Everybody craves chocolate cake once in a while, right? I know I do. But then I go and buy some, and it's always dry in texture and really crumbly. It's not worth the effort used to eat it, in my opinion. Plus, when my craving hit this time, it was some time after 11 pm, so I had no choice but to make something. Except it was sunday evening, which is universal empty-cupboards time, I'm sure of it. I knew I didn't have the required amount of butter for anything resembling a cake - I had eggs, but not much milk. Pretty useless, right? Then I remembered, Mean's mayo cake!
Mean was kind enough to give me this recipe when I was trying to find something to make for my grandfather's 75th birthday. Unfortunately I did not end up using it at the time (and found something equally as yummy - and have since lost the recipe for), but I kept it in my inbox, and after some searching it resurfaced. I'm glad I found it again! No need for butter, eggs or milk - just lots of sugar and mayonnaise. I could work with that.
However, I did change things around a little bit; like included a half cup of sour cream because I didn't quite have enough mayo, switched out some of the flour for some extra cocoa and completely forgot about the baking soda. Oops, thankfully I always over compensate with baking powder. I also think it would cope well with some chopped nuts - like walnuts or pecans. It worked out really well with those changes, so I officially like this cake. I think I would even like it a lot without the fact that it lend's itself to experimentation well, because it cooked up beautifully and tasted just as awesome.
Mayo Cake, ala Mean, with a little bit of tinkering.
2 3/4 cup flour 1 1/2 c sugar (thanks sara! forgot that one) 3/4 cup cocoa 3 heaped tsp baking powder 1tsp vanilla extract 1 cup mayonnaise 1/2 cup sour cream 1 1/2 cup water
1. In a bowl, whisk together the mayo, vanilla and water.
2. Add in everything else! Mix that all together and you're done. Pretty damn quick, hey?
3. Pour it into your pan. I used a 30 cm sprung pan, though next time I would probably use a 20 cm so that I get a taller cake. Or possibly split it in half and cook it in two pans and sandwich it together with some icing when it's cooled.
4. Pop it into your oven, which should already be preheated to 180 degrees celcius, fan bake (if you have it). Mean's recipe says let cook for 30 - 40 minutes, but I found that my cake was done within 25. That was probably due to the fact that I cooked it using the fan bake setting though, so the cooking time is always faster. You can always tell by touching it gently, and seeing if the cake bounces back. Or stick a skewer or a knife in it and see if it comes out clean.
5. Once you have determined that your cake is cooked, take it out and release it from the tin. If you haven't used a sprung tin, I'd suggest waiting until it's cooled quite a bit. But this cake is really dense, so it's not likely to break apart on you easily.
6. I like to ice my cake while it's still warm, so that way the icing sort of melts into the cake and makes it all the more dense and yummy. This time I chose ganache, but next time I think I'll go with a basic icing sugar and cocoa icing. If you are going to ice the cake while it's still warm and on the cooling rack, I'd suggest laying down some cling wrap or baking paper, and popping the tray on that, because the icing will just slide off the sides while it's melting in, because the cake is still warm. And then you can just fold up the cling wrap, and throw it away, without any extra clean up!
7. Cut it up, serve with ice cream and consume with great gusto.