Sunday, February 3, 2013

Franny's Chocolate Cake with Fluffy Frosting

Back in December, Amy and I had been texting back and forth about chocolate cake recipes.  She wanted to know if I had any favorite and/or family recipes for chocolate cake... the first cake I thought of off the top of my head was this super moist chocolate cake with fluffy, marshmallowy frosting that my great aunt, Franny, used to make for every family birthday party when we were kids.  I thought Amy might like it because of the ethereal, marshmallowy frosting, since she can, on occasion, down an entire bag of marshmallows without blinking.

I got the recipe from the Real Martha and passed it on to Amy, who made it almost immediately (her photo above).  Amy and her family thought it was quite tasty, although they said it was better the second day, strangely enough.

Sadly, my great aunt Franny recently passed away... in her honor, I decided to make her cake to bring to a party we were invited to here in Jakarta last week.  She probably never would have guessed someone would be making her recipe literally acoss the world.  The cake was awesome and won raves at the party; everyone asked for a piece di bungkus (wrapped up) at the end.

Below is the recipe, although a word of warning if you live in a humid climate:  this frosting does not fare well in the heat and humidity.  I didn't know this, so Tim and I took the cake on the road, trying to walk it the 5 blocks from our air-conditioned apartment to the party.  Bad plan... the frosting literally melted off the cake, pulling away from the sides and liquidizing.  Oops!  It still tasted good, but the consistency was a little bit off.

Moist Chocolate Cake

Step 1:  Sift together:

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
5 tbsp cocoa  

Step 2: Make 3 holes in the dry ingredients.  In one put 2 tbsp vanilla extract, in the second put 2 tbsp white vinegar and in the third put ¾ cup vegetable oil.

Step 3: Pour 2 cups water over top and mix well

Step 4: grease and flour cooking pans (either two 9-inch round cake pans or one 9”x13” rectangle pan)

Step 5: Bake at 350◦F oven, 30 minutes for 9 inch pans or 40 minutes for 9”x13” pan 
Fluffy White Frosting

1 cup sugar
½ cup water
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp corn syrup
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten
1 tsp vanilla

Step 1: Heat first 4 ingredients slowly to boiling and cook without stirring to 212◦F or to soft ball stage. (My candy thermometer is not super reliable, but I looked up other similar recipes and one stated that you should cook it until you saw "thick, clear bubbles.)

Step 2: Pour over beaten egg whites.  Beat with mixer until fluffy, billowy and shiny (about 5 minutes).