I meant to post this chocolate cake recipe last week, after a conversation with a friend about how easy it is (one bowl!), and how light and moist and yummy. Even a vowed box-cake lover would enjoy this one.
Then I decided to post this brownie recipe, which is a family classic, in response to her post. These are super fast to make — no chocolate squares melted and cooled and yadda yadda. Plus, they’re moist and fudgy. While being every bit as easy as a box, the end product is delightfully free of that distinctive box taste (eww.)
Both of these recipes are from the HERSHEY’S Chocolate Classics little cookbook, which is not available for sale, but which my husband found used and for sale on the internet shortly after we were married. (Although he said he did it because I was so sad about not having my favorite go-to recipes from childhood, I secretly think the motivation was the brownies. You can decide after you make a batch!)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar*
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour (all purpose)
1/3 cup cocoa*
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)*
Blend butter, sugar, and vanilla in large bowl. Add eggs; using a wooden spoon, beat well. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; gradually blend into egg mixture. Stir in nuts.
Spread batter in greased 9-inch square pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until brownie begins to pull away from edges of pan. Cool; cut into squares.
*The Sinclair modifications: First, double everything, and make it in a 9×13. Second, when making a chocolate recipe, always decrease the sugar a bit and increase the cocoa a bit. This intensifies the chocolate flavor and cuts back on the pure sugar element. We want rich, people. Third, for killer brownies, add 1/2 chocolate chips, 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, and 1/2 cup toffee bits. Oh yes.
LICKETY-SPLIT COCOA CAKE
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar*
1/4 cup cocoa*
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 T vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Add water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla; stir with spoon or whisk just until batter is smooth and ingredients are well blended.
Pour into greased and floured 9-inch layer pan or 8-inch square pan. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan; frost as desired.*
*First, double everything. (You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?) Second, cut back on the sugar, increase the cocoa — you knew that, too. Third, for topping options that are quick and easy, dust cooled cake with confectioners’ sugar, or before baking, sprinkle top with chocolate chips. If you really want to be fancy, serve with a dollop of whipped cream.