Tomorrow is my birthday! Yay! Traditionally I've always made my own birthday cake. Wait, no, that's not really true. Traditionally I've always planned to make my own birthday cake, but then something always gets in the way. The same is true this year. I have a recipe for truly the GREATEST CHOCOLATE CAKE EVER. I actually wrote an article about it years ago for the newspaper. Long story short, we went to visit a friend of a friend in Vermont who makes fabulous chocolate cakes for a living. I was anxious to try one, but when we got there he said he ran out of ingredients for his usual cake. Instead, he tried a new recipe, so we were his guinea pigs. (I have no idea where the original recipe came from. I have a feeling it's from a classic like the Joy of Cooking or something, but I don't know.) It was by far the most delicious, chocolatey (but not too sweet) layer cake I've ever had. The funny thing is, it's a light mocha color. You might not even think it's chocolate when you see it. But the taste is phenomenal. I had planned on making it this year for my birthday, but I'm really trying to be health conscious, and if I make the cake, I will certainly eat the whole thing. So I hope one of you will take up the challenge and make this glorious creation. A word of caution: it will take up the better part of a day to make this bad boy, so be prepared. You could divide it up by making the icing a day ahead of time.
THE BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE
1 4 oz. package sweet cooking chocolate
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup butter, room temp.
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Melt chocolate in boiling water. Cool. (Editor's note: I always stumble on this step. Are you supposed to actually put the chocolate in the water? Because won't that cause it to seize? So I translate that as "Melt chocolate in a double boiler filled with 1/2 cup water.)
3) Cream butter, add sugar and cream until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and melted chocolate and mix until well blended.
4) Sift flour with soda and salt. Add sifted dry ingredients alternating with buttermilk to butter mix, beating after each addition until batter is smooth.
5) Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites and pour batter into 3 8- or 9-inch greased layer pans, lined on bottom with wax paper. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool.
6) Frost with Mocha Cream Frosting. (Editor's note: NO substitutes!!)
Mocha Cream Frosting
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
2 egg yolks
1 cup soft butter
1 1/2 squares (ounces) unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 TBSP instant coffee
1) Boil together sugar and water to 240 degrees F.
2) Beat egg yolks until fluffy. Add syrup gradually while beating and continue beating until mixture is cool.
3) Add butter, bit by bit, until it has all been beaten in. Beat in chocolate and coffee.
Please, someone try this recipe and get back to me!