Yes, for what it is, this is a 5-Star recipe--but it's not a one-bowl recipe! I'm surprised that no one knows the purpose of the vinegar. It's to sour the milk. You put the vinegar in a glass measuring cup and then fill with milk to to the 1 cup line. Then wait 15 to 25 minutes until the milk shows signs of souring (curdling). This is a time-honored method of inexpensively adding flavor and richness to baked goods. Buttermilk can't match it. I remember years ago, learning to cook in my mother's kitchen and scoffing at her old-timey farm-raised ideas. I used buttermilk instead of soured milk in my dad's favorite Coconut Raisin Cookies and had to listen to him tell how I just couldn't match my mom for making good cookies. I went right back to the sour milk! The Farm Journal Test Kitchens supported my findings, too.
The other item I would mention is DON'T FORGET THE VANILLA! No chocolate cake is ever complete without vanilla. Yes, the coffee (I use espresso) brings out the rich, deep flavor notes of the chocolate, but the vanilla highlights the "flowery," sweet notes. To achieve the full depth and range of chocolate flavor, you need the vanilla. Then, when you smother this complex, delicious cake with a sweet frosting, you will have a truly complete chocolate experience. I chop this cake into serving-sized cubes and freeze them in squares of plastic wrap. Perfect treats at a moment's notice! Thank you for this recipe.
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Yes, for what it is, this is a 5-Star recipe--but it's not a one-bowl recipe! I'm surprised...