Thursday, May 9, 2013

Crazy Cake

As far back as I can remember my Mom has made a crazy cake for my birthday. It became a tradition that has been hard to continue in the last few years as I moved farther away from my parents. This year, the yearning was just too strong, and I had to have that decadent chocolate on chocolate cake once more. So I made it myself!

Crazy Cake is called that because you do something crazy when you make it - you stir up the ingredients IN the pan!! Crazy right? :) To  make this cake, you first start with your ingredients, then realize you don't have vinegar, panic, and run next door to ask for a tablespoon. Or, you could just gather your ingredients including vinegar because you are a smart person and would never try to make something without first checking that you have all of your ingredients.

Note the lack of Vinegar in this photo....
Then you mix together your sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in your square cake pan - remember this is Crazy Cake! You want to stir it really well, checking the sides and corners. Then make three indentations in the mix - one small, one not so small, and one pretty big. In these you will put your vanilla, vinegar, and oil.

Vanilla, Vinegar, Oil
Next pour your cup of water over the top of the whole mix, again stirring very well, making sure you get the corners and sides. (Mom always made this is in a glass pan so you could easily see if you missed any, but alas I do not have a glass I just had to check and double check!) Once it is well mixed you can clean up the mess you've made along the top and side of the cake pan - that is if you are like me and have gotten a little excited with your stirring and made a mess to clean up! Then it's ready to pop in your 350 degree oven for the next 40 minutes.

Yummy Cake Batter Goodness
Now you have a cake! The next part is the really super fun part of making this cake, and one of the many reasons I owe my Mother so much...(no third rate nursing home for you Ma!)  The next part of the cake is...cue ominous music...the frosting! Also known as the most difficult and easiest to screw up part of this cake! The frosting is basically fudge, and if you stop stirring too soon, it doesn't set quickly enough and you end up with gooeyness that soaks through the cake. If you wait too long to stop stirring, then it is just a piece of fudge on top of your cake. It's very difficult to find the happy medium where the frosting actually sticks to the top of the cake AND sets up nicely. My sister says she does two batches of frosting and purposefully puts the first layer on too soon so she gets that gooeyness. I suppose if you step back and look at it, it's still chocolate cake with some kind of chocolate frosting, and there's nothing wrong with that!!

So, we start with our ingredients again, and breathe a sigh of relief that we have everything this time...cause by now you really want this cake.

Then you toss in everything but the vanilla, bring to a boil, boil for two full minutes, remove from heat, add the vanilla, and start stirring. You will stir and stir until you think you can stir no more. Then if you are lucky you will hand the stirring off to someone else, say a child who has asked for this silly cake once again and loves to help stir, then you will stir more. (No, really, keep stirring. It needs to be really thick. Unless you want it runny. That's ok too.)

You stir until the frosting is getting thick, then quickly pour over the top of the cooled (by now) cake. Hopefully it will set quickly, and you have yourself a completed Crazy Cake!

I didn't stir long enough. But I still enjoyed every bite!

Now all you need is an ice cold glass of milk, a fork, and place to enjoy your sweet chocolate yumminess.

What else could you want? Knitting, a book, crazy cake and milk!

Here's the recipe in recipe form:

Crazy Cake
1 ½ C flour
1 C sugar
4 tbsp plain cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp vinegar
6 tbsp oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 C cold water
2 C sugar
½ C milk
1/3 C cocoa
8 tsp butter
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°

In 8 or 9 inch square ungreased pan, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, soda and salt with fork. Make 3 holes in the mixture. Put vinegar in the first, oil in the second, and vanilla in the third. Pour water over the top and stir with fork until all ingredients are well mixed. Make sure all dry ingredients are moistened, check sides and corners. Bake for 40 minutes. Do not remove from pan-let cool.

Frosting: mix first four ingredients, boil for two minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and beat with a wooden spoon until thick. Spread quickly over cake, as frosting will start to harden quickly. If desired, double the frosting.

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