I have been reading David Leite of Leite’s Culinaria since I found the great world of food blogging - about 6 year now. I follow and read a lot of food bloggers and everyone has their own style - funny, serious, informative. But David writing is just magical, his way with words is pure storytelling – when you read his post, which usually have a recipe in there, you loose yourself in it, forgetting – oh yeah, he is writing about biscuits here… he just has that ultimate ability of transporting you, his words are like a blanket that you wrap around youself for comfort. I had the pleasure of meeting him when I attended this event.
He was part of the speaker lineup and his topic was How to write Bigger, Better, More Badass Food Post. If I’m truly honest with myself, the whole trip centered in meeting this man and soaking up as much information as I could from him. And since then I have tried to follow everything he taught us that day, I can honestly say that my writing has improved.
A couple of weeks ago he wrote a post called Forever and Completely and in the mist of it he talked about his favorite Chocolate Cake.
Most of us have that favorite go to cake recipe – the one that has been handed down from grandmothers, mothers, other family members and friends. Those “go to” recipes that bring us a bit of nostalgia and we keep guarded like a rare treasure, because well, they mean something, they bring us feelings, memories and history … I’m not one of those people. Even after all the baking I have done thus far in my life (and it has been many) I have yet to find the perfect cake recipe. I blame it on my pickiness; for me, the end results has to have all the right everything – texture, flavor, consistency, ease to make, I know, I know, endless nip-picking.
So, when I read the Hershey’s Chocolate Cake recipe that David posted, I was transported to my childhood, when I would travel back to my birth country to visit my paternal grandparents for summer vacations and I would sit on top of my grandmother red kitchen table and was given a bowl and spoon, which I carefully placed between my legs and stir as my grandmother would add ingredients one by one to make her own chocolate cake.
This one-bowl cake spoke to me. It made me close my eyes and transport myself back to those summer days, and see my italian nonna, carefully pouring the flour, sugar, soften butter and asking me to beat the batter…then crack eggs after eggs until we had a smooth, dark chocolate mixture as the end results. And I would watch as she pour the cake in the heart-shape mold (because her chocolate cake always baked in this mold) and then she would hand back the bowl and spoon so I could happly lick the clinging leftover batter.
Just as I like to make those complicated cake recipe that take over 10+ steps and 2 days, I love the simplicity of making a one bowl cake (and wooden spoon as your mixing equipment). And this one fit that … just like those cake my grandmother use to make.
I pretty much followed the recipe and only deviated by changing the whole milk ingredient - a total fluke, since I did not have enough milk, so I replaced it with heavy cream instead. I also used less confectioners sugar in the frosting – I wanted my frosting more dark chocolate flavor and not so sweet, so slowly I pour sugar and adjusted the cocoa and taste along the way, until I had the right strong flavor frosting I was seeking.
All in all, the cake came out beautiful; it was moist, rich, not to sweet with the perfect frosting consistency and dark chocolate flavor. Was it my nonna’s cake? No it was not, but it did give me a part of my childhood memory, which was tucked away like those family that past down recipe and keep guarded like a treasure.
You can find the recipe here