Dish of the Week, from home: double chocolate ‘war’ cake

Media Credit: Vita Fellig | Photographer

You don't have to have a lot of ingredients to try this chocolate "war" cake that was created during World War II.

The Hatchet might not be able to taste dishes from restaurants across the District for now, but there are plenty of ways to spice up meals from home.

We’re whipping up dishes ourselves for you to cook and taste from wherever you are in the world. For students who may be stressed about the future of the coronavirus pandemic, this week’s dish is meant to provide some comfort: “war” chocolate cake.

The dessert gets its name from World Wars I and II, when strict rations forced people to cut back on their ingredients. Unlike other cake recipes, you won’t need any butter, milk or eggs.

This wartime-inspired chocolate cake calls for 1 1/2 cups of flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/3 cup of oil, 1 cup of water, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.

As a novice baker, the chocolate cake recipe did not seem too daunting of a dessert to make. After I made the first cake, I went back to the kitchen and made a couple more throughout the day because it was fairly easy to bake and required few baking skills.

I set the oven to 350 degrees and started on the batter. Requiring just one mixing bowl, all the ingredients can be mixed together at once. While the recipe suggests you whisk the ingredients by hand, I chose to use an electric mixer to save some time.

At first, the batter felt as thick as dough, but I added in a bit of water to help thin it out. After placing the batter into an 8 inch-by-8 inch size pan, I waited by the oven door for about 35 minutes to watch the batter rise.

The results were as simple as the recipe itself. I sprinkled the final cake with a little bit of cocoa powder and bit into a rich and satisfying dessert with crisp brownie-like edges and a fluffy interior. It also had an added benefit of being dairy free and vegan because of the lack of eggs and milk.

The cake serves about nine to 12 portions, but I ate more than a single serving. I prepared the cake three more times that day and added new variations every time. For a more fudgy textured cake, I’d recommend doubling the suggested amount of chocolate chips. You can also add fresh blueberries or strawberries to top the cake for a fresh flavor.

If you’re looking to pass the time or need something to do to alleviate stress, bake this simple cake. You can dress it up or eat it plain, and it’ll satisfy anyone who is vegan or dairy free.

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