Monday, January 7, 2008

Grandma's Devil's Food Cake

My grandmother was famous for this light chocolate cake, its cocoa-rich layers spread with sinfully rich, fudgy frosting. My friends maintain that it gets better as it keeps in the refrigerator, but I'll never know for sure because mine always disappears too quickly to find out. --Jim Fobel's Old-Fashioned Baking Book.

Makes one 8-inch 2 layer cake (cut recipe in half for one 6-inch 2 layer cake)

1/2 cp unsweetened cocoa
1 cp boiling water
1 1/2 cp sifted cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
8 T unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cp granulated sugar
2 lg eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.

Place the cocoa in a bowl and pour in the boiling water; stir to dissolve the cocoa and cool slightly.

In a medium-sized bowl stir together the cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat the butter until fluffy, about 1 minute, then gradually beat in the sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time; add the vanilla and beat until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the dry ingredients alternately with the cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Divide batter between the prepared pans, smoothing the tops. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until the tops spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it; do not overbake or the cakes will become too dry. Cool in the pans on a rack for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to loosen from the pans and turn layers out on the rack, placing one upside down and the other right side up.

Brush any loose crumbs from the layers and place one upside down on a serving plate. Spread with about 1 1/4 cp of the frosting. Center the remaining layer, right side up, over the top. Frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting, making decorative swirls around the sides and over the top. Chill to set the frosting but return to room temperature before serving.

Grandma's Fudge Frosting

This thick, fudgy, not too sweet frosting begins with a granulated sugar and heavy cream mixture that is simmered for ten minutes before the chocolate is added, and then cooled to an ideal spreading consistency.

Makes 3 cups.

1 1/2 cp granulated sugar
1 cp heavy cream
6 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 T unsalted butter, sliced
2 tsp vanilla extract

In a heavy medium-sized saucepan combine the sugar and heavy cream. Place over moderate heat and, stirring constantly, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes without stirring. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate, butter, and vanilla, continuing to stir until chocolate and butter melt. Turn into a bowl and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate, stirring frequently, until thickened and of a good spreading consistency. Use to frost a cake before the frosting sets completely.

**I beat the frosting when it gets thick so that it is light and fluffy.

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