A cake to do your bidding.

Black Midnight Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

Straight from the 1969 Betty Crocker, this conservatively dressed anarchist of a cake gets whatever she wants, leaving sweaty foreheads and racing pulses in her wake. Butter or shortening? Both. Can’t take a little trans fat? Then get out of my kitchen!

2 1/4 C flour
1 2/3 C sugar
2/3 C cocoa
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 C tepid water
3/4 C shortening
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

1/3 C butter
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 C confectioners sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 to 5 tbsp water

Set your oven to 350. Grease and flour two standard round cake pans. Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder into a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening and sugar by hand until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla, stir to combine, and pop the bowl onto its stand mixer, beating on medium speed until the batter is completely smooth. Still at medium speed, add the flour mixture and water to the batter in alternate halves (flour, water, flour, water). Once everything’s in the bowl, turn the speed up to high and beat for 3 minutes. The batter will increase in volume and the color will lighten by a few shades as the air whips in. Scrape the sides of the bowl and stir briefly to incorporate any nonconformists, then spoon into the cake pans and flatten the batter with a spatula. Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes, just until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. DO NOT OVERBAKE THIS CAKE! Take it out of the oven and let it sit in the pans for 10 minutes. Run a dull knife around the perimeters of the layers, and turn them onto wire racks to cool completely. The tops are a little sticky, so I turn them over again and set them right side up to cool, otherwise some of the cake will stay on the rack.

The frosting only take a few minutes, so wait until the cake has cooled to get started. Melt the butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Once melted, turn off the stove and stir in the vanilla. Add the sugar half a cup at a time, sprinkling in 1 tbsp of water as needed to facilitate stirring. The finished product should be completely smooth; if you wind up with a greasy, mottled appearance, you just need to add a little more water and beat it vigorously. Frost the (completely cool) cake right away, using about 1/3 C between the layers.

You’ll notice that the cake layers are rounded on their tops, so you can even them out with a wire cutter or sharp knife before assembly, or you can stack the layers so that the flat ends meet in the middle to minimize sliding. Let the frosted cake sit out for 20 minutes to set the shell, then store it in a cake-saver to preserve the magic. You can keep the rapidly dwindling remains sealed up at room temperature for a week, or you can plan on calling in tomorrow and throw yourself a party for one.

3 responses

  1. Pingback: My will will be done. « Someone's In The Oven

  2. Pingback: No, not really. « Someone's In The Oven

  3. Pingback: Cake is hot, people are not. « Someone's In The Oven

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