Today, people are mostly accustomed to buying ready-made desserts from stores because they do not want to spend their time on cooking. However, if you have a birthday or another special occasion ahead, you may want to surprise your guests with something special. Moist homemade chocolate cake will certainly suit everybody's taste! Though recipes of chocolate cakes range in difficulty significantly, the basic recipe is very simple and time-sparring.
To make a finger-licking chocolate cake, you will primarily need about two cups of plain flour and an equal amount of sugar. Mind that both white and brown sugar will do. Also, make sure that you have half a pound of butter or margarine, whichever you prefer. Other important ingredients of your chocolate cake include three eggs and two cups of milk. Moreover, you will need one teaspoon of baking powder and roughly the same amount of bicarbonate soda to make it airy. You should also have vanilla extract in stock: this component will give the cake irresistible flavor. The only thing, which is still missing, is cocoa powder: three-fourths of a cup will be enough for the cake to justify its name.
The process of making a chocolate cake is fairly simple. Initially, you need to pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and to grease a large round pan. Greasing will help you to avoid problems when it comes to taking your cake out of the pan; though, you may prefer to use baking parchment instead. Now that you have done the preparatory work, you can move ahead to the next stage.
In a large basin, combine all the dry components, such as plain flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and bicarbonate soda. Then, you should take another basin or bowl to beat softened butter with eggs. This is exactly the moment when you can add one or two teaspoons of vanilla extract. Next, you need to add sugar to the wet ingredients, mixing them carefully at least for three minutes. Further, you should pour in the milk while carrying on beating: it is important to mix the components incessantly and intensely.
When you are ready with this, you can go over to the crucial point in making a chocolate cake, when two sets of ingredients are combined. Little by little, add the flour mixture to batter and mix it thoroughly until it is perfectly homogeneous and smooth. Now, you can finally give your hands a rest after tense mixing: it is time for the oven to work. Pour the batter evenly into carefully greased pan and bake the cake for thirty minutes. You may need additional time (up to five minutes), depending on the oven type and consistency of the batter, so it is always advisable to check the cake with a toothpick. When no traces of batter are noticeable on the toothpick, you can safely remove your airy chocolate cake out of the oven. Still, do not try to take it out of the pan until it cools completely; otherwise, it may sink in quite a disappointing way.
When the cake is on the table and your kitchen is filled with the wonderful aroma of vanilla and chocolate, you may think that your job is over. However, you need to put a finishing touch to make your cake even more tempting to your guests. Spend ten more minutes to make chocolate frosting, and your efforts will certainly be rewarded. Start with melting a bar of chocolate over a water bath. While it is cooling, beat two cups of softened butter with three tablespoons of milk for a couple of minutes. Next, add melted chocolate and a cup of sugar and carry on beating until the substance is creamy. As you finish, carefully spread the frosting over your chocolate cake: if you have troubles at this stage, it means that you have not reached the right consistency of the frosting.
Chocolate cake has always been an inalienable attribute of birthday celebrations. Though it can now be bought in every supermarket, the flavor and taste of homemade chocolate cake is still unsurpassable. Despite the common notion, it does not take much time or effort to cook it: only four stages are needed to make a tasty and spongy chocolate cake to surprise your guests.