Friday, December 21, 2012

OH-SO-GOOD CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH CREAMY FROSTING

2 squares (1-oz each) unsweetened chocolate
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup shortening
2 3/4 cups sugar, divided
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt, divided
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp + 1 tsp vanilla extract, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening

In a small saucepan, combine the chocolate and water.  Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate melts.  Remove chocolate from heat; allow to cool.

Beat the 2/3 cup shortening with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy.  Gradually add 1 3/4 cups of the sugar, beating well.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each.

Combine 2 1/2 cups of flour with the soda and 1/2 tsp of the salt; add to the shortening mixture alternately with the buttermilk.  Begin and end with the flour mixture, mixing after each addition.  Add the chocolate and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla; mix just until blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake at 350 degrees 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven to wire racks and cool in pans for 10 minutes.  Remove from pans and allow to cool completely on wire racks.

In a small saucepan, place the 1/4 cup of flour and gradually stir in the milk and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick.  Remove from heat and let cool completely.

Beat the softened butter and the 1/2 cup shortening at medium speed with electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add the the remaining sugar; beat well.  Add the other teaspoon of vanilla, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Add the cooled flour mixture; beat until smooth.  Spread this filling between the cake layers, stacking them on a cake plate.  Frost with the Chocolate Frosting recipe
below.

CREAMY CHOCOLATE FROSTING:
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup butter
3 squares (1-oz each) unsweetened chocolate
3/4 tsp vanilla extract

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, milk, butter, and chocolate; cook over low heat while stirring constantly, until the chocolate melts.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils.  Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. 

Beat the mixture at high speed with an electric mixer with the pan sitting over ice water.  Beat for 5 minutes.  Remove from the ice water and continue to beat until the frosting is of spreading consistency.  This will take about 20 to 30 minutes.  Spread on the cake immediately.

Yield: Enough to frost 3 layers.

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