The Weekly Kitchen: A Chocolate Cake for Your Sweetheart

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By ANGELA McRAE, The Weekly Kitchen

In addition to serving as proprietress of the Sweet Remembrances Tea Room in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, Nancy Reppert is someone who looks out for her friends. I know this because she has, on several occasions, popped an article or a vintage booklet in the mail to me just because she knew I would like it.

A while back, she sent an especially wonderful package containing a 1938 booklet, My Party Book of Tested Chocolate Recipes. Knowing how I treasure old recipes, Nancy wanted me to have it, and I was delighted to find a bonanza of recipes for all occasions.

There are five cakes for Valentine’s Day alone, and one recipe that caught my eye was the “Be My Sweetheart” Cake. Last month, my own sweetheart mentioned he was craving a simple chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, and I was happy to oblige.

Since it’s the month that includes Valentine’s Day, I decided to bake my cake in two vintage heart-shaped pans I recently found on eBay, but the original recipe says you can make the cake in 8- or 9-inch round pans as well.

A frosted chocolate cake, however tasty it might be, needs a little something to spruce up its appearance, so I looked at the leftover squares of Baker’s Chocolate and reached for my trusty vegetable peeler. The chocolate shavings seemed like an authentic touch that the creators would
have approved of and took only minutes to add.

So this month, I hope you’ll make this cake for someone you treasure and share the (chocolate) love!

“Be My Sweetheart” Cake

2 cups Swans Down cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1-1/4 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
3 squares Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate, melted*
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour once, measure, add soda, and sift together three times. Cream butter thoroughly, add sugar gradually, and cream until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add chocolate and blend. Add flour mixture, alternating with the milk, a little at a time, beating after each addition until smooth. Add vanilla. Bake in two greased deep 9-inch layer pans or three greased 8-inch layer pans for 25 to 30 minutes. When completely cool, spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.

Chocolate Wonder Frosting

3 ounces cream cheese
2-3 tablespoons milk
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 squares Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate, melted*
Dash of salt
Optional: Chocolate shavings for garnish

Soften cream cheese with milk. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, blending after each addition. Add chocolate and salt and beat until smooth. Makes enough frosting to cover tops of two 8- or 9-inch layers, or top and sides of 8 x 8 x 2-inch cake, or about 2 dozen cupcakes.

*Although microwaves weren’t around in 1938, I used mine to melt the chocolate, on High, in thirty-second intervals.

1 comment

  1. Nancy Reppert 12 February, 2024 at 11:15 Reply
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    Thank you for the kind words, Angela. I’m so pleased that you are enjoying the vintage cookbook and found a recipe to sample! That “Be my Sweetheart” chocolate cake looks delicious! Happy Valentine’s Day!

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