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Monday, September 29, 2008

Basic Chocolate Cake

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate squares
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups sifted cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place chocolate in top of a double boiler; bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook until chocolate melts. Cream shortening; gradually add sugar, beating well at medium speed of an electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add chocolate, mixing well. Combine flour, baking powder, soda, and salt; add to chocolate mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix after each addition. Add water, mixing well. Stir in vanilla. Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Frost as desired.

Chocolate cupcakes: Spoon the batter into paper-lined muffin pans, filling each cup half full. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool on wire racks. Frost as desired.

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