There are some emergencies that planning manuals fail to warn about. I like to be prepared.
What if it’s three days before payday, and PMS strikes?
What if there’s a lot of snow, and I can’t get to the store?
What if I’m out of eggs and milk?
What if my daughter is not available to bake for me?
What if ALL THOSE THINGS happen on the same day??? (Forget the coming Zombie Apocalypse… we’re talking about a Dire Chocolate Emergency here.)
For those situations, there’s my Mom’s Emergency Chocolate Cake recipe. It’s made with ingredients that keep well in storage, no milk or eggs required. It whips together in seconds, and within 20 minutes of the first craving, you can be spooning up dark chocolate happiness.
One caveat: be sure to whisk the dry ingredients well before adding the liquids. Dry things in storage can sometimes get a little clumped. You do not want to skip whisking or sifting, or you risk a cake with little flour “nuts,” or much, much worse (ask the nice missionary who thought he was biting into a little piece of chopped walnut, and then discovered a soda “nut.” Surprisingly, he did not blaspheme. Having formerly had that same experience, we children were very impressed.)
Emergency Chocolate Cake
Blend dry ingredients well:
1½ cups flour
1 cup sugar
¼ cup Dutch process cocoa powder (buy this in bulk at WinCo or similar stores for pennies!)
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
Mix all wet ingredients, then add to dry and whip vigorously to combine:
½ cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup warm water
Turn into greased and floured 9×13” pan, or paper-lined cupcake tins (12-18, depending on how full you make them.) Bake until goo-free when tested in the middle. Add a dash of cinnamon to mix for a Mexican flavor, or add mint, almond, or other extracts!
You can also get very funky and rebellious, and bake this in two round or square pans. While they are still quite warm, invert one atop the other. As they cool, the tops meld in the middle and form a fudgy ribbon.
Or, do the inversion for the fudgy ribbon, and then cut the cake into petit-four-type squares, and cover with chocolate ganache, and you have a sort of homemade bliss that will impress everyone at a party and keep fresh for several days.
Generally, though… we just make up the plain cake, and eat it with our fingers. After all, it’s snowing, and PMS makes it a true chocolate emergency.