February 11, 2011

Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake

Several years ago, my husband had this great idea to start a tradition with our family's birthday cakes. "Just think", he said, "how happy our children will be to have Mama make a homemade Hershey's chocolate cake every year for their birthdays!" At the time I thought, oh, that's so sweet, I'm married to the most sentimental man in the world! I should have thought this through. We now have chocolate cake in February, we have it in March, twice in April, there's chocolate in May, we have it in July and twice in August. We have a few months off then end the year with his December chocolate cake. I have 7 children. Since we've been married, I've made at least 60 Hershey's chocolate cakes! (If we have large parties, I make doubles). That's not including any I've made for Father's Day or showers. Don't get me wrong, I like chocolate, it's just that it gets a little tiring after the third or fourth month of it. You see, my husband was raised in a family where chocolate was the foundation of the food pyramid; I like variety. My absolute favorite kind of cake in the whole world is a simple white cake with raspberry filling and a buttercream frosting; and lemon would be right after that, then chocolate. Homemade of course, I'm not a big fan of box cakes. They're tasty alright, but they remind me of flavored air. So, we have this ongoing discussion each year about birthday cakes. Thankfully, it's about the only thing we disagree on. Occasionally, my girls will get a second cake, a 'girly' cake like lemon. But out of love for my sentimental husband, and for sake of tradition, we'll always have a Hershey's cake on the table.

Now why Hershey's? I have to say this is the best chocolate cake I've ever had! We've tried different recipes; many were good but with the amount of fat in them, we would have been dead by the 20th! Many recipes are just bland and dry. I really think the secret to this cake is in the boiling water, (not to mention the superior cocoa!) I should say, this freezes well too, with or without frosting. When I'm really getting tired of chocolate, like by May, I'll do something different like "frost" it with whipped topping or ice cream and freeze it. Variety is the spice of life!

2 cups sugar (I use 1-3/4)
1-3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup boiling water
"Perfectly Chocolate
Chocolate Frosting"

Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9" round cake pans. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour into pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Frosting

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
2/3 cup Hershey's Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed to spreading consistency. Add more milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.
* I've had better results not melting the butter. I just beat the cocoa with softened butter then follow the recipe. It's not as runny this way.

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