Friday, October 17, 2014

Chocolate Cake 1877 or Brownie Cake!

The Brownie Cake with drippy icing.
This is really for the Fortnightly Food Challenge "Let them eat Cake!" which I thought was 2 weeks ago and scrambled to fit a post.  So, here's the real deal.  As a bonus, I get to make yet another cake on Sunday.  I seem to be Cake Lady lately.  Fortunately I don't have to eat it.

"The 16th is the anniversary of the beheading of Marie Antoinette (zut alors!). In honor of Madame Deficit, prepare your best cake from a historic recipe. And then eat it, bien sur.," and this is basically 3 layers of brownies with chocolate icing, you just can't go wrong.  My favorite cake of all time is not historic, so this is a pretty close second.  Actually, as I'm not a huge fan of chocolate cake, this is just my favorite chocolate cake... anyway, it's good no matter what. 

It was not a pretty cake.  For the life of me, I couldn't get it to level nicely, and the icing just enhanced every imperfection.  I felt like the executioner who just had to keep hacking away to get the job done.  It actually looked much better with the chef's knife stuck in it - truly... for whatever reason, that knife just made the whole thing into something delightful.  All it lacked was a strawberry jam topping pouring out & it would have been utterly fabulous.  It tasted fabulous.

"The Brownie Cake" from Buckeye Cookery 1877.
"One cup butter, three of brown sugar, one of sweet milk, four of flour, yolks of seven eggs, nine table-spoons grated Baker's chocolate, three tea-spoons baking-powder. This may be baked as a layer cake, making a white cake of the whites of the eggs, baking in layers, and putting them together with frosting, alternating the layers".--Mrs. Frank Woods Robinson, Kenton.

I made some economical changes, but nothing out of historic probability.  
1 c. butter (softened)
3 c. brown sugar (packed)
1 c. of 2% milk (use sweetened condensed for a denser cake)
4 c. flour (sifted)
5 eggs (2 whole, 3 yolks, reserve whites for icing)
9 tbsp unsweetened baker's chocolate, grated fine (powdered cocoa is OK too, but the texture is different)
2 tsp baking powder

Cream the sugar & butter
Alternate milk & dry ingredients
Mix dry ingredients

 Cream butter & sugar, beat in eggs one at a time.  Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Alternately mix milk & dry to the creamed sugar until it has a smooth consistency.  Put in 3 9" greased & floured pans (parchment paper is fine too), bake at 350 F for 40-45 minutes or until done.  A little gooey is fine, but to stack, you want it baked.  Take out of pan & cool on wire racks.

stiff peaks for eggwhites
everything combined
 I used the icing from a different (nearly identical) chocolate cake recipe.
"For icing, take whites of three eggs, beaten stiff, one and a half cups powdered sugar, six table-spoons grated chocolate, two tea-spoons vanilla".--Mrs. J. H. Shearer.

3 egg whites (beaten to hard peaks)
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
6 tbsp grated chocolate (powdered cocoa works too)
2 tsp vanilla extract.

Beat egg whites, beat vanilla in.  Mix dry ingredients & slowly add to egg white mixture, beating all the time.  (You could add boiling water to cook the egg whites to reduce the bacteria risk, but that's up to you).

This ends up being more of a glaze than a true frosting.  It tastes great and doesn't overwhelm the cake.

Time: About 2 hours total.
Cost: I had everything on hand, but I'd say roughly $7 in supplies.  Not cheap, but then handmade cakes never are.  I don't want to think about how much it would be if you had to actually buy everything outright, probably around $30, but you'd have a lot of staples in your pantry after that.
Accuracy: fairly.  I used cocoa powder because I got tired of grating baker's chocolate.  Modern gas oven.  Fridge to cool the cake.
Results: it's pretty much a cake made from brownies.  Good brownies.  With good glazed icing.  I don't like that the icing pours down so much, it wrecked my pretty drizzle lines, and the cake itself is not really easy to carve (or even level) so that's something to remember.  Everyone loved it.  It's very rich, so go easy on the portion sizes. 
Mamma, give me some cake.
Our friends at the meeting fed him waaaaay too much of it.


Gail Kellogg Hope said...

I should mention that after the car ride to the meeting on my husband's lap it was truly a Wreck. It slid & slumped & did plenty of terrible things including bumping into the edge of the carrier. Still tasted good.

Stephanie Ann said...

It still looks like it tasted good.

QNPoohBear said...

Sounds like it is to-die-for no matter how it looks. I'm going to save this recipe for my next birthday cake.

QNPoohBear said...

It sounds to-die-for, no matter how it looks! I'll be saving this recipe for my next birthday cake.