Friday, January 4, 2008

A Nice Sturdy Cake

Despite all the recent treat-indulging over the holidays, I had determined that I wanted to make a cake for New Years. We didn't have any special plans, but I thought Abigail especially would enjoy marking the occasion with at least a little something. I had a box of unsweetened chocolate leftover from the Christmas baking spree, so I determined the cake was going to be chocolate. Yet, when I leafed through all of my tried and true cookbooks, there wasn't a single cake that used unsweetened chocolate. Undaunted, I turned to the internet, and found my cake in the form of a Wellesley Fudge Cake, a cake that was apparently all the rage in the 1960's.

It took no time to come together, and no time to bake. My two layers were done baking in just 30 minutes, and they cooled quickly. I had planned on making a chocolate buttercream frosting, but the kids requested vanilla, so vanilla it was. The result was a nice, sturdy cake with a nice chocolate flavor. It wasn't spectacular, it wasn't omg good, but it was nice. It wasn't overly rich or over-indulgent, it was just what you want when you want a little slice of cake that isn't too heavy. It definitely would have been better with a chocolate frosting, but I couldn't do anything about that one. I will definitely be making this cake again, it was simple enough to be an everyday sort of cake, although after about the second day it loses it's staying power, so I recommend freezing individual slices if you want it last longer. Keep an eye on the cook time for this Wellesley Fudge Cake- my layers were done at 30 minutes, and had I let them go to 35-40 they would have been dry as a bone.

Wellesley Fudge Cake

4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups white sugar
3 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9 inch round pans. Sift flour, baking soda and salt together 3 times and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat water, chocolate and 1/2 cup sugar, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.
  3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each egg. Add half of flour mixture and beat until smooth. Add milk and remaining flour mixture alternately in 2 parts. Beat smooth after each addition. Add vanilla and chocolate mixture. Blend well.
  4. Divide batter into two 9 inch pans. Bake at 350ºF for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

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