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Amazon Cake (P, TNT)
Source: Adapted from "Cafe Beaujolais," by Margaret Fox and John S. Bear
Serves: 6 to 8

1-1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt (I forgot this, and didn't notice the difference)
5 tablespoons corn oil
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 cup cold water
confectioners' sugar for decorating

Heat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, sugar, and salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, vanilla, vinegar, and water.

Whisk dry ingredients into wet, blending until completely lump free.

Pour into a greased 9" round cake pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the top springs back when pressed gently. Cool before removing from the pan and dusting with confectioners' sugar or frosting if desired.

Poster's Notes:
Maxine says: The food section of the New York Times today had an article on the stepchild of chocolate cooking, cocoa powder. Mind you, I almost always used cocoa powder, because it lasts longer than the baking squares that always bloom on me. Then I looked at the recipes. The first one had no eggs or dairy in it, and a relatively small amount of oil! I decided to try it, and well, my husband and I just finished tasting the end product - it's a winner: moist, dark, and chocolatey. A great cake to end a fleish meal, or any time.

Susan Binnington says: This recipe is almost identical to one from a very old Peg Bracken cookbook, called "I Hate to Cook" (if I remember correctly.) She makes it even easier by mixing the dry ingredients right in the baking pan, then making depressions for the oil, vanilla and vinegar. Then pour the cold water over all and mix well. mixing bowl to wash, and it really is a delicious cake.

I always meant to try eliminating the cocoa, increasing the flour and adding some spices to see how it would work out as a spice cake, but I never got around to doing it.

Ruth Baks says: Crazy Chocolate Cake! That's what we called it. This was the first cake I ever made, many moons ago. An almost identical recipe (or rather, a double version of it) was circulating during the Yom Kippur War... everyone was making it because eggs were in short supply at the time, and this cake requires none.

Why the egg shortage? All windows had to be 'blacked out' so that enemy aircraft could not easily identify populated areas at night. Hen houses were likewise blacked out, and the hens didn't like it one bit. They went on strike and stopped laying...

In those days, this cake was baked on top of the stove in a 'Wonder Pot' - a large tube pan especially designed for stove top baking.

Marilyn Jacobs says: Looks like the old "Whacky Cake" which we discussed here before. In WWII with butter rationing, this was a good alternative.

Marcia Goldberg, z'l, says: This is like the recipe my son brought home from kindergarten when they learned the letter "C". It was called "Crazy Cocoa Cake". Since it was related to his learning I had to make it. (The fact that I'm a chocoholic had nothing to do with it :) ) It really was good. I also thought the name really fit the cake. And the fact that there was virtually nothing to clean up was a BIG bonus.

Posted by Maxine from RI

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A