Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Grammy's Chocolate-on-Chocolate, Three Layer Cake !

      Earlier this week I mentioned that I was baking a cake and that the recipe came from my Grammy's cook book.  I promised that if I had time, I'd post the recipe here -- so this is it.

     What you need to understand is that I'm now a grandmother (hence, the 'Nana') myself and I was the baby in my family so Grammy's cook book goes back a lot of years!   I doubt there were many (if any) shortcut methods available in the stores back then.  It makes the recipes of her day fun to read because they talk about all the steps which had to be done in the kitchen.  The term "from scratch" wasn't even used because everything was done "from scratch."  :-)

      Unfortunately, her dessert baking spoiled me for all other desserts!  I've never been much of a cake lover and, this week, I think I discovered why.  When I baked the cake with this recipe, it was moist, rich, and decadently chocolate!  I didn't cut any corners or take any shortcuts.  I did it just the way the recipe said and it was the most wonderful chocolate cake I've eaten in 45 years!  Ooops, now you know which generation I have to claim.

      Atthe end, I'll also give you her recipe for the frosting -- almost like eating fudge!

Best-Ever Chocolate Cake  (Note:  Her recipe is made for 3 layers, but I only made 2)

3/4 Cup butter
3 eggs
2 Cups sifted flour
3/4 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder (yes, you can still find this in the baking section)
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Cups sugar - fine granulated
2 tsp vanilla flavoring
1 1/2 Cups milk or 1 Cup milk and 1/2 Cup cream  (I guess this was definitely before homogenized milk!)

Preparation Steps
1.  Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Lightly grease bottoms of three 8 x 1 1/2-inch, round cake pans.  Line bottoms of cake pans with waxed paper.  Grease and lightly flour waxed paper and sides of cake pans.

2.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

3.  In a large bowl, beat butter until completely soft.  Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating until well mixed with no butter lumps.  Add eggs, one at a time, stirring thoroughly after each one.  Add vanilla and stir in.

4.  Alternately add dry ingredients mixture and milk to wet ingredients, stirring and beating thoroughly until well mixed.  Mixture should be smooth and creamy, and pourable.  Pour equal amounts into each of the cake pans.

5.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a fork inserted in centers comes out clean.  Cool layers in the pans for approximately 10 minutes.  Turn upside down and remove from pans.  Peel off waxed paper and cool completely on racks (approximately 1 hour.)

6.  Frost the top of the first layer before adding second layer.  Add second layer and frost the top.  Add third layer and frost top and sides of all layers.  Add chocolate curls, sliced nuts, coconut shreds, or fresh berries in season to the top as desired.

Grammy's Frosting (Warning - Chocolate Overdose is Seriously Possible!)

In large saucepan, combine 12 oz baking chocolate and 1/2 Cup butter; heat on stovetop over low heat until melted, stirring often.  Let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in 8 oz sour cream.  Gradually add 4 1/2 Cups (about 1 pound) of sifted Confectioner's sugar, stirring hard until completely mixed and frosting is smooth.  Frosting will be thick but spreadable.  This recipe will cover a three layer cake including frosting as filling between the layers.  If fruit or other filling is used between the layers, left over frosting can be refrigerated for up to 4 weeks in a sealed container.

    Thanks for visiting, and today I don't know whether to wish you Happy Stamping or Happy Eating!  :-)  NanaConnie