Did you know today is National Chocolate Cake day? Well now you do. We love chocolate cake in this house. It used to be the only flavor of cake Matthew would eat until about 3 years ago when he fell in love with our Vanilla Cake recipe, which is now his personal favorite.
However, his Poppop, loves Chocolate and we mean LOVES chocolate. Funny enough, we make this chocolate cake once a year or another type like German, Black Forest, Red Velvet, Molten Lava Cake or another variation of chocolate a 2nd time of year, you know for Father’s day and his birthday. But this Man (whom we love a lot) still complains that he never gets his chocolate cake. Que the frustration and sarcasm.
History of Chocolate Cake
Chocolate cake is made with chocolate, whether its melted chocolate or cocoa powder, and a mix of other ingredients. The history of chocolate cake goes back to 1764, when Dr. James Baker discovered how to make chocolate by grinding cocoa beans between two massive circular millstones. In 1828, Coenraad van Houten of the Netherlands developed a mechanical extraction method for extracting the fat from cacao liquor resulting in cacao butter and the partly defatted cacao, a compacted mass of solids that could be sold as it was “rock cacao” or ground into powder.
The processes transformed chocolate from an exclusive luxury to an inexpensive daily snack. A process for making silkier and smoother chocolate called conching was developed in 1879 by Rodolphe Lindt and made it easier to bake with chocolate, as it amalgamates smoothly and completely with cake batters. Until 1890 to 1900, chocolate recipes were mostly for chocolate drinks, and its presence in cakes was only in fillings and glazes. In 1886, American cooks began adding chocolate to the cake batter, to make the first chocolate cakes in the US.
History of Box Cakes
The Duff Company of Pittsburgh, a molasses manufacturer, introduced Devil’s food chocolate cake mixes in the mid-1930s, but introduction was put on hold during World War II. Duncan Hines introduced a “Three Star Special” (so called because a white, yellow or chocolate cake could be made from the same mix) was introduced three years after cake mixes from General Mills and Duncan Hines, and took over 48 percent of the market. Since then, the cake mix market has added many flavors as well as frostings.
In the U.S., “chocolate decadence” cakes were popular in the 1980s; in the 1990s, single-serving molten chocolate cakes with liquid chocolate centers and infused chocolates with exotic flavors such as tea, curry, red pepper, passion fruit, and champagne were popular. Chocolate lounges and artisanal chocolate makers were popular in the 2000s. Rich, flourless, all-but-flourless chocolate cakes are “now standard in the modern pâtisserie,” according to The New Taste of Chocolate in 2001.