Chocolate Cake

Wasn’t it just New Year’s Eve? Wasn’t it just the new millennium? The new century? Is everyone’s life going as fast as mine is? It’s already March. We’ve come through a long, cold, snowy winter where I live, a rainy, blustery, drenching winter elsewhere. I don’t even know if we’re through with all that stuff. But the word March sounds hopeful. At least to me. It’s the beginning of a month that ends with spring, crocuses, warmer temperatures, sunshine. March 1st is also the start of National Ghost Writer’s Week, paying homage to those who write, often magnificently, for people who can’t, but they don’t get the writing credit. The people who can’t write get all the credit. I actually know someone who’s a ghost writer. So, in his honor I give you a recipe for Chocolate Cake, one of his favorites. Btw, if you haven’t seen the movie Ghost Writer, do so. It’s terrific and so is Ewan McGregor, the ghost writer in it. Chocolate Cake 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1-1/2 cups sugar 3/4 cup butter 1-1/2 cups milk 3 large eggs 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 3 9-inch cake pans. Melt the chocolate and set it aside to cool. Place the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix gently to combine them. Add the sugar, butter and half the milk and beat the ingredients at medium speed for 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, or until well combined and smooth. Add the eggs and beat them in. Add the remaining milk, chocolate and vanilla extract and beat for another 2 minutes or until smooth. Pour equal amounts of the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes. Invert the layers onto a cake rack to cool completely.  Chocolate Frosting 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate 1 cup unsalted butter 2 cups confectioner’s sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Melt the chocolate and set it aside to cool. Place the butter and confectioner’s sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed for about 2 minutes or until well blended. Add the cooled, melted chocolate and the vanilla extract. Beat until smooth. Enough for one 9-inch chocolate cake

Wasn’t it just New Year’s Eve? Wasn’t it just the new millennium? The new century?

Is everyone’s life going as fast as mine is?

It’s already March. We’ve come through a long, cold, snowy winter where I live, a rainy, blustery, drenching winter elsewhere. I don’t even know if we’re through with all that stuff. But the word March sounds hopeful. At least to me. It’s the beginning of a month that ends with spring, crocuses, warmer temperatures, sunshine.

March 1st is also the start of National Ghost Writer’s Week, paying homage to those who write, often magnificently, for people who can’t, but they don’t get the writing credit. The people who can’t write get all the credit.

I actually know someone who’s a ghost writer. So, in his honor I give you a recipe for Chocolate Cake, one of his favorites.

Btw, if you haven’t seen the movie Ghost Writer, do so. It’s terrific and so is Ewan McGregor, the ghost writer in it.

Chocolate Cake

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup butter

1-1/2 cups milk

3 large eggs

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 3 9-inch cake pans. Melt the chocolate and set it aside to cool. Place the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix gently to combine them. Add the sugar, butter and half the milk and beat the ingredients at medium speed for 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, or until well combined and smooth. Add the eggs and beat them in. Add the remaining milk, chocolate and vanilla extract and beat for another 2 minutes or until smooth. Pour equal amounts of the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes. Invert the layers onto a cake rack to cool completely. 

Chocolate Frosting

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1 cup unsalted butter

2 cups confectioner’s sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt the chocolate and set it aside to cool. Place the butter and confectioner’s sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed for about 2 minutes or until well blended. Add the cooled, melted chocolate and the vanilla extract. Beat until smooth. Enough for one 9-inch chocolate cake