Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Because We've Always Done It That Way

In our family it was the lemon jello cake in the aluminum pan with the sliding lid that my mom always made to take to picnics. This week Jim Dixon of RealGoodFood shares a traditional recipe from the Dixon family for chocolate birthday cake.

The Dixons have been eating this cake at every birthday for as long as I can remember. My mother, who lives just down the street, makes it even if the birthday celebrant requests something different because, if you can believe it, she (and you know who you are) doesn’t like chocolate.

Nan’s Sour Cream Chocolate Cake with Richmond Frosting

Mix together the dry ingredients:
2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt (granulated...if you use kosher or sea salt, use 1 tsp.)
1 tsp. baking soda

In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of water, 2 sticks (1 cup) of butter, and 3 Tbsp. cocoa, preferably Hershey’s special dark, and bring to a boil. Mix into flour and sugar.

Combine 1/2 c. sour cream, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 2 beaten eggs, then add to batter. Bake in a 9" by 13" pan at 350° for 25 minutes or until done (aka the clean knife test).

For the frosting, combine 1 c. sugar with 3 Tbsp. cornstarch in a small saucepan. In another pan (or in the microwave), heat until nearly boiling 1 c. water and 2 squares unsweetened chocolate. Add to the sugar/cornstarch mix and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Cook until it begins to thicken, then remove from heat and add 3 Tbsp. butter and 1 tsp. vanilla. Pour over the cake while it’s still warm, and the frosting will spread and self-level.

Let cool and serve with good vanilla ice cream.


Dina Nishioka said...

I haven't baked a cake in years but this is too good to resist. Thank you!

Kathleen Bauer said...

I never turn down a chance to run a great chocolate cake recipe! Let me know how it turns out...

Cathy said...

Those traditions are important. My son asks for a strawberry cake every year for his birthday. Its in February so its a challenge.

Jim Dixon said...

My sentence about the family member who doesn't like chocolate is a little confusing. It's not my mother, Nan. She loves chocolate. She's also a great editor, and she pointed out my tortured syntax. For the record, it's Judith who requests a non-chocolate birthday, and she gets it (usually in the form of pie), but the rest of us get this cake.

Kathleen Bauer said...

Cathy, I'm sure you came through since you're so resourceful!

And Jim, I miss having my mom read (and comment on) my writing. Tell her thanks for the clarification (though I got what you meant)! And what a gal to make two desserts!