Monday, August 28, 2006

A Celebratory Chocolate Cake

Recently our family got together to celebrate my daughter-in-law’s birthday, and I offered to bake a cake. I really love to bake, but don’t do it often any more with no children left at home. (If goodies are here and in sight, I will eat them, and that’s not a good thing. So I keep them in the freezer.) I decided to bake a chocolate cake, and the easiest, best chocolate cake I know of is Never-Fail Chocolate Cake from COOK & TELL, my favorite recipe newsletter. This cake recipe is also found in the cookbook of the same name, by Karyl Bannister. Here’s the recipe.


1 cup sugar
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup milk
1 stick butter or margarine
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9-inch square cake pan.

Combine the sugar, chocolate, and milk in a large saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Add the butter, remove from the heat, and cool briefly. Beat in the remaining ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick tests clean. Cool in pan on rack -- or remove from the pan if desired. Frost, or top with ice cream and chocolate sauce. Makes 1 9-inch cake. (For our group, I doubled the recipe and baked the cake in a 13x9-inch pan.)

For the frosting, I wanted a milk chocolate one. This cake is very fudgy, and I thought a dark or fudge frosting might be too much. (In retrospect, it probably wouldn’t have been.) I adapted a frosting recipe I found on the internet.

1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tblsp. half & half cream (I used the fat-free kind)

Beat the softened butter in a medium bowl. Slowly beat in the remaining ingredients until combined, then beat on high until frosting reaches desired consistency. (The recipe didn’t say how much frosting it would make. I thought it didn’t look like enough for a 13x9-inch cake, so I added another cup of powdered sugar and another tablespoon of cream, and left the other ingredients the same. I think the recipe as printed would work fine for the 9-inch cake.)

Maybe your family will enjoy this celebratory cake too! (With school starting for many students, this might be a nice dessert for the first supper of the school year!)

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