So I was looking over my past month and the next few weeks to come and realized there are a lot of birthdays past and upcoming. Including my brother in law, sister and grandmother. And as it is the start of the year I guess I could even say that New Years is the new calendar's birthday! So I was thinking what could be a better recipe to put down for today than a cake one?
This is one that I got from perhaps one of the best recipe books of all time, it is something that every [especially Canadian] home cooks should have in their kitchen. I actually picked it up when I was seventeen working at my co-op, one of my co-workers saw the book and got all excited, telling me I "HAD" to have this book, as it is one she has had for years and years and years. While I was thinking "yeah right how can this little paperback be the be all and end all...." I know over the years I have turned many times to this book for inspiration and for recipes that aren't normally done anymore in the home kitchen.
The Purity Cook Book
This was first created in 1917 for Purity Flour, and was given out free to customers to help encourage customer loyalty and has been republished, added on to and edited several times over the years for the "new and modern" Canadian home.
The recipe I used for this one is number 88 Chocolate Cake and is on page 42.
Preheat Oven to 325deg
Grease a 9" square pan or two round 8" layer pans, line the bottom with wax[or parchment] paper.
1/2 c shortening [I usually keep a 1lb block in my freezer]
Gradually blend in
1 c sugar
Beat until light and fluffy
2 well beaten eggs
Beat until well combined
Then blend in
2 squares of unsweetened chocolate, melted [I have this melting over a double boiler while creaming and blending the above]
1/2 t vanilla
Blend or sift together
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
Add to creamed mixture, alternately with
1 c sour milk [now I realize we do not keep "sour" milk in the house... to make this don't leave your milk out until it grows creatures, just add a splash of white vinegar to a cup of milk, let it sit for 10m, while you are doing all the above stuff. And presto you have a yellowish congealed creature also known as "sour milk". I actually learned this trick from one of my best friends and old roomie back in University.]
Blend well after each addition
Pour batter into the prepared pan[s]
Bake in a preheated 325deg oven - 45-50m for square cake and 30-35m for layer cake.
My rule of thumb when finding out the right time for baking cake, is when the knife or tooth pick can penetrate the cake and not come out with goo. So when the cake sticks to itself and not the knife/tooth pick, it is ready. But don't open the oven every 10m to check, wait until your nose can start smelling the cake, give it time to heat up and bake.
To ice this cake, I did my own little creation, or spin on a ganache, cause for some strange reason when I made this I was aiming for chocolate goo!
Melt over a double boiler
2 squares of semi sweet chocolate
1 square of dark chocolate
1 T of Butter
2 T Milk [or cream]
1 c of Icing Sugar [stir in the icing sugar slowly until you have a stiff but workable chocolate goo]
Let me tell you it was delicious!