Father's Day Chocolate Cake

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

For Father's Day, I decided to make a chocolate cake - I had been watching one of the older Martha Stewart Living daytime shows (Tivo-ed) and I think it was one of her Independence Day episodes, where she made the Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake. The recipe for it is on her site here and at Hershey's website here. It's also listed on the back of every container of their cocoa.

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Hershey's cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Chocolate Icing (recipe below)
  • Equipment - mixer, and two 9" cake pans

Ingredients for the icing:

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
2/3 cup Hershey's cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350*.
Butter both cake pans, and line with a circle of parchment paper (this is so much better than worrying about the cake sticking on the bottom!!).

Next, dust the cocoa all around the cake pan. This was great, because neither of the cakes I made stuck *at all* to their pans. Shake out any excess cocoa:

I put all the dry cake ingredients in the mixer (see below), gave that a little mix, then added the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. I let that mix for a couple of minutes, which gave me time to boil the water. Add the boiling water slowly, mix, and it's ready. The mixture will be very, very thin.

Here it is, poured into one of the cake pans. When I put half of the mixture into each of the cake pans, it only filled each pan to about 1/3. If I had this to do over, I wouldn't fill it to over 1/4, because guess what?? After I had it in the oven for about 10-12 minutes, suddenly Av and I smelled something *very* chocolate, then something like *burning* chocolate! Have you ever baked a cake, and it rose over the pan and dripped off the side onto the bottom of the oven? Ick!

We worked together to take the cake pans out, I took a knife and leveled off the tops of both cakes (which were already setting up), and we put them back in our other oven (we have one of those built-in top/bottom wall ovens). I was afraid that the temperature change between taking the cakes out, them cooling a few minutes, then putting them back in an oven would do something weird to them, but after another twelve minutes or so, they were done perfectly!

In the midst of all the oven-changing, I made the icing (recipe above). The only thing that's done to make it is to melt the butter, stir in the cocoa and vanilla, then alternate back and forth with the powdered sugar and the milk until you get it to a nice taste and consistency. Very easy, and only took three or four minutes to do.

Once the cakes were out of the oven, I let them rest for about ten minutes, then turned them over carefully onto wire racks:

When they were cool, I lined a cake pedestal with strips of parchment paper (so my messy icing technique wouldn't look bad at the bottom once the paper was removed). I iced the entire cake, then removed the parchment strips:

...and it was all done!

I don't even like chocolate cake, but it was really good! Av looooved it, and once his dad gets back from his trip, I'm sure he'll like it too. Nice!

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