Omg, I love you! I took a cake decorating class in high school for an “easy A” and failed miserably.
Here is something I am quite adept at making (note the lack of frosting).
I think there is a gene for cake frosting (same gene for present wrapping!) that I am missing, because I genuinely try to make the cakes look good!
Do you use a strong, olive oil flavored oil for this or softer, more creamy flavored one?
I used mild olive oil, the California brand you can find at any supermarket. I like the citrus flavor to come through.
I never have baked a cake in My life . I would like to. What s my first lesson ?
Calibrate your oven.
Make sure the temp is correct, and evenly dispersed throughout.
Follow the recipe and measure the ingredients properly. Otherwise you may blow up the oven. This is science!
Have you ever baked anything?
Come to think of it. I’m not sure I’ve ever baked a cake either. There’s one pie recipe of Mother’s that I make every few years and a ginger cookie that I make a little more often than that.
This is an easy chocolate cake. I don’t like chocolate, so this is what I make when I have to.
Btw, it’s a Texas sheet cake, despite what the title says.
Gotta ask. When and why do you ever HAVE to?
Something along the same lines.
I love this cake with homemade mission fig jam, too.
When people you love like chocolate, and you love them enough not to buy a supermarket cake, but not so much as to spend $40 at a bakery.
Cake recipes aren’t forgiving of modifications or substitutions. Use a good recipe, make sure you have all the ingredients and hardware, and follow the instructions exactly. An Alton Brown recipe with video might be a good one to start with.
Jam on cake is great. Americans seem overly enamoured of frosting.
Agreed. This cake calls for frosting on top and jam on the inside.
But really, I prefer cakes without frosting.
A lot of frostings are too sweet for me, though cooked ones such as seven-minute icing and French buttercream can be very good, as can the cream cheese frosting traditional on carrot cake.
I serve the Joy of Cooking’s devil’s food Cockaigne with unsweetened, barely sweetened, or boozy whipped cream.
Honestly, I would start with cookies and a scale (if you don’t have one already). Chocolate chip cookies using the best ingredients. By that I mean good quality chocolate (14oz not 12, hand chopped if you have patience or large chips), and dark muscovado sugar or molasses sugar for brown sugar, and at least 50% more nuts, pecans or walnuts (I don’t chop them, I let my kitchen aid mixer break them down). I consistently get told I make the best chocolate chip cookies, though maybe they just feel sorry for my sad frosting jobs.
After you make the dough, only cook as many as you will eat in a day. Save the rest of the dough in the fridge. It will easily keep for a week, and I’ve kept for two weeks without any change to the cookie quality, though cold dough does take a few minutes longer to cook.
After you gain confidence with cookies, I’d move to brownies, then cake.
recipe I use - husband’s mother wrote it up for him when he went away to college (i double the vanilla and use butter and shortening for a crispy cookie with a slight rise)
I use these brown sugars
In my limited experience with Joy of Cooking’s recipes marked “Cockaigne”, the word is synonymous with “fussy, and a major PITA”. YMMV.