I wanted to make a quick dessert today and I didn’t have anything special in the house so I decided to make a cake that my mom used to make all the time. I hadn’t had it in forever.

Chocolate Oil Cake

1T vinegar
1 cup cold water
1/3 cup oil
1 t vanilla
1.5 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 cup cocoa

Pour into a greased and floured 8×8 pan. Bake for 25 minutes at 375.

I immediately ran into trouble. Vinegar – would you like varieties of balsamic or perhaps some tarragon? This recipe calls for white vinegar. At the time this was written that didn’t need to be specified. I didn’t have any. Oil – I can supply olive oils that were probably pressed between the thighs of vestal virgins on the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius on a sunny day in May but don’t have any plain vegetable oil.

I had to go to the store. While I was there I got good old vanilla icing in a tub. I was sort of embarrassed to be seen with all this “plain” stuff. Yep, I’m a food snob.

It hurt not to try to decrease the oil in the cake by substituting half of it for applesauce. But I decided to try it as written so I could remember what it was supposed to taste like before I started messing around with the recipe. Anyway, back in the day cakes were supposed to be fattening. That was the point!