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Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake Recipe & Video

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If you like a chocolate cake with lots of flavor, you'll definitely want to try this Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake.  Mayonnaise is added to the batter which gives the cake a wonderfully soft and moist texture. It doesn't need a frosting, but it is delicious when covered with a smooth and creamy Chocolate Ganache, a simple mixture of chocolate and heavy cream.

This cake was invented during the Depression era by Hellmann's Mayonnaise. The recipe given here is pretty close to the original. The main differences are: I used coffee, instead of the water which the original recipe called for. And instead of using two - 8 or 9 inch (20 or 23 cm) round baking pans, I like to use one 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) pan. While it may seem strange to use mayonnaise in a cake, it really isn't. Because mayonnaise is a thick and creamy sauce made from egg yolks, oil, and an acid. So the mayonnaise is really just replacing the oil and adding extra egg yolks to the recipe.

A few notes on ingredients. For the Mayonnaise you can use full fat or even a light mayonnaise. The chocolate flavor in the cake comes from unsweetened cocoa powder, and you can use Dutch processed or natural unsweetened cocoa powder. For the liquid, you can use either water or coffee (freshly brewed or instant coffee).

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Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 x 13 x 3 inch (23 x 33 x 8 cm) baking pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

In a bowl, whisk or sift the flour with the cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla extract, on high speed, until light and fluffy (about three minutes). Next, on low speed, beat in the mayonnaise until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture (in three additions) and the coffee (or water) (in two additions), beginning and ending with the flour.

Pour the batter into the pan, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon or offset spatula. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean (the sides of the cake will just be starting to pull away from the sides of the pan). Place the cake on a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.

Ganache: Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel, or heatproof bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream and butter in a saucepan, over medium heat (can also be heated in the microwave). Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for a few minutes. Stir until smooth, then let stand at room temperature until the Ganache has completely cooled and becomes thick (can also place in the refrigerator). Then with a hand mixer or wire whisk beat until soft and fluffy. Spread the Ganache on the top of the cake. 

Serves about 12 to 14 people.

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Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake:

2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour

2/3 cup (65 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (regular unsweetened or Dutch-processed)

1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder

1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking soda

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt

3 large eggs (150 grams), at room temperature

1 2/3 cups (335 grams) granulated white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) pure vanilla extract

1 cup (220 grams) mayonnaise (full fat or light mayonnaise)

1 1/3 cups (320 ml/grams) water or coffee, at room temperature

Chocolate Ganache:

8 ounces (225 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces

3/4 cup (180 ml/grams) heavy whipping cream (cream with a 35-40% butterfat content)

1 tablespoon (14 grams) butter, cut into small pieces

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