Friday, November 4, 2011

Culinary IQ: Friday, November 4, 2011; Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

A Story, A Method, A Cake
Have you ever had a favorite recipe that you found on the back of a package? You clipped out the recipe and stuck it in a cookbook and every so often you would pull it out and make it. Maybe it was a holiday recipe and your family had come to expect the delicious dish from you every year. When the holiday neared you knew which cookbook to pull out and find the prized recipe. What would happen if you went to pull it out and it was gone? It happened to me!
I had found the recipe for a very delicious fudge called 5-minute fudge on the back of a Nestle chocolate chip bag. It was a secondary recipe to the Toll House cookie recipe and was placed on a small corner of the bag about 1x2-inches. A simple but delicious recipe. It was the same recipe my mom had made for years and I am sure she had found it from the same place. I had cherished the little piece of plastic for years and would pull it out at the holidays and make it several times. Then one mild winter day as the holidays approached I went to find it in its special place and it was gone! I was devastated. I ran to the store to buy a new bag of Nestle chocolate chips and to my dismay the recipe was not there. I searched high and low looking for the missing recipe and did internet searches with no success. I would find similar recipes but none that had the exact ingredients or proportions. I would check the bags of chips randomly when shopping, hoping that the recipe would be run again around the holidays but nothing. Fortunately, I eventually found a new recipe for fudge that was better than the one I lost and I have moved on. I will share that recipe with you in the future.
What you ask does this have to do with cakes? Well I have a recipe that I have been making since I was a child for Deep Dark Chocolate Cake with One Bowl Buttercream Frosting that has been on the Hershey's Cocoa box for years. It is a very moist dark chocolate recipe and always gets rave reviews. I like the frosting because it gives you options for making a light, medium or dark frosting. Hershey's has changed the name of the recipe a few times but continues to print it on the box year after year. If for some reason they decide to discontinue this recipe I want you to know that I have appointed myself the official keeper of the recipe. I will always have the recipe if you ever need it. 
The recipe is a modified two-stage method cake, here it is:

Deep Dark Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup boiling water
Buttercream Frosting
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 2 round pans 9x2-inches or 9x13-inch rectangular pan. 
In a large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Remove from mixer; stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour in prepared pan(s).
Bake 30-35 minutes for round pans, 35-40 for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cakes in rounds 10 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely. Frost with One Bowl Butter Cream Frosting.
One Bowl Buttercream Icing
6 T. butter
Hershey’s Cocoa
1/3 cup for light flavor
1/2 cup for medium flavor
3/4 cup for dark flavor
2-2/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
In a small mixer bowl cream butter. Add cocoa and powdered sugar alternately with milk; beat to spreading consistency (additional milk may be needed). Blend in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

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