Thursday, September 1, 2011

Granny's Disappearing Chocolate Cake

Our Grandma was a fabulous cook! As she got older, we tried to get her to write down as many recipes as possible so they wouldn't be lost forever. This cake was always a family favorite, so of course, we got the recipe. It's been over 10 years since Grandma passed away, but I still think of her every time I make the cake.

The problem was that she wrote it down wrong (but I didn't know that until last month)!!! So every time I made it, I wondered why I had such differing results. Sometimes it seemed to work out ok, but other times, it would just fall in the middle. Finally, I decided to do some research and see what I could find. Because Grandma always called it "Hershey's Disappearing Cake", I was able to find the original recipe on the internet, along with the following note, "We found this recipe in a magazine at a doctor's office where my wife discovered she was pregnant over 19 years ago. It has become our favorite recipe." Finally, I was able to see where Grandma had copied the recipe wrong. She had written 1 1/4 cups of flour, instead of 1 3/4 cups! Now, it is truly our favorite recipe, since we can make it without fail - literally!

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup cocoa
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup milk

Grease a 9x13 pan. Cream butter and shortening, then add sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Blend in eggs. Combine cocoa, flour, baking powder and soda, and salt in a bowl. Add milk and flour mixture alternately to batter. Blend well and pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, or until cake bounces back when touched. Cool for 10 minutes, then spread the warm chocolate frosting (recipe below) on the cake.

Granny's Chocolate Frosting
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
3 TB butter
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Mix first 4 ingredients in saucepan over low heat, stirring occassionally until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. (at this point, sometimes I transfer the frosting to my Kitchen Aid for mixing, so that the frosting will be really smooth and creamy, or you could just use a hand mixer in the saucepan).

Tips: You want this frosting to be a little "runny" when you spread it on the cake. As it cools, it will harden - sometimes to the point of fudge! So, I often add a tablespoon of milk before spreading it on the cake. That keeps the frosting a little softer after cooling. Either way, it is delicious!!


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