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Mary Lou's Chocolate Cake
|A pretty two-layer cake for Easter Sunday.|
This is very moist. If you use a dark cocoa, it will make the cake dry, so do stick with a basic baking cocoa. Good ol' Hershey's works great. Nine-inch round pans are necessary here; if you use 8-inch rounds, you will have a messy oven in the end. Spray the pans with non-stick spray that has flour in it.
2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
3/4 c. cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. milk
1 c. boiling coffee
Yields: one 9-inch two-layer cake
Mix all ingredients in one bowl, except the coffee. Stir until fully combined and smooth. Add the coffee and thoroughly mix again. This is a very wet batter. Pour into prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Do not over bake. Cake should seem firm to touch but not dry. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Then remove from pans and cool completely on racks.
For the seven-minute icing
Yield: This really is enough for two cakes. You can half this recipe without any problems. If you do, use two eggs whites.
3 large egg whites
2 tsp. light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/3 c. cold water
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
In a medium sauce pan, bring 2 inches of water to a simmer. Use a large pyrex bowl as a double boiler by placing it in the sauce pan. It should sit in the pan without touching the water. With the bowl OUT of the sauce pan, combine all ingredients with a whisk. Place the bowl inside the pan. With a hand mixer, beat the egg mixture on high speed until stiff peaks form (about 7 minutes). Remove from heat and beat 3-5 minutes longer until it cools. Use immediately.
|Whip ingredients over simmering water |
until stiff peaks form.
Assemble the cake
Note: No crumb coating is necessary here!
warm water in tall glass
To frost cake, place a dollop of icing on a plate. Place the first layer of cake on the plate; this helps glue the cake in place. Place four strips of wax paper under the layer of cake to protect the plate. Place more icing on top of the first layer and smooth out to the edges. Be generous! Place second layer of cake on top. Ice the top of the cake. Again, be generous. Then ice the sides.
After you've frosted the entire cake, you can use the back of a spoon to form peaks in the icing. Simply place the spoon in the icing and pull up. Do this over all the top of the cake.
|The more peaks the better!|
If you prefer a smooth professional finish, dip a spatula in a tall glass of warm water and shake off excess water. Then hold the entire spatula level and/or parallel to the cake and smooth icing to make a seamless effect.
|Hold the knife parallel to make a seamless effect.|
You might want to try covering the same chocolate layers with one of my favorite icings, Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing. It's from A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking: The 10th Anniversary Edition by Marcy Goldman, p. 315, originally published with her Yogurt Banana Cake. I double the recipe. We've enjoyed this terrific combination for my sons' birthdays, homeschool co-op picnics, and Boy Scout events. Click here to read my review on A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking. I am turning to this wonderful baking book once again this week. My son, Ben, has requested a special and surprise cake for his birthday dinner. I'm sure I'll find one among its recipes!
|Here are the same chocolate layers covered |
in Marcy's chocolate cream cheese icing.