Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Chocolate Fudge Cake and an 81st Birthday

Chocolate Fudge Cake
It is a new year. It will be a good year. (I’m supposed to say this twenty times a day for 3 weeks and then my brain will start believing it.) I read that somewhere but I won’t bore you with the other 19. It will be a good year but right now I feel more optimistic telling you what will taste good this year. I have made this triple layer chocolate fudge cake  for thirty some years and it only took me one time to believe how good it was! It has served me well for birthdays, anniversaries, and special occasions. Yes, it has become a classic in our little family.

Ilse's Mocha Nut Cake
 Along with  Ilse's Mocha Nut Cake this is the other cake that is always asked for by my twins each year around birthday time. And to show them how much I loved them, I admit, I did make two cakes most of the time.

Making my father's cake

This year I even made it for my father who celebrated 81 years of a charmed existence; at least in my book. And he is a charmer I will tell you. I believe I even got him to smile when this cake was placed in front of him. And smiling is one thing he does not do enough of. If I were making his birthday wish it would be that he smiles more. After all he does have a lot to smile about.

I believe he is smiling.
This is a great cake. It is moist and flavorful with the perfect crumb. It comes out of a standard cake pan well but I prefer removable bottom cake pans. Because this cake is so moist you may have to rap a standard pan on the edge of a counter to get it to come out clean. When flouring the pan I prefer cocoa instead of flour. The best part of this cake in my humble opinion is the frosting. If you are a frosting lover please make at least 1 ½ times this recipe. You will use it. My daughter informed me that she is now making this frosting to go with boxed cake mixes. She decided it was the frosting that counts. And please note that I made this for many years with a handheld mixer. Yes, it really does need to be beaten for 5 minutes but I promise the time goes fast.

Last year I made it for Hanukah.
Yes, time really does go fast. I can find many pictures of this cake with the candles being blown out. It brings back many memories of happy times not to mention the many different kitchens I’ve made it in. This is one recipe I’ve stuck with. And boy, it has stuck to me too! (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)  OK, regardless of your resolutions, make it a point to make this cake at least once this year. If you do, I guarantee you will have one sweet day to look forward to! And many happy memories thereafter.

6 years ago when my kids were 16.

Chocolate Fudge Cake

3 (1 ounce) squares of Baker’s unsweetened chocolate
2 ¼ c sifted cake flour (I use a fork and stir flour well to make it light)
2 t baking soda (even in Denver)
½ t salt
½ c butter
2 ¼ c firmly packed brown sugar (I always have dark so that is what I use but light is fine)
3 eggs
1 1/2t vanilla extract
1c sour cream
1 c boiling water

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

4 squares (1 ounce ) Baker’s unsweetened chocolate
½ c butter
1 pound confectioners sugar
½ c milk
2 t vanilla

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Grease and flour 3 9-inch cake pans.  (I use cocoa instead of flour)

Melt chocolate in microwave for 1 minute power level 7. Stir and then do 30 seconds power level 7 until it is melted completely. Cool.
In a large bowl beat butter until soft. (If butter is not at room temperature you can soften it in the microwave in the paper wrapper for 10 seconds.) Add the brown sugar and eggs and beat with an electric mixer for 5 minutes at high speed. Scrape down several times during this process. Beat in the vanilla and melted chocolate.

Stir flour, baking soda and salt with a fork to aerate and incorporate the salt and soda.

Add flour mixture alternately with sour cream beating well after each addition. Stir in boiling water slowly and mix well. Batter will be thin.

Pour evenly into prepared pans. Bake for 25 minutes or until sides of cake shrink from edge of pan.

Cool on rack.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Combine chocolate and butter in microwave safe bowl. Microwave as above until mixture is fully melted.

Combine sifted confectioners sugar, milk and vanilla in bowl. Stir until smooth. Add the chocolate mixture. Stir until well combined. To thicken place bowl in a pan of ice water and beat with a spoon until frosting is thick and holds its shape.

To Frost:
Take one layer and place it with flat bottom on cake plate. Put enough frosting on layer and spread it close to edge. The weight of the next layer will help spread the icing to the edge. Now place your second layer upside down on top of the first layer. Spread icing in same layer. Now hopefully you saved your prettiest rounded layer for the top because that one goes right side up! Now frost the sides of the cake first with a thin layer of frosting. Make your swirls and fancy stuff the second time around the cake as you slowly add more frosting to cover it well. Make sure to save enough to make the top of the cake beautiful, too. In other words, frost the top last!

Now add your candles and put on your party hats. It is time to sing!

Birthday Photo. Smiling or Not?

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  1. Beautiful cake! I love those cakes that stick around as a family tradition for years.

  2. Great looking cake! Anything chocolate speaks to me. I'm not seeing that much dark brown sugar in my markets these days, so we usually use light brown. One of these days I need to do a taste & baking test to see if there's really any noticeable difference between the two (I assume the dark brown just has more molasses). Anyway, I'm always happy to get recipes with years - decades! - of testing behind them. ;-) For your kids' 16th birthday, did you have 16 candles on the cake or 32? And make each kid blow out 16 of them? ;-) Fun post - thanks.

  3. Thanks Natalie! Stick around is very true! And Mr. Riffs that would be an interesting comparison. For some reason I always buy the dark. And I think year 16 was 32 candles with two to grow on. I am sure my daughter probably had more steam at least judging from the picture! And I guess you are right-years of testing went into this cake!

  4. I did not know the visit also involved this cake! I really missed out! So glad I finally have the full recipe in print. Now who's birthday is next?

  5. Well sweetie---I think it is someone I know born in August.

  6. Cake looks great and wish you a happy new yer

  7. Thanks so much Anu. To you, too!