29 May 2006
grandma's chocolate cake
Hi there, Julieree readers. This is Jennie (AKA Twin). I've got Julie bound and gagged in the closet and I've taken over her blog. MWAHAHA! I'll probably let her go soon. But until then...you get me.
I actually baked today, a very unusual occurrence. Julie is a fabulous cook. Me, sadly, not so much. I love to eat what Julie cooks, but few things inspire me to make the effort of baking. This cake is one of the exceptions. It is light and fluffy, very chocolatey but not overly sweet.
First, the story behind the recipe. When our grandparents got marrried in the late 1930s, Grandma decided to have a recipe bridal shower, each guest bringing a favorite recipe to share. When Grandpa first tasted this cake, he made it a condition of the marriage that she make the cake once a week. Of course he was kidding, but it has been a family favorite ever since. Julie and I have probably had this cake at every single birthday. It is by far my favorite dessert. Grandma always made it with regular chocolate frosting, the fluffy kind made with confectioner's sugar. Mama has since traded this for a rich ganache for even greater chocolatey decadence.
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup + 2 tbs cocoa
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup boiling water
Directions: Preheat oven to 250. Cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add 2 eggs and egg yolk. Beat well. Sift flour, cocoa, salt, and soda together in a separate bowl. Gradually add flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk. Begin and end with flour mixture. Add hot water and stir to mix. Pour batter into greased 9"X13" pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 250 for the first 20 minutes, then increase temperature to 350 until done.
As you can see from the picture, we made them as cupcakes this time. They take about 20 minutes at 300 degrees.
1 1/4 cup cream
12 oz chocolate (highest quality you want to spring for)
1 tsp vanilla
Just heat the cream in the microwave, then stir the chocolate and vanilla in. Let cool, stirring occasionally, until it has set to a good consistency.
Special warning for all you baking novices out there (like me). This is actually my second attempt at the cake this week. On my first try, I realized at the last minute that we didn't have any cocoa. So I pulled out some Nesquik thinking, hey, it's the same thing, right? Ummm, no, not really. Disasterous results. Practically inedible. So this time I bought the good stuff--Scharffen Berger unsweetened cocoa. Good ingredients make for a good cake. A lesson learned.