Friday, May 25, 2012

Chocolate-Mayonnaise Cake

When I offered to make the cake for a family birthday party a few days ago, my host requested chocolate. This excellent cake cooks up in a jiffy: There’s no taste of the mayonnaise that provides its fat and some of its moisture. Because this was to be a party cake, I took extra care in its finishing, brushing the layers with Kahlua-Flavored Simple Syrup, icing the center with a snowy Bake-Shop Frosting, and topping it with a silky Sour Cream Ganache
The two frosting recipes I used appear just below this cake recipe. I’ve included a bonus post for Ganache lovers: Julia Child’s Heavy Cream Ganache. For those of you who think Ganache is a spiritual deity, check your spelling, Dollinks!
Chocolate-Mayonnaise Cake:
2 c. unsifted all-purpose flour
⅔ c. sifted cocoa powder
1-¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. baking powder
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-⅔ c. granulated sugar
1 c. full-fat mayonnaise
1-⅓ c. cold water
Kahlua-Flavored Simple Syrup (optional; see recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Grease and “flour” two 9-in. cake pans (see Note). Set aside. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder to medium bowl, combining well. Set aside. Beat eggs and vanilla at high speed, using electric mixer. Gradually add sugar, scraping down sides of bowl and beating until no graininess remains when you rub a small amount of batter between your finger and thumb. Continue beating until thick and creamy, about 5 min. Reduce beater speed to low and add mayonnaise.
Beginning and ending with dry ingredients, alternate additions of flour mixture and water, beating well between each addition and continuing to scrape down sides of bowl. Distribute batter equally between two cake pans. Rap pans once on work surface to remove large air bubbles. Bake 45 min., until a toothpick or skewer poked into centre of cake emerges dry. Let cakes rest in pans 10 min. before inverting onto cooling racks. While cakes are still warm, brush “crumb” side of each with 1 tbsp. Simple Syrup combined with 1 tsp. Kahlua or other coffee-flavored liqueur. Frost as desired: The following posts will tell you how I frosted my cake!
Note: Use sifted cocoa powder to dust greased cake pans for chocolate cakes.  Dust pans for other cakes with all-purpose flour.

Further Note: Purists slice away the dome that results after baking some cakes. My personal preference is to press lightly on the top of each hot cake in the pan, flattening its dome while maintaining the delicate texture of the cake. That does the job to my satisfaction.
To Prepare the Kahlua-Flavored Simple Syrup:
Simple Syrup is a very useful ingredient to stock in the fridge. Among its many uses is keeping cakes moist and adding a burst of subtle flavor. To make basic Simple Syrup, boil equal parts of sugar and water together 5 min. Chill for future use. 
Simple Syrup: Easy to make, easy to use
I usually keep a modest amount on hand in a covered, labeled jar. For this cake, I brushed the “crumb” side of each layer (the side closest to the cake pan) with 1 tbsp. Simple Syrup to which I added 1 tsp. Kahlua. Tailor this basic recipe to your cake: Boil an orange with the Simple Syrup you intend to brush onto an Orange Cake, for instance, and add a splash of orange liqueur or non-alcoholic orange extract to the syrup. Let your imagination soar! 
For the record, Dollinks, I used only a whisper of alcohol in my syrup because this cake was intended for children. 

Dust pans with sieved cocoa. I use cake pans with built-in
sliding "cutters" that easily release the cake from the pan

Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda

Pre-measuring ingredients makes the work go faster!

Beat eggs, vanilla, sugar, and mayonnaise. To this,
 alternate additions of flour mixture and water

Prepare Simple Syrup as cake bakes. Use 
what you need, adding liqueur or extract

Brush cake with syrup ... no need to soak it!

Another satisfied customer: Sydney

Two candles blown out ... seven more to go: Lyndsay


  1. This looks fantastic! I'll definitely be trying it out. Can I ask when you add flour mixture & water are you beating that in? Or folding it in? Many thanks. Simone :)

    1. Thanks for the excellent question, Simone. I used my electric mixer to beat in the dry ingredients, alternating with the water and beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. This is a common technique for mixing cakes ... no need to fold by hand unless you’re trying to hold the air pockets in egg whites. The ingredients above are too heavy for that. This cake is terrific! I'm sure you'll enjoy it! xox Nicole

  2. Thank you Nicole. That's fantastic. Will try it out this weekend. Simone :)


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