Happy International Chocolate Cake Day - time to celebrate!
Could this be the best chocolate cake recipe ever?
A delicious staple when it comes to the world of dessert, the humble chocolate cake never ceases to both impress and delight all those who succumb to its decadent richness.
The history of the chocolate cake traces back to the late 1700s, when a man by the name of James Baker, a doctor, discovered how to make chocolate - by using two massive circular millstones to grind cocoa beans.
Not long after this time, in the early 1800s, Conrad Van Houten, a man from the Netherlands, developed a mechanical method of extracting fat from the liquor made from cacao. This resulted in things such as 'cacao butter' and the 'partially defatted cacao', which was a compacted mass of solids that could be sold as 'rock cacao' in its original state, or then ground into a powder. These transformative processes catalysed the transition of chocolate from an exclusive luxury, to a snack-food that could be used in recipes which were mainly for drinks, at the time.
Another notable process that significantly improved the ease of use of chocolate in recipes, was known as conching. This process developed by a Swiss man, Rodolphe Lindt - who we all know today as the founder of the Lindt & Sprüngli brand that pioneers the world of exquisite chocolate - in the late 1800s, made chocolate both silkier and smoother. This then allowed for the chocolate to be easily baked, as it was able to smoothly meld into cake batters - and so, the chocolate cake was born.
Since then, both the popularity and the sheer variety of both chocolate and chocolate cakes grew exponentially - with creations such as the Devil's food chocolate cake, molten chocolate cake, brownies, flavoured crème-filled chocolates, chocolate-stuffed pastries, flourless cakes, piping-hot chocolate-infused drinks, chocolate-flavoured frozen desserts and ice-creams, and dessert sauces, becoming unmistakably commonplace in cafés, restaurants, supermarkets, and shop-fronts.
Not to mention in theme-parks, cinemas, vending machines, in small foil-wrapped squares on top of hotel pillows, and in flashbacks to film scenes of Matilda (1996) where Miss Trunchbull forced Bruce to eat that ENTIRE chocolate cake (killing me softly...).
So, it would only be fitting to celebrate this momentous occasion of International Chocolate Cake Day with a classic chocolate cake recipe, and this might just be the best one yet.
The best part?
You can adjust the ingredients accordingly to account for dairy, egg, and gluten intolerances. Choose almond milk instead of buttermilk, gluten-free flour instead of regular flour, or a 1/3 cup of applesauce per egg, as substitutes where necessary.