I've been using Rose's chocolate cake recipes for nearly two years, and always had the same problem - I weighed every ingredient carefully, had the oven spot on 350, and every time, the cake would bake perfectly, but would serve out dry and crumbly. The strange thing was that when I made yellow or white cakes, this didn't happen. Last week I figured out why.When you use hot water to dissolve the cocoa powder, then let it sit to cool, some of the water evaporates. I stated measuring the water/cocoa mixture *after* it cooled, and found that I was loosing as much as two ounces of water, depending on the conditions in my kitchen! Adding a little room-temp. water, just before mixing the cocoa/water with the other ingredients has totally solved this problem. Just last weekend, I made a wedding cake with a 12-inch, two-layer middle tier of chocolate, baked and iced the day before the event. When served, the cake was soft and moist and the texture perfect.
Rose Reply aaron, i am so enormously grateful to you. after 18 years you are the only one to solve this problem. i thought it was over -baking. then i thought it was miss-measuring the flour. finally i thought i'd never figure out what people are doing without actually being there and if not for you i probably never would have. you see i always cover everything with plastic wrap that is not going to be used right away--especially chocolate and water! now i will be sure to add this vital piece of information to the new book.