I’ve had some delightful Morrow mail since Courting Morrow Little was on sale. One dear reader asked me for Morrow’s mother’s recipe for Queen’s Cake, something I had researched years ago. It’s worth sharing here, if only for a gasp or a chuckle! I had forgotten Morrow was something of a kitchen diva (and Roxanna, but that’s another story)…
*Kitchen at Mount Vernon
Hannah Glasse, in The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, gave a recipe for the cake that included four pounds of flour, thirty-two eggs, six pounds of dried fruit, and half a pint of brandy. After the cake was baked, it was covered with a pure white, smooth icing made with “double refined sugar,” egg whites, musk, ambergrease [sic], and orange-flower water. The mixture was beaten for two hours, then spread over the cake and dried in the oven until hard. This drying process required constant vigilance to ensure that the iced cake did not color or scorch.
Well, fast forward to the 21st-century…
I was at Bible study recently when a friend brought in the most beautiful chocolate cake I’d ever seen. And it tasted as good as it looked! She’s kindly shared the recipe which is too good to keep to myself! If you suffer from a lack of chocolate love, my heart goes out to you!
The Best Chocolate Cake
Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Ingredients:2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Ghiradelli unsweetened cocoa)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup strong black coffee (I used Green Mountain Coffee’s Vermont Country Blend)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Directions:1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa(s), baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix on low until dry ingredients are thoroughly combined. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for about two minutes; the batter will be thin. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
4. Frost as desired. I used a simple and delicious Chocolate Buttercream Frosting from Savory Sweet Life. One batch was perfect for this layered chocolate cake. I also toasted walnuts and put them on top the cake. Amazing addition!
Okay, back to work…!