Chew This! Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake

Growing up I LOVED visiting the local “Cassidy Egg Farm”. It was a small local business that sold some of the most delicious pies, cakes and cookies that I remember having. It was a small, quant area located at the back of a personal property. After they closed I missed their chocolate cake for years. My Grandma Barbra and I would try and duplicate their cake – without much success at all.

Finally – several years later – I found (and tried) a recipe that was similiar. I could not believe it! It was close – but not the recipe. Something was missing. I experimented over the course of several weeks and then – success! I had found the cake I remembered and it was just as delicious as all of those memories so long ago…

This cake is rich, chocolate punched, moist and delicious! You MUST TRY THIS RECIPE… and let me know what you think!

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, February 21st 2016 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake brings back memories…
Blaise Doubman

I remember when I was younger, my family and I would frequently visit “Cassidy’s Egg Farm” located right where state road 234 meets state road 38. Sadly, it’s no longer in existence, but I have some very fond memories of the place and the food it sold. It sat back from the road a little, and was located in a small brick building behind a personal residence. I’ve always wanted to know more about its history and more about the structure behind the business concept, but I’ll save that for later. Let’s focus on the food. I remember going in with my parents, or grandparents and seeing their case full of cookies, cakes and pies. The desserts, all sitting in their own foam trays, with plastic wrap carefully stretched over each, always called my attention. Over in the corner, was a refrigerated section filled with, you guessed it, eggs and milk. It was genuine, personable and quant. The payment method was “the honesty policy” and went something like this… On the counter there was a notebook and pen. You wrote down what you got, how much it was, and, per the sign hanging, they requested you put your money into a small slot in the wall, which was then collected on the other side by the owners.

Over the course of several years, I think I tried everything they had to offer. Their chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies and snickerdoodles were delicious. Their apple and cherry pies were always a personal favorite around the Holiday seasons. What my family and I remember the most though, were their chocolate cakes. After the small business closed, I would try and recreate some of their baked goods, but never quite got the final product I wanted. It wasn’t until I stumbled across a recipe for an “old-fashioned” chocolate cake (that is first boiled on the stove) that I even came close to the taste I remembered from my childhood. After several recipe changes, and a few added ingredients, I came up with the following recipe that my family and taste testers said tasted “almost identical” to the cakes remembered from the local memory filled business.

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake

For this recipe, I prefer Pillsbury brand “Softasilk” bleached cake flour. What’s the difference between bleached and unbleached flour? Bleached flour is aged quicker, by the use of chlorine gas and benzoyal peroxide, resulting in a softer flour that produces food with a softer texture, brighter color and a noticeable difference in volume. Unbleached flour is aged “naturally” and, when used in baking, produces more structure in the final product. Unbleached flour is often used in yeast breads for this reason. Both flours, however, can be used interchangeably in times of need, but a good rule of thumb would be: use the flour that is called for in the recipe. Baking is science; therefore following exact directions are critical.

For the cake…
2 cups bleached cake flour
2 cups white granulated sugar
1 cup cold water
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter
1/3 cup vegetable oil
5 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the frosting…
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 ¾ cup powdered sugar

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F and lightly spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Combine the cake flour and white granulated sugar together in a large bowl.

In a large sized saucepan, add in the water, butter, vegetable oil and cocoa powder. Stir together and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, turn off heat and add in the combined flour and sugar mixture and stir together well.

Once thoroughly mixed together, add in the buttermilk, eggs, instant coffee granules, baking soda and ground cinnamon and stir until everything is combined.

Pour this mixture into the prepared baking pan, and place in preheated oven for exactly 30 minutes.

Once baked, remove from oven and start on the frosting.

To make the frosting, combine the butter, unsweetened cocoa powder, whole milk, pure vanilla extract and powdered sugar in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Stir this mixture constantly until it just comes to a bubble, being careful not to allow a boil. Immediately pour this mixture over the slightly cooled cake.

Allow the cake, and frosting, to cool completely before cutting and enjoying.

Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three days.


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