Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake

Bake me a cake as fast as you can.

When I crave something I now have enough confidence to make it myself. In this case, I was craving chocolate cake. And, I wanted it right now.

So, instead of going through my favorite food sites to find a recipe for the perfect spongy chocolate glory, I did the next best thing. I bought a box of Betty Crocker’s Triple Chocolate Fudge cake mix.

Five ingredients to glory

The beauty about this recipe is that it calls for water, vegetable oil, eggs and the packaged powder. To finish it off, I purchased Duncan Hines frosting (I have no shame about mixing brands).

As in previous recipes, I substituted the oil for butter.

With two-month’s experience in the baking world, I’ve learned to let the butter and eggs reach room temperature before trying to mix them with anything. It usually takes about 20 minutes for the butter to soften, just long enough to grab an episode of Bon Appetit’s Test Kitchen.

Kitchen + Powder = mess

I honestly don’t know what it is about me or my kitchen, but for some reason, I always make a mess in the mixing stage. This time was no different.

For some reason I am cursed in the mixing stage.

I opened the powder pouch, and poured it into the waiting bowl. Then, as I went to throw the pouch away, chocolate powder spilled across the counter, onto the butter sleeves and the eggs in the bowl next to it.

Whip until it looks like mousse

Consistency of mousse.

The instructions (like the ingredients) were simple. After combining the ingredients in a bowl, I mixed them together for two minutes with my handy-dandy hand mixer. The chocolate goodness looked like mousse (which gave me another idea…).

Then, I poured it into the awaiting buttered cake pan (and licked the spatula clean). Into the oven it went for 32 minutes. And voilà!

Out of the oven and perfect.

Cool frosting

Unfortunately, I couldn’t dive right in. I had to let the sponge of chocolate cool down enough to add the creamy frosting. It sat on my counter teasing me for two hours, defeating the purpose of having chocolate right now.

After what seemed like an eternity, I was able to grab a knife and start adding the silky frosting. I have never frosted a cake, so I was surprised when the top layer of the dessert started combining with the frosting. I realized the back-and-forth motion I was using to smooth out the frosting was actually causing the cake to come apart.

To avoid crumbles in the cream, I started adding the frosting in a swoop motion. That seemed to stop it.

Betty comes through again

Sweet satisfaction.

Cutting into my chocolate concoction was incredibly satisfying. I had been waiting for hours to get my fix and this cake definitely hit the spot. The chocolate was firm enough to stick to my anxious fork, and moist enough to almost melt in my mouth.

With a 13 x 9-sized cake, I had to exercise self-restraint and only eat one piece. But, coffee and chocolate cake sure does sound good for breakfast…

Next challenge

Now that I have successfully (and rather quickly) created a charming chocolate cake with the boxed recipe, my next challenge will be to try it from scratch. I just need to make sure I’m not craving chocolate right that moment. It may be a good idea to bake it while I still have some of the current treat available.