Tuesday, February 9, 2010

THE Best Chocolate Cake

Day 2 of Chocolate Week at Spiral Style
This is THE Chocolate Cake that the family always asks for.  It is the cake that we celebrate with, birthdays, anniversaries, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Fathers Day, Mothers Day, just because day.  It really isn't the prettiest cake but is is the combination of moist crumb, deep, rich, chocolate flavor and the shiny-smooth glaze frosting that keeps us coming back for more.  The cake recipe is from my father's mother.  The glaze frosting is from my aunt's mother-in-law, Mrs. Lockwood.  You can certainly top the cake with another frosting but after you try the cake and frosting together, you may never separate them.  The frosting is delicious on anything...even for dipping pretzels!
Grandma's Chocolate Cake
3 1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate 
1/2 cup crisco
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda   NOT baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk, add 1/2 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice to 1/2 cup milk) 
2 eggs
Prepare pans.  For layer cake, grease two 9 or 10 inch round pans.  Cut parchment paper round to fit bottom of pan.  Grease the paper and then dust pans with flour.  Or grease and flour a 13X9 rectangular pan.  
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large pot, melt chocolate, crisco with 1 cup water.  Do not allow to scorch.  Remove from heat.  Whisk until smooth.  Add sugar and whisk until sugar melts.  Add remaining ingredient to the chocolate mixture in the pot (no need to get a bowl dirty) and whisk until all ingredients are incorporated and batter is smooth.  
Divide batter between the two round pans or pour into 13x9 pan.  Bake about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cake is clean when withdrawn.

Important...allow cake to cool before inverting pan to remove.  Place one round, top side down on a plate and top with small amount of frosting or raspberry or apricot jam.  Top this layer with second cake round, top side up.  When the cake is totally cool,frost the whole cake, starting with the sides and finish with the top.    
The glaze topping is a cooked frosting.  It is simple but takes some patience.  It will thicken and become satiny smooth...just wait, it will go from the strange goop in the photo to the shiny-smooth glaze as seen in the finished cake photos. 
Mrs. Lockwood's Frosting
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
pinch salt
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in milk
1 cup 2% or whole milk  * place cornstarch in measuring cup, add about 3 Tablespoons milk and stir until  cornstarch is dissolved, then add milk until measures 1 cup
1 Tablespoon vanilla
Place all ingredients except vanilla, in small saucepan and heat on low and stir until thick.  It will take about 10 - 15 minutes for mixture to thicken and chocolate to totally dissolve and become glistening and smooth.   Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Give mixture a stir every few minutes as it cools to prevent a skin from forming on top of frosting. 
     I don't know that my photos do this cake justice.
I hope you try this cake.  It is a winner!


  1. That cakes looks so delicious!

    I read that i have to use crisco. But I have no idea what it is and I think they don`t sell it here in Spain. Is there something i could use instead of crisco?

  2. Hi Ave,
    Crisco is a brand name for hydrogenated vegetable shortening. I looked on line for an equivalent for you in Spain. You may call it vegetable suet. Maybe Cookeen is a brand you can find. You could try this with butter but it will be a different texture I think.
    If you can't find Crisco or Cookeen, let me know and I'll keep searching for an answer. Thanks, D

  3. Thanks! I´ll go searching tomorrow! :D I want to make this cake for Valentine´s Day :) My significant other loves chocolate!

  4. Oh, my husband would absolutely love this, he would actually probably eat the whole thing! I am going to try making it for Valentine's Day, thanks for sharing the recipe:)

  5. Debbie, I've used one stick of butter rather than crisco and it comes out fine. We also love having the cake chilled for a few hours before indulging. It seems to make it even more dense.

  6. i have a favorite recipe but am going to make yours next time. i trust YOUR tried and true.

  7. I'm a huge fan of this cake :)

  8. wow i want to dive right in that!



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