Recipe - Easy Chocolate Cake
Cooking and entertaining onboard is one of the pleasures of the cruising life for me and a topic I enjoy speaking and writing about. So in response to your enquiries about elegant-but-easy cooking onboard I am going to begin posting some of the recipes I use while sailing aboard Distant Shores II on a regular basis.
I've decided to start with an all-time favourite – Chocolate Cake!
The recipe I have used for years and can mix, bake and serve in one dish is called “Po'-Boy Chocolate Cake” from Janet Groene's cookbook for sailors, campers and adventurous vacationers called “Cooking on the Go”. Janet is the author of many books for sailors including “How to Live Aboard a Boat” and has a blog called Boat Cook you might enjoy.
I have found many versions of this quick chocolate cake recipe over the years under such names as Crazy Cake and Easy Chocolate Cake when searching in other cookbooks and also online.
This recipe is great for the boat because there aren't lots of mixing bowls and utensils to clean up (saves water) and requires no eggs, just simple ingredients that are easy to keep onboard long-term. The texture is rich and firm and it's so easy to whip up even when underway!
I recently made this yummy chocolate cake as a treat and to boost our energy mid-afternoon while on passage from the British Virgin Islands to the Turks and Caicos Islands which we filmed for Distant Shores season 10 which you can download as single episodes or buy the season pass and receive new episodes as they are uploaded.
Po'-Boy Chocolate Cake
1 ½ cups flour
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not hot chocolate mix)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white vinegar
5 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (I use rum)
1 cup cold water
Mix the dry ingredients (the first five ingredients listed) in an eight-inch-square cake pan. I use a similar sized pyrex pan, pictured below, that has a plastic lid which makes storing the cake convenient.
With the back of a spoon, make three holes in the mixture. Put the vanilla or rum in one, the vinegar in the second, and the oil in the third.
Pour the cold water over all. (It woks best if the water is really cold. I use water from a bottle I always keep chilled in the fridge. If you don't have cold water it still works but the cake is a little denser.)
Work well with a spoon paying special attention to the corners, and make sure no unmixed dry ingredients remain.
Bake in your oven at 350º F for 30-35 minutes or until springy to the touch.
Let cool and top with your favourite homemade or store-bought chocolate icing.
Researching Destinations for your Dream Cruise?
Check out the entire Distant Shores Super Pack which now includes the newest episodes in the Caribbean, Turks & Caicos and Bahamas from Season 10.