Tag Archives: Food & Wine

Mom’s Chocolate Cake vs. Mom’s Chocolate Cake

2 Jan

Yesterday, I baked my first cake of 2011 – Food & Wine’s Mom’s Chocolate Cake. This time I actually had an occasion to bake since it was Mandy’s birthday. The cake is your classic chocolate cake – light, springy, and rich with a creamy, fudgey icing.  If I liked milk it would be the perfect accompaniment.

Although F&W’s cake is called Mom’s Chocolate Cake, it’s not MY mom’s chocolate cake. My mom’s cake is delicious and baked every December for my dad’s birthday. It’s similar to the F & W cake, but the cake is denser. The difference is the use of brown sugar. My cake requires a simple syrup that in turn created a thin batter.

Anyway, the real story here is the icing. In recent years my mom can no longer get the frosting for her cake to set. One year, the frosting just stopped setting. Reason unknown.

This fact made me a bit nervous about preparing my frosting. Would it set? Let’s see:

So why does my frosting work? The process is identical to my mom’s frosting. She also uses an ice bath to cool and thicken the mixture. My friend believes the secret is the salt, but both our recipes call for salt. She explained to me last night that salt sets the mixture. Who knows? I think it might have to do with the cream in my frosting.

We may never figure out why my mom’s frosting doesn’t work, but either way, I’ve decided on my own solution. My mom’s chocolate cake and F & W’s chocolate frosting. The best of both worlds.


My Mom’s Deluxe Chocolate Cake

  • 3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water

Stir chocolate with 1/3 cup water over low heat until melted. Cool. Cream butter andsugar until light and fluffy; add eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Blend in chocolate withmixer.
Combine flour, soda, salt. Add alternately with 1 cup water on low speed. Beat just until well blended. Pour batter into well greased and floured pans.

(2)8” pan: 35 – 40 minutes

(2)9” pans: 30 – 35 minutes