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Martha's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake

MyCookbook Recipe Database
MyCookbook Member: MarthasArchive
Recipe Category: Dessert
Recipe Preparation Level: easy
    When Martha invited author Maurice Sendak to appear on the show, he agreed, with one condition—that Martha bake a chocolate cake. Martha responded by baking a traditional chocolate layer cake, the recipe for which follows. In addition to the cake, she also presented him with a magnetic memory board decorated with images of his illustrations.

    Makes one 8-inch layer cake

    1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pans
    2 2/3 cups sugar
    1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
    4 cups cake flour, plus more for pans
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 1/3 cup milk
    11 large egg whites
    Pinch of salt
    Mrs. Milman’s Chocolate Frosting (recipe follows)

    1. Heat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour two 8-by-3-inch cake pans. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium speed, cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

    2. Sift together the flour and baking powder. On low speed, add the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk, starting and ending with flour; scrape down sides twice.

    3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites with pinch of salt on high speed until stiff peaks form, 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in a large spoonful of the beaten whites into the batter to lighten the mixture. Fold in the lightened batter into the remaining egg whites. Divide the batter equally among the prepared pans. Bake until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes clean, about 1 hour 5 minutes. Remove the pans to a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Invert cakes onto wire rack to cool completely.

    4. If cakes are not level, use a serrated knife to trim tops off. Carefully slice each cake horizontally into three equal layers, about 3/4 inch thick. (You will have six layers.) To assemble, place one sliced layer on an 8-inch cardboard cake round. Spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Repeat with remaining layers, placing the final layer bottom-side up. Cover cake with remaining frosting. Serve immediately.

    Makes 6 cups

    24 ounces Nestlé semisweet chocolate morsels
    4 cups heavy cream
    1 teaspoon light corn syrup

    1. Place the chocolate morsels and cream in a large heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until combined and thickened, between 20 and 25 minutes. Increase heat to medium low; cook, stirring, 3 minutes more. Remove pan from heat.

    2. Stir in corn syrup. Transfer frosting to a large metal bowl. Chill until cool enough to spread, about 2 hours, stirring every 15 to 20 minutes. Use immediately.

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