This chocolate cake is very special for me, because it represents the beginning of my passion for cooking: it is the first recipe I ever made by myself. At that time, -when I was nine years old-, the results were very different each time I baked this cake. I am impatient in the kitchen, and back then this was a real issue. I could not even wait until the cake’s time in the oven was completed and usually took it out way too early. I also wanted to get over with the preparation process very quickly, so I often forgot to preheat the oven, or wasn’t precise when measuring the ingredients (a big sin when it comes to baking dessert). Luckily, I have grown and learned from my mistakes, and I’ve come a long way in the patience department.
Despite all this, the one thing I recall is that when the cake turned out well, it was devoured in minutes. Peruvians are big fans of chocolate cake, and it’s an important part of our sweet tradition. When properly done, this version was irresistible and one of the best my family had tried. It had a moist, spongy, and tender texture… just the way we liked it. For many years this recipe vanished, and I didn’t remember how to make it. But I recently found it, made it, and fell in love with it all over again. It brought so many beautiful memories to my mind. This recipe belongs to my grandmother (like many of my favorite recipes), so it is old. However, when I rediscovered it and made it again I realized it didn’t have eggs or milk, making it vegan. Who would have imagined back then that vegan food would be such a big trend and lifestyle in today’s world?
Morena C. told me that some old recipes were created in this way, with few ingredients, because of the scarcity of some ingredients like eggs or milk, which was common in many developing countries at the time, and during the Great Depression in the early 20th century in the US. Cooks were very creative and made delicious things with whatever ingredient they could get their hands on.
If you want to indulge, you can fill and cover the cake with fudge or dulce de leche (which is not vegan at all!). It’s up to you.
- 3 cups enriched flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 8 full tablespoons cocoa
- ¾ cup vegetal oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 2 cups sugar
- Grease a ring mold, and cover the bottom with parchment paper.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa in a bowl, and mix with a spoon.
- Make a well in the center and add the oil, vanilla, vinegar and two cups cold water. Mix with a whisk. The mixture is going to have a very thick texture.
- Add the sugar and stir with a spoon, you will see how the texture changes and becomes more liquid.
- Pour into the prepared baking pan and bake for 1 hour.
- Let it cool before unmolding and serving.