Q: My brother and I were recently talking about a cake that our mom used to make called Triple Chocolate Cake (in a 13-by-9 pan) The three chocolate items were chocolate cake mix, chocolate instant pudding mix and chocolate chips. When our mom passed away we looked in her recipes for this and could not find it. Based on our age and our memories it was probably the late '70s and early '80s that she made this cake. Any thoughts?
—Stacey Fanale, Geneva
A: Thoughts? Well, honestly, I'm conflicted. This is a recipe your mom used to make and I can understand why you and your brother would be interested in it now. This Triple Chocolate Cake holds cherished memories for you two and I respect your desire to find the recipe. But the food writer in me kinda wishes you were searching for something else, a recipe more from scratch, without the cake mix and instant pudding. But, again, that's not the recipe your mom made — and as a man who ate jarred baby custard well into adulthood, I can't really say anything.
What to do? I searched online using the key words "triple chocolate cake" "cake mix" "instant pudding" "chocolate chips" "9-by-13" and "pan." There were a lot of recipes, many of which called for baking in a bundt or tube pan. I have no idea which of these recipes, if any, is like the one your mom made. You'll need to go through them on your own and see what strikes you as similar.
This recipe from About.com caught my eye, although it calls for sour cream and is baked in a bundt pan. What struck me was the comment posted by the sharer, Chef John Mitzewich, who is a noted YouTube recipe video blogger (foodwishes.blogspot.com). Mitzewich, a San Francisco resident, wrote: "Most 'doctored' boxed mix chocolate cake recipes just don't deliver the rich and decadent results that the made-from-scratch cakes do. This triple chocolate cake is so delicious you won't feel the least bit guilty for using such an easy recipe."
Give it a try and see if you agree with the chef.
Triple Chocolate Cake
Prep: 10 minutes. Cook: 50 minutes. Yield: 10 slices
1 box (18 ounces) devil's food chocolate cake mix
1 package (6 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup each: sour cream, vegetable oil
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Powdered sugar, as needed
1.In a mixing bowl, use a whisk to stir together the chocolate cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, oil, eggs and water. Mix in chocolate chips and pour the batter into a greased 12-cup bundt pan.
2.Bake in a 350-degree oven for 50 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake for 90 minutes before turning over onto a serving plate. Dust the cake with powdered sugar.
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