Chocolate Cake – No Oven Needed!
I miss baking, and with everything that’s going, I feel the absence of my oven more so than ever. Our country has extended the national shut down until May 3rd and I really am not optimistic that we will get the all clear or even a modified all clear that will see me getting a new stove on May 4th.
So, what to do?
Thanks to the extra time on my hands, I’ve been able to experiment with stove top “baking” and today I’m going to share with you Experiment #2 a.k.a. chocolate cake. Experiment #3 a.k.a a loaf of bread was also a huge success – I may post at a later date.
Some time back, I was in a cast iron phase, where I was just interested in cooking everything via that method. I got my hands on a few skillets locally (ridiculously expensive in stores – including the Lodge ones!) and a dutch oven from a little store that sold odds and ends. I’ve used the dutch oven a few times in the past to make turkey stew, oxtail and meat filling for many a lasagna with wonderful results. However, this is the part where I confess that I can get very laid back at times and I did so often when it came to my cast iron babies.
I neglected them and thought that it was just too much work to clean, ultimately de-rust (yes, I’m that lazy that I let them go this far), and re-season them. Thankfully, I found my way back to them and I’m in love again.
Right, so, since I’ve been really wanting/ needing to bake, I started researching stovetop baking and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is indeed “a thing” and a thing that can be done successfully. Some people used large aluminium pots but I thought I would bring my trusty dutch oven out of the dark pantry and in to the light and see if I could work similar magic as these other folks out there baking cakes and bread on their stoves. After all, it has oven in its name, right?
My investigations lead me to believe that putting salt in the bottom of the pot (some people use sand), and something metallic for your pan to sit on was the best combination. Some people let it go without salt, sand or water and just heated their pot without any medium. Some people believed that loosely covering the pot was best, while others thought it was best to have a nice seal. I went with the nice seal option because, well that was the cover the pot came with and I wasn’t interested in finding one that fit the pot and be loose at the same time. I basically worked with what I had.
So, all that was left to do was to “bake” the cake. I whipped up a cake (without the use of a mixer) and poured it into a greased and floured pan and lowered it into the preheated dutch oven (I pre-heated it on the stove at high heat for about five minutes and then moved it to the back burner for about 50 minutes. Check your cake at 35 then 40 minutes until done.
This recipe (at the end of this post) yielded two 8 inch cakes (that I had to “bake” separately as I didn’t have another large enough pot to act as an oven. But you can totally do both at the same time if you have enough pots, trivets etc). The cake turned out beautifully – moist and tender and most importantly absolutely delicious! Now, for this particular recipe and for this way of making the cake, I recommend letting it rest in the fridge for about one to two hours and it will be perfect.
Here’s my process!
We enjoyed this cake to the very last crumb and I’ll be making more cakes this way until I get a new stove. I hope that you give this a try even if you do have an oven that’s working. If you do, drop me a comment and let me know how it went.
No Oven Needed Chocolate Cake
- Measuring spoons and cups
- 2 cups flour all purpose
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder for baking
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs beatn
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 cup vegetable oil neutral taste
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Grease and flour two 8 inch round pans.
- Into your large dutch oven, pour some cheap salt and spread out to cover the bottom of the pot. Put your trivet in the pot (or whatever metal instrument you are using to raise the cake pan off of the bottom of the pot).
- Place the dutch oven over high heat and let it "preheat" for about five minutes, covered.
- In one bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients (including the sugar).
- In another large bowl, whisk together all of the wet ingredients until well combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet all at once and whisk until well combined. Batter will be very runny.
- Pour into the prepared pans. If you have two large pots to do both cakes at once on the stovetop, then go for it. If not, you can put one in the fridge while the other cooks.
- Carefully lower the pans on to the trivet and close the lid. No need to cover the pan itself with foil.
- Carefully move the entire dutch oven to the back burner and allow it to cook on medium heat for about 50 minutes. Make sure to check for doneness at 35 minutes, then 40 minutes.
- The cake is done when a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool in their tins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Frost with your favourite icing recipe.
- Allow to rest in the fridge for an hour or two before slicing.