Searching for the perfect chocolate cake recipe is like searching for that classic white shirt or that amazing pair of jeans. You’ve got to try many before you get to (drumroll please …) the one!
This cake does not disappoint and has been my go to recipe for the last 4 years. I am not even interested in glancing at other chocolate cake recipes anymore. It’s such a light and moist cake.
Look at that crumb. And all you need to do is simply throw everything into a bowl, mix it together and stick it in the oven.
Instead of baking powder, the raising agents in this cake are:
- the acid in the buttermilk and cocoa powder which react with
- the alkali agent, bicarbonate of soda.
The bicarbonate of soda is activated when it comes in contact with an acid and liquid. The by-products are carbon dioxide, water and a neutral salt. The released carbon dioxide first dissolves in the liquid. When the liquid is saturated, the carbon dioxide turns into air bubbles which expand. Towards the end of baking, these bubbles set. You now have a well risen baked product.
Maziwa mala is a great buttermilk substitute. However, if you do not have mala, please do not substitute with plain milk. Instead, into the cup of milk, pour in a Tablespoon of vinegar and give it 5 minutes to curdle. Its all about the acid.
This is also as “healthy” as a chocolate cake is going to get, since it calls for cocoa and not chocolate.
To bring out the chocolate flavour, an overlooked but important ingredient is salt. So do not ignore this humble but game-changing ingredient.
According to thekitchn.com, “Coffee and chocolate share many of the same flavor characteristics, and coffee amplifies some of the darker taste elements in the chocolate without adding much discernible coffee flavor.”
Yummy Chocolate Cake
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups sugar (if you want it sweeter)
- 3/4 cup cocoa (do not substitute with milo or drinking chocolate)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup mala/buttermilk/yoghurt
- 1/2 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee or boiling water
DirectionsPreheat your oven to 170ºC/350ºF. Grease and flour the cake tin.
Whisk 1 3/4 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 3/4 cup cocoa, 1 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda and 3/4 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre.
Into the well, add the 2 beaten eggs, 1 cup of mala/buttermilk, 1/2 cup melted butter or oil, 1 Tablespoon vanilla. Whisk the wet ingredients in the centre. From the centre, working outwards, incorporate the dry ingredients.
Final step, pour the 1 cup of hot water or 1 cup of hot coffee. Do not overmix. It smells so good already!
It is a pouring batter. Pour into the prepared baking tin. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes. Halfway through the baking time rotate the tin front to back. (Rectangular cakes cook faster than round).
Dust icing sugar or frost with this simple chocolate frosting: The Chocolate Icing Recipe You Need.