Our neighbors Jill and Lonnie have deserted us. They now enjoy waking up to views of the Rocky Mountains, rub shoulders with bison and breathe the cool air of Colorado. Before they headed west, they asked us over for dinner. For dessert, Jill served a wonderful moist chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream.
It was one of the best chocolate cakes I have ever eaten. Jill told me that it was her mother’s recipe and agreed to share it. Here is how you can make it.
For the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup cocoa
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup hot coffee
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
For the icing:
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
4 T cocoa
1/4 cup + 2 tsp. whole milk
2 T butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat the oven to 325º and grease and flour a nine by thirteen inch baking pan.
Sift the dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl and stir the liquids together in a small bowl. Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and blend them together. then beat the batter at medium speed with an electric mixer for two minutes.
Add the eggs and a teaspoon of vanilla and beat at medium speed for two more minutes. Raise the speed to high and beat for a final thirty seconds or so.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for thirty-five to forty minutes until the cake is done. Check for doneness at thirty-five minutes. When a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean, the cake is done. If it does not, bake for another three minutes and test again. If it seems close to done at this time, test after an additional two or three minutes.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely before frosting.
Frost the cooled cake with Jill’s mother’s chocolate icing. Here’s how you make that.
Sift and measure the powdered sugar, cocoa and salt into a mixing bowl and melt the butter in a small bowl. Add the milk to the dry ingredients and stir with a fork until the frosting is smooth. You may need to add a few extra drops of milk. The stir in the melted butter and vanilla and beat until the frosting is fluffy.
NOTES: If you don’t have whole milk in the refrigerator, substitute a tablespoon of half and half for a tablespoon of reduced fat milk. You may need a little more milk to get the icing to the right consistency for spreading. Jill sometimes uses half as much cocoa to make a lighter “milk chocolate” icing.