like a pound cake in texture and so is ready to serve right out of the pan. I often lightly glaze the cake, bur rarely frost it since I prefer to bake it in a bundt pan.

As I mentioned, the cake has the texture of a pound cake in density and moistness. It is also one of the easiest cakes I know to make from scratch as the measures are straightforward with no 1/3’s or 1/5ths. The cake can even be easily halved. Just mix, pour, cook, and serve.

I mix together the dry ingredients with a wire whisk to get all the ingredients thoroughly combined. Once these ingredients have been mixed, I add the wet ingredients. Beat for two minutes. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 or bundt pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

The cake can be frosted, but as I said, I prefer to cook it in the bundt pan and lightly glaze the still warm cake.

From time to time I will pour the batter into the pan in layers. Between the layer of batter I will add chocolate chips (milk chocolate are great) or peppermint chips (easily made by pulsing peppermint candies in a blender or food processor).

WARNING: Do not use fat free mayonnaise or Miracle Whip. Trust me on this one! (The cake will come out about the size and texture of a spare tire.)

Eat up – and let your belt out a notch!

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