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My brother-in-law had a birthday this week. He turned 51. When asked what he wanted for his birthday meal he had two requests, a homemade beef lasagna (with ricotta cheese) and a double chocolate cake!
I said to my sister, let me make the cake! I have the perfect recipe for it and I think he will love it. Ironically she had picked out the same recipe, so we were really on the same wave length!
One of my favorite cookbooks has always been Dish Entertains, by Trish Magwood. It is a book that was popular with my boss when I worked at the Manor, and one which I loved to cook from when she had luncheons, etc.
The recipes in it range from everyday simple to special occasions. It even won a James Beard Foundation Award, a silver Gourmand World Cookbook Award, and a Silver Cuisine Canada Culinary Book Award.
If a birthday isn’t a special occasion, I don’t know what is, and I knew there was an excellent chocolate cake recipe in the book. I had given my sister a copy of the book and she had ear-marked it as well. The decision was made!
According to Trish, this is a four generations old recipe. A fabulously old fashioned one-bowl chocolate cake, and perfect for family celebrations!
If turning 51 isn’t a special occasion I don’t know what is! This is a delicious chocolate cake filled to overflowing with fabulous chocolate flavor.
But you don’t need anything special to make it, unless you count buttermilk as being special. I love anything baked with buttermilk. It has the ability to render any baked good incredibly moist, and is great for marinating chicken in prior to cooking it.
It makes great biscuits and pancakes, waffles, scones, etc. And it makes for one very fabulous chocolate cake!
This recipe doesn’t require fancy chocolate either, no chocolate chips, etc. or pudding mixes, etc. Just plain old cocoa powder.
Just make sure you use cocoa powder and not chocolate drinking powder or hot cocoa mix. Plain old baking cocoa powder. I use Fry’s cocoa powder. Its the only cocoa powder that I have ever used in North America. Its the best as far as I am concerned.
One year my sister and I both entered baked whoopie pies, using my whoopie pie recipe into our respective county fairs. She was in a different county to I. We both won the Fry’s Cocoa Powder blue ribbon of excellence for them!
What fun that was for both of us to come first! We got a cash prize, a ribbon and a set of oven mitts and an apron! Those were the days!
This lovely cake uses the one bowl method. What that means is that all of the dry and wet ingredients are mixed together in one bowl. There is no separating of the eggs and beating them separately. No creaming of the fats and sugars, etc.
Just look at how lovely and moist it is. (No, I did not take the cake over there with a piece missing, lol I took it over whole and then brought a piece home to take a photo of the slice!)
You can tell that this cake is not only moist but is filled with a rich and chocolatey flavor! It makes either a nine or an 8 inch double layer cake. But don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of people to feed.
This chocolate cake recipe can also very easily be halved to make only one layer, which makes it perfect for the smaller family as well. You can also bake it as cupcakes!
Not only is it the perfect celebration cake, but it is a fast and easy, reliable cake to bake as a last minute dessert when you need one!
Included also is a fabulous chocolate frosting recipe, which fills and covers the cake quite generously! It, too, only needs simple ingredients. Melted butter, cocoa powder, confectioner’s sugar and some strong brewed coffee.
No worries however, if you are not a coffee drinker like I am not, or if you are making the cake for children. You can substitute buttermilk in its place.
I found I needed a bit more liquid with the icing than she suggested. So just play with it and if you think the icing is not fluffy or creamy enough, beat in extra liquid by the TBS. My icing was a bit like play dough until I did this.
I was quite concerned because I didn’t have any more icing sugar to make another icing, so just persevere and add more liquid a small amount at a time until you get the right consistency.
She also seemed to think it made an extra large amount of icing and that there would be some leftover. I found this to be exactly the right amount needed for both filling and coating the cake.
All in all, everyone really enjoyed this fabulously tasty and moist chocolate cake, especially Dan! I decorated it with sprinkles that reminded us of the stars, planets and moons. He is a sci-fi buff!!
If you are looking for an excellent chocolate cake for whatever reason, look no further. This one fits the bill perfectly on all counts! I am even betting that you will have everything you need to make it in your cupboard right now! Let the baking begin!
Buttermilk Chocolate Cake
Yield: Serves 8 to 10
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 12 MinCook time: 40 MinTotal time: 52 Min
This old fashioned one-bowl chocolate cake is meant to be shared and is the perfect way to celebrate any occasion. Delicious and moist. You can cut the recipe in half and bake in one pan for a single layer cake.
For the cake:
2 large free range eggs
2 cups (480ml (approximately, see instructions) buttermilk
2 cups (280g) all purpose plain flour
2 cups (390g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (55g) cocoa powder, sifted (not chocolate drinking mix)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (240ml) vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
For the icing:
1/2 cup (120g) butter, melted
1/2 cup (55g) cocoa powder, sifted (not chocolate drinking mix)
4 cups (520g) icing sugar, sifted
1/4 cup (60ml) strong brewed coffee (or buttermilk if making for children)
Preheat the oven to 350*F/180*C/ gas mark 4. Generously butter 2 nine or eight-inch round cake tins and line the bottoms with some parchment paper. Set aside.
Measure the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Give them a quick whisk together.
Place the eggs into a measuring cup and add buttermilk only to make 2 cups (480ml) in total. Add the oil and vanilla. Slowly beat this into the dry ingredients on low speed to combine. Once combined, increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes.
Divide the batter between both prepared layer tins.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly touched, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Transfer the tins to a wire rack and cool completely in the pans.
Once cold, run a sharp knife around the edge, unmold and remove the paper from the bottoms of the cakes.
To make the icing, measure all of the ingredients into a large bowl and beat together until creamy. You may need a bit more liquid to get the proper consistency.
Place one layer of cake on a plate. Spread a portion of frosting over top. Place the other layer on top of that and then proceed to ice the whole cake.
Decorate or not as desired. Cut into wedges to serve.
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