National Chocolate Cake Day!

I don’t want to make you fall off any of your New Year resolutions, but January 27 is National Chocolate Cake Day and if you’re up for it, I think you should celebrate. In moderation, of course. Maybe some of the photos below will inspire you!

And if you want a great recipe to try, you can try this one from my mom’s cookbook, Food for Temple and Table. It was my grandfather’s (Papa John’s) favorite chocolate cake with my grandmother’s (Mama Jewell’s) fluffy frosting. I have some sweet memories of making this cake with Mama Jewell and then with Mom. You just can’t beat a good, old-fashioned, homemade cake! Enjoy!

Papa John’s Favorite Chocolate Cake
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
½ cup hot water
1 ¾ cup sugar
½ cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
²⁄³ cup milk

2 squares unsweetened chocolate (for drizzle)
2 teaspoons butter (for drizzle)

Melt chocolate in top of double boiler over boiling water. Add hot water and stir until thickened. Add ½ cup sugar and cook 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Cool to lukewarm. Meanwhile cream shortening well and add 1¼ cup sugar gradually beating until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk, beating until smooth. Add chocolate mixture. Pour batter into two 8-inch square pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Once cooled, spread on fluffy frosting (recipe below). Once frosting is set, melt the drizzle ingredients and drizzle over top. 

Mama Jewell’s Fluffy Frosting
2 cups sugar
²⁄³ cup water
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla

Combine sugar, water, salt, and cream of tartar in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add 6 tablespoons of this cooked syrup (one tablespoon at a time) to beaten egg white, beating constantly. Boil remaining syrup to 240 degrees (using a candy thermometer) or until mixture spins a long thread in cool water. Pour slowly on egg white mixture. Beat until frosting stands in peaks. Add vanilla and frost cake. 

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