Friday, December 21, 2007

Especially Dark Chocolate Cake

My parents have taken a couple of european extravaganza trips the past couple of years and one of the places that they visited was Versailles. Now, they took about 13 thousand pictures on that trip, but the pictures of Versailles and the stories they had to go along with it was incredible. It is now at the top of my list. Definitely.
So, that started a little interest in Versailles and the French Revolution... now, I'm also a really big Sofia Coppola fan and after a recommendation from my friend April, I checked out the movie Marie Antoinette. And now, I want to read this book. I mean, I'm pretty sure I know just about everything about Marie Antoinette, cause I'm sure the movie is completely historically accurate, right? Of course!

Okay, so I know... who cares that I'm into this french history stuff, right? Well, when I think of cake, I always think of Marie Antoinette.... Let them eat cake! (Which according to the movie, she actually never said... which contradicts my 7th grade history book which emphatically said that she did say that). Regardless... I love the quotation, because I love cake. And I'm loving it more and more the more I make it.

Seriously. Cake has to be the easiest baked item to make. Easier than the box, even! As I've mentioned before, I dont get the opportunity to make cakes very often, as you kind of need a big crowd to bake a cake for(although, stay tuned, I'm working on changing this). And I had just such an occasion this week! Hooray!

I hosted an Ugly Christmas Sweater Dinner Party for my family! And I decided to bake a glorious chocolate cake!

First of all, let me just say, that I'm probably going to get killed for posting this picture, but I can't resist, we just all looked so damn snazzy in our Christmas Sweaters...
So, for the cake, I decided to just make the recipe on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa Special Dark box.

It is delicious! So moist! So chocolatey! So rich! Yum. And, it's pretty forgiving, too. I left out a full cup of sugar and didn't realize it until I had already poured it into my two baking pans. I happened to taste the batter before I put it in the oven and I thought... hmmm.. that isnt very sweet at all. So, I referred back to the recipe and realized... I only measured one cup! Yikes! So, I put a half cup in each pan and stirred it around in the pan. I was a little nervous that it wouldn't dissolve very well, since it hadn't been mixed with the mixer. But, you couldn't tell!

Now, that's my kind of recipe.

The only change I made was I used buttermilk in the cake instead of regular milk.

Hershey's Especially Dark Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water (I think some people use hot coffee)
Especially Dark Chocolate Frosting (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 inch baking pans.
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer for 2 minutes.
Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared Pans.
Bake 30-35 minutes (I think I only baked mine for about 25 minutes, so start watching it at 25) or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely and frost. Serves 10-12

Especially Dark Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup Special Dark Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk (might need more)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to a spreading consistency. Add small amount of additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups of frosting.

Thanks Jason for the photos!