As we all know, dragons are particular to cake, scones, and other baked goods, so it’s a difficult yet vital part of my life as an author that I must research said baked goods.
Research is a necessary evil.
And every now and then I run into problems. That might be an urgent need for banana cake, or finding myself desperate for a chocolate hit, both of which I’ve covered previously. However, sometimes things take an even more dire turn, and one finds oneself without cake ingredients. Quelle horreur! And when one needs cake, one needs cake.
Luckily (especially as I discovered myself in this exact situation the other week, just after all our stuff arrived in the moving van from France – so I had baking pans again, but not a lot of everything else), I have a solution. And while, like the Porridge Cakes, this may not be a W.I.-approved recipe, it is most certainly a dragon-approved one. And Kim-approved. And it would be Little Furry Muse-approved as well, if I hadn’t been quick enough to move the plate.
This recipe is generally known online as Wacky Cake, as I guess the ingredients could be termed wacky? I don’t know. I’ll call it Emergency Cake, as it’s quick, easy, and doesn’t need any fresh ingredients (we made it a lot on the boat when I was growing up, and I still make it when I visit my dad and his girlfriend). It’s also ridiculously tasty, and lends itself to all sorts of flavour variations.
As far as that goes, it’s pretty forgiving – leave out the cocoa and add some spices and chopped nuts, then glaze with lemon icing. Or add half a cup of desiccated coconut and top with vanilla icing and more coconut. Or (my personal favourite), use coffee instead of water, and add some more coffee to the icing. And there’s no need to ice it (it’s lovely with just a dusting of icing sugar), but, well. I don’t think I’ve ever turned down the chance to add icing to a cake. I do use a serious cheat’s icing on this, too, so I’ll add that into the recipe.
Go forth and bake!
Emergency Chocolate Cake
1 ½ cups flour
1 cup sugar
¼ cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup hot water
5 tbsp oil (technically vegetable oil, but I only happened to have olive oil, which worked just fine)
1 tbsp white vinegar (again, I didn’t have any, so used red wine vinegar)
1 tsp vanilla
Prepare a cake tin by greasing and flouring, or lining with greaseproof paper. Preheat oven to 180C.
Chuck all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Add wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
Pour into prepared pan and bake until toothpick comes out with crumbs attached, around 40 minutes (depending on the oven. The oven in the new house is … interesting …)
Allow to cool before dusting with icing sugar, or topping with icing of your choice.
Cocoa (if using)
Knob of butter (maybe 2 tbsp?)
Sift icing sugar and cocoa together, then add softened butter. Splash in a tiny bit of boiling water, and mix enthusiastically. Keep adding boiling water in very small amounts until the butter is worked all the way through the icing and the mix has achieved the desired consistency.
Lick bowl thoroughly. All that butter will just clog up the sink.
And now it’s over to you, lovely people! What’s your favourite type of cake or baked
goods? Are you more a savoury or a sweet person? Let me know below!