Today I get to make tacos for friends who are coming to dinner. The perfect finish to spicy tacos is chocolate. And for me, the perfect chocolate is cake. I bake a recipe adapted from the 1972 Joy of Cooking, and I frost it with my grandmother’s recipe. Here we go. This is a complicated yet straightforward recipe, and the result will ruin you for Hostess and Sara Lee for life:
This recipe is adapted from the 1972 Joy of Cooking
- Bring the butter, eggs, water, and milk to room temperature before beginning to cook.
- For this recipe, you’ll make several different mixtures: a custard, a flour mixture, sugar, a butter mixture, and whipped egg whites. These all get combined into the cake batter.
- Equipment needed: measuring cups and spoons; a big mixmaster; a small hand mixer; 5 small bowls; a big mixer bowl; a spatula and a wooden spoon; a double boiler; and a flour sifter.
- Grease two 8” round cake pans.
- Oven 350°
Custard: Add the following ingredients in this order and stir in a double boiler:
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
½ c milk
1 c light brown sugar, firmly packed
Stir those together; then add:
1 egg yolk
Remove from heat when thickened.
Flour mixture: Sift twice before measuring:
2 c flour
Resift into a small bowl with:
1 t soda
½ t salt
Liquid mixture: Combine in a separate small bowl:
¼ c water
½ c milk
1 t vanilla
Sugar: Sift into a separate small bowl:
1 c sugar
Butter mixture: In the big mixer bowl, beat until soft:
½ c butter
Add the sugar gradually. Blend until very light and creamy.
Beat in, one at a time:
2 egg yolks
Cake batter: Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 4 parts, alternating with thirds of the liquid mixture. With any cake, always start with the flour and end with the flour.
Stir in the chocolate custard.
Whipped egg whites: Using the small hand mixer, whip until stiff, but not dry:
2 egg whites
Using the wooden spoon, fold them lightly into the cake batter.
Pour the batter into prepared pans.
Bake at 350° for 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack before removing from the pan.
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 sq. bitter chocolate
pinch of salt
1 box confectioners sugar (in contemporary terms, this comes to about 3/4 bag)
1/3 to 1/2 stick butter
1/2 c. sweet or sour cream
Melt brown sugar, butter, & chocolate together. Add cream. Boil 1 min. Cool a little; add pinch of salt. Beat in confectioners sugar. If too stiff, add a little liquid—cream or water will work, but coffee is best!