The World’s Best Chocolate Cake
IN 1959, Gerry Frank helped former Oregon senator Mark Hatfield in his successful bid to become that state’s governor. To show his appreciation, Governor Hatfield appointed Frank, a self-confessed chocoholic, judge of the chocolate cake competition at the Oregon State Fair. Frank has held the post ever since, sampling as many as 130 chocolate cakes each year.
Frank was asked to share his own chocolate cake recipe…
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter and flour two nine-inch cake pans. Line
the bottom of both pans with parchment paper, then butter and flour this
paper as well. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa
and salt, then set the mixture aside.
Cream the butter in a bowl with an electric mixer. Gradually add the sugar,
and beat at medium speed for one minute. Add the eggs, one at a time,
beating for one minute after each egg. Gradually add the water and vanilla,
and beat for one minute more.
With the mixer on low speed, add one-quarter of the flour mixture, then
one-third of the buttermilk, then another quarter of the flour mixture, then
another third of the buttermilk, until both are completely added. Each time
you add the flour mixture, continue blending only until the flour no longer
shows, then add the next portion of buttermilk.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans, and tap each once to settle. Bake
for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool the layers for 10 minutes, then remove from pans by inverting on wire
racks. Allow to cool completely.
FROSTING 1 six-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup whipping cream 1 cup butter 2-1/2 cups powdered sugar (Have a bowl of ice ready.)
Combine the chocolate chips, whipping cream and butter in a double boiler
over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth. Remove
from heat. Whisk in the powdered sugar. Beat icing with a wire whisk in a
bowl set over ice until the frosting holds its shape, about 10 minutes.