Decadent Chocolate Cake

This recipe comes from the Silver Palate Cookbook. I have never found another recipe I thought was its equal.


1 cup boiling water
3 oz unsweetened chocolate
8 T butter (1 stick)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups less 2 T all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour (using cocoa powder is okay too) a 10-inch tube pan. Knock out excess flour.

In a large bowl, pour the boiling water over the chocolate and butter; let stand until melted. Stir in the vanilla and sugar, then whisk in egg yolks one at a time, blending well after each addition. Mix baking soda, and sour cream together and add to chocolate mixture.

Sift together flour and baking powder; add to batter, mixing thoroughly.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Stir a quarter of the egg whites into the batter. Scoop remaining egg whites on top of batter and gently fold together.

Pour the batter into prepared pan. Set in the middle rack of oven and bake 40-50 minutes, or until the edges have pulled away from the sides of the pan and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes; unmold and cool completely before frosting.


2 T butter
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
6 T heavy cream
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar (or as needed)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in a heavy saucepan over low heat and whisk until smooth. Cool slightly; add more sugar if necessary to achieve a spreading consistency. Spread on cake while frosting is still warm.

I can hardly bear to make this unless there is a crowd. I could eat the whole thing. So I also give away most of it as another option. Want to come be my neighbor?

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