There are few things more satisfying at a work morning tea than the look of amazement (or jealousy) on a colleague’s face after you casually and nonchalantly say, “Oh this? I made it myself…”
It is even more satisfying when you have made something that was as simple as pouring five ingredients in a bowl and popping it in the oven but it looks as though it came from some sort of pretentious cafe with a non-sensical French name!
I can help you achieve this sort of satisfaction! I give you… Smug and Easy Chocolate Cake!
You’re only going to need a few things and you’re going to use almost all of it rather than being left with half packets of things you’re never going to use again, as often happens with infrequent home baking.You have the choice of making a half size cake, which is what I would recommend if you are transporting your cake via public transport and are concerned about its structural integrity, or a full size cake, if you really want to be impressive or are feeding lots of people.
These are the quantities for one half of the cake in the photo:
- 1 x 340g packet of home brand chocolate cake mix (the one I bought was 75c)
- 1 x 100g packet of chocolate instant pudding mix (you find this in the supermarket where the jelly is)
- 1 cup lemonade
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
And for the filling or topping, you’ll need:
- Punnet of strawberries
- Whipped cream (or whatever Dream Whip is actually made of)
Now for the baking….
- Preheat your oven to 180ºC.
- Line a 23cm circular spring form pan with baking paper. A really easy way to do this is to scrunch the baking paper into a ball and run it under the tap, then it becomes soft enough to just mould into the tin.
- Empty the packets of cake mix and pudding mix into a bowl (without following the directions listed on the packet). Add the oil, eggs and lemonade. Wait for the lemonade to fizz, then stir.
- Pour the cake mix into the lined pan.
- If you are making both halves of the cake, repeat steps 1 to 3 for the second set of ingredients.
- Place the cake/s in the oven for approximately 20 minutes.
- Have a glass of lemonade and chop up the strawberries while you wait for the cakes to cook.
- Check if the cakes are done via the skewer method (if you poke the cake with a skewer and the skewer comes out covered in chocolate liquid, it is not done yet)
- Remove the cake/s from the spring form pan sides and let cool.
- Top the bottom cake with chopped strawberries and whipped cream.
- If you’re only making a half cake, you’re done! If you’re going all the way, grab a plate and place it on top of the top cake. Turn the cake upside down and remove the baking paper.
- Grabbing the plate and cake between your fingers and thumbs (fingers cake side, thumbs plate side), turn the cake right way up again, so that the plate is on the top and place it very carefully on top of the other half of the cake, sliding your fingers out as the cake (and your fingers) come into contact with the cream.
- If you’ve got some lying around, dust the top of the cake with icing sugar, but it is only for show. This cake is definitely sweet enough without any additional sugar!
- Enjoy all the compliments you receive about how impressive this cake looks and how awesome it tastes!