You will be having a bunch of guests in the next hour and after cooking a meal for them you realize you have not made a dessert! You can fix it by serving the vanilla ice cream stocked up in the freezer, but is that enough? How you curse yourself for not having baked a chocolate cake for the dessert! But the thought of measuring, creaming, mixing, baking just before the guests arrive dreads you. Especially the washing of the numerous measuring, mixing bowls that end up in the sink after a bake. Honestly that is what scares most of us!
For such a situation, who doesn't need some easy breezy, quick and dirty, mess free recipes in one's repository? How much ever you love to bake those elaborate, hi-fi recipes, which require accurate measurements, lengthy instructions on the method, which should be followed very carefully and exactly, I bet you sometimes long for a carefree and easy recipe to bake, something that does not require weighing the ingredients carefully, not needing a mixer to mix with, something that you can dump the ingredients and mix it with a spatula and bake. And what if it is an egg-free, dairy free recipe, making it suitable with almost any kind of crowd? And wait, here comes the ultimate catch - you will not end up washing the dozen utensils after pushing the baking pan into the oven!! All you'll have is a spatula, and may be a measuring cup. Yes, you read that right!!
I came across this recipe somewhere on the net while browsing and it caught my attention for two reasons. One, the simplicity and strange uniqueness of the recipe and two and most importantly, it is egg free and dairy free, making it suitable for my little kiddo to try, as he is allergic to dairy. Wow! Of course he is too small yet to have the cake for himself, and all he got was a taste of it, and the rest of it was polished by you know who :D And of course some taste testers in the hubby's office ;)
So, as i said earlier, the procedure is very simple, and kind of weird, if you ask me! You mix the dry ingredients straight away in the baking pan - yes, baking pan, and make three indentations to pour each wet ingredient in, and pour water all over and mix with a spatula! And bake, voila! Does this not sound weird? Of course it did to me, when I read it, but many sites I looked for said the same, which managed to give me the courage to try it. But I didn't want to risk baking it half an hour before guests arrive, before testing it. So this was a test bake, and quite satisfactory. So the next time, if you come home in a short notice, you know what to expect for the dessert ;)
As for the taste, it is not bad at all. Be sure not to over-bake as it dries out pretty fast. And serve it preferably warm, with a sprinkle of vanilla sugar or a topping and some vanilla ice cream. Trust me, you will not regret for having tried it, and the recipe will get into your repository of quick fix, emergency recipes.
Since I have already tested it for you, you can straight away try this for your guests, without having to test bake it :) here you go.....
Wacky / Crazy Chocolate cake
The sources say this cake came to being during war times when there was a scarcity for ingredients and so on... whatever it is, it is a handy recipe for sure!
Preparation time: 10-15 min
Baking time: 30-35 min
Source: Sweet little bluebird
All Purpose Flour - 1 ½ cup
Unsweetened Cocoa powder - 3 Tbsp
White granulated sugar - 1 cup
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
White vinegar - 1 tsp
Vegetable oil - 5 Tbsp
Water - 1 cup
Pure Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
- Preheat oven to 180 deg C (350 degrees F).
- Mix first 5 dry ingredients in a greased 8" square baking pan. I used an oval tray.
- Make 3 depressions in dry ingredients - two small, one larger (see the collage pic below).
- Pour vinegar in one depression, vanilla in the other and the vegetable oil in third larger depression.
- Pour water over all.
- Mix well until smooth.
- Bake on middle rack of oven for 35 minutes.
- Check with toothpick to make sure it comes out clean. Cool.
- Top with a frosting or just sprinkle some vanilla sugar and serve with an ice cream like I did and enjoy!
- Make sure not to over bake this cake as it turns out drier.
- Once cool, cover the cake in an airtight container and it stays good for 3-4 days