Baking is a Piece of Cake


We don’t get much baking done here at Endless Simmer. It’s not that we don’t have a collective sweet tooth (we sure do), it’s just that with all the measuring and timing and instruction-following, baking doesn’t quite fit into the creativity-fueled anarchy that guides our cooking world view. It takes so much discipline, attention, and, I don’t know, skill. Not for me.

Fortunately, Alex is much more of a patient, science-y type, which balances out well. She broke out the baking soda and measuring cups this weekend to throw together this chocolate cake while I made chiles rellenos.

Kind of a brownie kicked up a few notches, the cake isn’t as chocolate-y as it looks, with just a little cocoa powder going a long way, and the surprising addition of oatmeal keeping it rich and moist. Hmm…I’d tell you more about it, but again, don’t really know about baking. Regardless, it’s delicious and not too complicated.

The recipe, from Alex’s pal Eliza, and another vanity shot, after the j.


Stake Visitor’s Cake

1 c uncooked oatmeal
1.5 c boiling water
1 c white sugar
1 c brown sugar
0.5 c (1 stick) butter
2 beaten eggs
0.5 tsp salt
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1.5 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
about 1 c chocolate chips
1 c chopped nuts

– Pour boiling water over oatmeal, let stand until it looks oatmeal-y. (About 5 mins for instant oatmeal, 10 mins for regular.)

– Cream eggs, sugar and butter until smooth. Add dry ingredients and half of the chocolate chips. Mix well. The original recipe was ambiguous about when to add the oatmeal, but I did it here and it turned out great.

– Pour into greased 9×13 pan and sprinkle nuts and other half of chocolate chips on top.

– Bake at 350 for 30-40 mins. And, quoting the original recipe, “No frosting needed, it’s so tasty.”

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  • gansie April 7, 2008  

    looks really amazing. can you explain the relevance of the recipe name?

  • MissGinsu April 7, 2008  

    Huh… I like the oatmeal thing. Can’t say I’ve seen that in a brownie recipe before. Seems like it’d add some fiber and some chewiness. Might have to try this one.

  • Alex April 7, 2008  

    I will defer to Eliza (my friend who gave me the recipe) to explain the name if she chooses.

    Re: MissGinsu’s comment, I will emphasize that it’s not really a brownie recipe – there’s only half a cup of choc chips and a tablespoon of cocoa in the cake. It looks really chocolatey, but BS isn’t a big chocolate fan, and he really liked it. And I AM a big chocolate fan, and also really liked it. It’s a moistly delicious chocolate-meets-oatmeal-meets-cake-meets heaven taste explosion extravaganza. That’s right, I said extravaganza.

  • Yvo April 7, 2008  

    I feel the same way about baking! Too much reading. And following.

  • gansie April 7, 2008  

    if we do have any bakers out here – does anyone have any suggestions for sweets that can last being shipped thru the mail.

  • Alex April 7, 2008  

    Yes, I have many suggestions. Pretty much any cookie will last pretty well, especially if you put them in plastic baggies before shipping. I’ve had luck with chocolate chip and pumpkin. Brownies are also great.

    Also, a great trick for un-staling cookies, if they arrive all dried out, is to put a piece of bread in a tupperware with them. The bread comes out hard as a rock, but the cookies get soft. (And then you can soak the bread in milk and eggs and fry it in sugar and oil for the recently blogged pain perdu! Ta-dah!)

  • MonkeyBoy April 7, 2008  

    It’s not the reading that’s hard, it’s just that what you expect is backwards. Sugar is a liquid and eggs are a solid. Once you realize that and can keep the proportions of sol. and liq. the same you can experiment a bit with the flavorings, shapes etc.
    Besides, throw down some homemade rugelach at work and score major credit points 🙂

  • BS April 7, 2008  

    I expect to see a recipe for this homemade rugelach

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