Saturday, October 17, 2009

the secret ingredient in my secret ingredient soup

... name that movie.

Ok, so this isn't about soup, and there actually is a secret ingredient. But this comes with a story.

When I was about 17 I had a youth leader who claimed she made this amazing cake. And then she told me she had a secret ingredient. Mayonnaise. Not sour cream, not pudding mix. Mayonnaise! And I wrote her off right there. (Sorry, Jill!) But I have since changed my ways, but not easily. All these years, I kept telling myself I would never try to make that dang cake, but I had a baby-sitter coming over for a service thing (so for free) and I wanted to do something nice for her, so I thought I'd make some dark chocolate cupcakes and orange colored cream cheese frosting so she and my baby could have something fun to do. But the time was coming near, I didn't have a cake mix, and I didn't want to spend a lot of time making cake. I turned to my trusted favorite cookbook of all time and the first cake in the cake section was an emergency chocolate cake recipe. Perfect! So I look through the ingredients and ... it calls for mayo! But America's Test Kitchen is so trustworthy and amazing, so I thought I'd better try it. And holy cow, these were good cupcakes. I'm sure their less-emergency cakes are better, but I'm sold! Jill, you were right. Mayo can go in cakes. And it's good. Even my super anti-mayo husband ate a few of them with great joy.

Emergency Chocolate Cupcakes
makes 12 cupcakes
2 C all-purpose flour
1-1/4 C sugar
3/4 t baking soda
3/4 C Dutch-processed coca powder
1-1/4 C water
1 C mayonnaise
1 T vanilla extract
  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.
  2. Whisk flour, sugar, and baking soda together in a large bowl. In a seperate bowl, whisk the cocoa and water together until smooth. Whisk in the mayonnaise and vanilla. Stir the mayonnaise mixture into the flour mixture until combined.
  3. Pour the batter evenly into the 12 muffins cups. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cakes comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 20~25 minutes.
  4. Let the cakes cool in the pan on a wire rack, about 1 hour. Spread tops with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles!

No comments: