Chocolate Cake (1911) ★★★

After the less than thrilling results of my first chocolate cake, I decided to try my hand at a slightly more modern recipe. This recipe comes from Good Things To Eat, As Suggested By Rufus; A Collection Of Practical Recipes For Preparing Meats, Game, Fowl, Fish, Puddings, Pastries, Etc. by Rufus Estes, who was actually an African American cook. To learn more about his extraordinary rise from slave to chef, read this article. This recipe seemed as straight forward and seeing as Rufus was a respected chef, I trusted this cake to be delicious.

CHOCOLATE CAKE --Cook one cup of sugar, one-half cup of milk, one-half cup of grated chocolate and the beaten yolk of one egg together until smooth. When done add a teaspoon of vanilla and cool. Beat one-half cup of butter to a cream, add one cup of sugar slowly, and beat smooth. Add two beaten eggs, one-half cup of milk, two cups of flour in which two-thirds teaspoon of soda has been sifted and when well beaten add the cool chocolate mixture. Bake in four layers and put together with a white boiled icing.

The Verdict:
This cake didn't look too great coming out of the oven (might have been because I overcooked it a bit) but I was surprised by the taste. I was slightly concerned about the small amount of chocolate, and indeed this cake has a very light chocolate taste. However, despite the lack of chocolateness, this cake is really good! It is very light and moist and has a pleasant taste. It is not too sweet. If you want to up the chocolate, I think a chocolate frosting would be delicious. The recipe calls for white boiled icing, which I didn't bother with, but I imagine that would be tasty too. I would make this again.

Modernized Recipe:
(Adapted from Good Things to Eat, As Suggested By Rufus)

2 cups SUGAR
1 cup MILK
1/2 cup chopped BAKING CHOCOLATE
1 teaspoon VANILLA
1/2 cup BUTTER, room temperature
2 cups FLOUR
2/3 teaspoon BAKING SODA

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour two round pans or a 9x13 baking dish.
2. In a medium saucepan, cook 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of milk, the chocolate, and the egg yolk until thoroughly combined and smooth. Remove from heat to let cool and add the vanilla.
3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and slowly add the sugar and beat until smooth.
4. To the butter and sugar add 2 eggs and 1/2 cup of milk and combine.
5. Add the flour and baking soda to the butter mixture. Stir to combine and add the chocolate.
6. Pour into prepared pans and bake ~30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Anje graduated with a Honours Bachelors degree in History with a minor in Museum Studies. She currently lives and works in Japan's least populous prefecture as an assistant English teacher.