Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting
One of the few nice things about being home from college for the summer is free reign of my mother's kitchen. I hate cooking in the dorms, so I go overboard when I come home.
I love chocolate cake, and usually I make it with peanut butter frosting. Sometimes chocolate on chocolate can be overkill. My boyfriend disagrees, and so for his birthday I whipped up a simple chocolate cake with chocolate butter-creme frosting. It turned out quite delicious, if I do say so myself.
For baking, you'll need two layer cake pans, or a 13x9x2 rectangular pan.
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup buttermilk (note: if you don't want to buy buttermilk, simply add 1 tsp vinegar to 1 cup milk, and you have an adequate substitution.)
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 oz. cool, melted unsweetened baker's chocolate
Chocolate Butter-Creme Frosting
- 1/2 cup softened butter/margarine (just let it sit out while the cake is baking)
- 2 oz. cool, melted unsweetened baker's chocolate
- 2 cups 10x (confectioner's) sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- about 2 tbsp milk (you may add more or less, depending on what consistency you want)
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Also, flour and grease your pans. I used the nifty spray stuff.
I'm a bit paranoid about eggs. A rotten egg will ruin the batter, so I always put them into a separate container before I mix them. Give it a whiff; you'll know if it's rotten. Both of mine were fine.
Put the eggs, shortening, sugar, and vanilla into a large bowl.
Cream it. You can use an electric mixer's "cream" setting, but I prefer the use the old-fashioned wooden spoon. Either way, make sure all the lumps are beaten. Shortening forms lumps easily, and biting in to a chunk of shortening is unpleasant.
Now add in everything else but the chocolate. You can add in bits at a time, if you so desire.
Mix it thoroughly. If you're using a mixer, be very careful. Flour can go all over the place if you start it off at a high speed. Flour also forms lumps, so make sure there aren't any lumps in your batter.
Now, for the chocolate. It needs to be melted, so find something microwave safe. I used my Pyrex glass measuring cup.
Microwave it for about 2 minutes, and it'll be melted. Stir it a bit if you need to.
Give the chocolate some time to cool. Continue beating lumps out of your batter, watch some TV, something. Then add in the chocolate. Since it's unsweetened, I don't recommend eating any of the chocolate that spills/gets on your fingers/whatever. It tastes gross.
Mix it all together again.
Now it's ready for baking. Pour the batter evenly into two layer cake pans, or one oblong 13x9x2 pan (in inches). Layers need baking at 350 F for 30-35 minutes, and the oblong pan for 40-45 minutes. However, the real sign of a done cake is the toothpick test. Simply take a toothpick and insert it into the middle of the cake. If it comes out with anything on it at all, it's not done. I did layers, but the cook time for my oven was actually 42 minutes. Just so you know.
Now, just relax. Do some dishes. Bother your pet. Leia wants nothing to do with the deadly cake.
Once your baking cake has passed the toothpick test and is now cooling in its pan(s), you can start the frosting.
So your cake is cooling in its pan, right? Good. Start the frosting by putting in the butter, vanilla, and milk. Mix it together, then add the 10x sugar a bit at a time.
Add more and more sugar, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure that it's all mixed in. It takes a while, so be patient. If it gets too dry, add a tiny bit more milk. You should get something like this:
Now is the time to melt the chocolate for the frosting. About 1 minute in the microwave should do it for this amount. While it's melting and cooling, remove the cake from the pans (if you did layers).
I love my mom's pans because they have this awesome built-in thing that scrapes around the sides and the base of the pan for you. The cake come out perfectly. If you don't have such a thing, use a butter knife to scrape around the edges. Turn the cake upside down. It should come out nicely, like mine.
Your chocolate should be cooled by now, so add it to the frosting and mix.
Putting it Together
Now to frost the cake. It should be fairly cool by now. If it's not, wait a while...you don't want the frosting to melt. For an oblong cake, simply slather it all over. A layered cake is only a bit trickier.
Choose which layer you want to be on top. The widest side should be turned to the middle. Frost the top layer's bottom side first.
Place the bottom layer on whatever plate the cake will be staying on. Place the half-frosted top layer onto the bottom layer. The only applied frosting should be in the middle. After the layers are together, frost the top and the sides.
Smooth over the frosting, and you're done!
The cake then survived a 2 1/2 hour trip from Coral Springs, across Alligator Alley, to Port Charlotte. It was a success. And delicious.
If you're wondering, my arm is the one in the sink, not the one close to the cake. That's the boy.