Friday, October 09, 2009

Greta's Chocolate Cake

I have no idea who Greta was, other than she lived in Iowa. The recipe comes from The New York Times Heritage Cookbook. I had quite a few tinned apricots waiting to be used, so I made a filling. I also baked this as a two layer, rather than a third. The remaining batter I used to make cupcakes which I froze (you never know when you'll need emergency cupcakes-emergency. cupcakes. Stop looking at me like that).

The frosting is nice, but like most cooked frostings, you really need to spread it quickly before it starts to solidify-I mean really quickly. Otherwise, the recipe is quite simple to do.

I sort of like this type of cake-not absurdly rich, or overly chocolate. The cake itself is sort of plain, compared with chocolate cakes that are popular nowadays. Really, I can't find a single thing to fault in this cake. It isn't terribly showy, or overly indulgent, but for a weekend when we are planning to be at home awaiting the first snow of the year, I suspect it will be a welcome treat to have sitting on the counter. Yes, that's right-snow. I'm sort of bummed because I was looking forward to attending the Fall Festival in Seward to see the "Pumpkin Chucking" at the fairgrounds. Now, I can't go because I don't like to drive in blowing snow and Seward is kind of far. It wasn't clear from the advertisement if they actually toss the pumpkin, or if they have a catapult, but I'm still disappointed that I'm going to miss it. You know, there just isn't a whole hell of a lot to do around here.

You Will Need:

For the cake:

1 cup butter
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs, well beaten
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
3 cups cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk

For the filling:

2 cups tinned apricots, drained and chopped
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
a small bit of water (about 1/8 cup)

Cook over low heat until sugar dissolves, then cook over high heat until filling thickens. remove from heat, cool before using.

For the Frosting:

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup confectioner's sugar, divided
3 tablespoons light cream
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease three 9 inch cake pans (I used parchment in the bottom and greased that as well). Set aside. You can also do 2 layers and about 8 cupcakes.

To prepare cake:
Cream together the butter and sugar until light. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat well. Blend in the melted chocolate. Sift together the dry ingredients and alternately add to the creamed mixture with the milk.

Pour into prepared pans and bake until a skewer tests clean-about 25-30 minutes. Cool twenty minutes in pan on a rack before removing. Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:
Melt the chocolate in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add 1/2 cup of the confectioner's sugar and the cream. beat until smooth. Beat the egg yolks with remaining sugar and add to the chocolate. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Beat until it reaches a spreading consistency and then working quickly, frost the cake.

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