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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Perfect Chocolate Cake

Calgary Herald "Food Porn Friday" Featured Recipe





From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...My Chicago homies, at least those of a certain age, will remember Dressel's Whipped Cream Cake. It was an uncommonly good dessert and one of the first quality cakes to appear in the freezer cases of local markets. It was, for good reason, enormously popular, and I'm not ashamed to admit that, frozen or not, it appeared more than once on my dinner table. I loved it and had it several times a year, but when we moved from Chicago to the East Coast, I learned that it was a regional product that had never made it to markets outside the Midwest. It was soon clear that if I wanted a whipped cream cake, I'd have to make it for myself. Fortunately, McCall's Cookbook came to my rescue with a recipe for what they called The Perfect Chocolate Cake. It was pretty aptly named. The cake was light and rich and made with cocoa, whipped cream and lots of chocolate. Purists could do away with the lovely chocolate icing and frost the layers with plain or cocoa flavored whipped cream and have a cake very much like the one that came from Dressel's bakery. I normally make this cake with whipped cream frosting, but the McCall's cake is so lovely I thought you'd like to see the cake the way its developers envisioned it. The cake is uncommonly good, and those of you who try it, will know how it got its name. Here's the recipe.

Perfect Chocolate Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite Courtesy of The New McCall's Cookbook

Ingredients:
Cake
1 cup unsifted unsweetened cocoa
2 cups boiling water
2-3/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter or regular margarine, softened
2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Filling
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1/4 cup unsifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Frosting
1 package (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate pieces
1/2 cup light cream
1 cup butter or regular margarine
2-1/2 cups unsifted confectioner's sugar

Directions:
1) To make the cake: In medium bowl, combine cocoa with boiling water, mixing with wire whisk until smooth. Cool completely. Sift flour with soda, salt, and baking powder. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease three 9 by 1-1/2 inch layer cake pans. Line with parchment paper. Grease paper and lightly flour pans. Set aside. In large bowl of electric mixer at high speed beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla, scraping bowl occasionally, until light, about 5 minutes. At low speed, beat in flour mixture (in fourths), alternately with cocoa mixture (in thirds), beginning and ending with flour mixture. Do not overbeat. Divide evenly into pans; smooth top. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until surface springs back when gently pressed with fingertip. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Carefully loosen sides with spatula; remove from pans; cool on racks.
2) To make filling: Whip cream with sugar and vanilla; refrigerate.
3) To make frosting: In medium saucepan, combine chocolate pieces, cream, butter; stir over medium heat until smooth. Remove from heat. With whisk, blend in 2-1/2 cups confectioners; sugar. In bowl set over ice, beat until it holds shape.
4) To assemble and frost cake: On plate, place a layer, top side down; spread with half of cream. Place second layer, top side down; spread with rest of cream. Place third layer, top side up. With spatula, frost sides first, covering whipped cream; use rest of frosting on top, swirling decoratively. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. To cut, use a thin edged sharp knife; slice with a sawing motion. Yield: 10 to 12 servings.

Cook's Note: The cake should be refrigerated, but to prevent the frosting from cracking when cut, let the cake sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before slicing.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Chocolate Oatmeal Cake - Taste of Home
Chocolate Overdose Cake - Confections of a Foodie Bride
The Best Chocolate Cake, Ever - Courtney's Sweets
Espresso Chocolate Cake with Mocha Mascarpone Frosting - Life's a Feast
Chocolate Cake with Coconut Icing - Chow and Chatter
Mexican Milk Chocolate cake - Sugar Plum
Mom's Chocolate Cake - Cookie Madness
Chocolate Guinness Stout Cake - The Recipe Girl

101 comments:

andreaestes said...

Thank you for your beautiful comments on my site. Your site is breath taking! I can aspire to your heights!! Thank you so much! What insight and beautiful pics you have!

yummychunklet said...

I like that you use a vanilla filling so that the cake isn't entirely chocolate. Sweet!

yummychunklet said...

Also, I don't remember that cake you mentioned. Is it still around now?

Endy Daniel said...

Wow... chocolate cake! that's my fave! leave me some pieces pls, im not good in making cakes :(

Mickey said...

Mary o Mary....this one is the one! I am making this one...I'll let you know how it comes out :)
mickey

Alessandra said...

And perfect it is! I would be happy even without the frosting but... why not! yum!

Happy Chinese New Year of the Rabbit to you!

Alessandra

mara said...

Oh, my goodness! Mary I this cake is more than hell. Friendship!

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

Wow. Woke up this morning thinking 'I must find me a chocolate frosting recipe' and lo and behold there is you!!! Thanks for the recipe. X

Ginny said...

My mouth is literally watering!!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Everyone seems to have chocolate recipes this morning and my mouth is just watering. Great photo. Take care Diane

Cherine said...

This beautiful cake is irresistible. So moist, so chocolaty!! Yummy

Priya said...

Yumm, wat a delicious,elegant and super delicious cake..

Priyanka said...

Another breath-taking chocolate cake..... :)

Katerina said...

You made it perfect Mary. The frosting the filling are simply outstanding. Great photos!

Angie's Recipes said...

oh Mary, this is indeed a perfect chocolate cake!

Umm Mymoonah said...

This is really a perfect chocolate cake, the icing and layers looks great. In short a scrumptious .cake

Premalatha Aravindhan said...

Really fantastic cake,am speechless!!!

Lulu B said...

Wow this looks A-mazing1 Cant wait to try and cook this up at the weekend :o)

CaThY said...

Wow, awesome chocolate cake! ^_^*

Red Nomad OZ said...

Stop! I'm salivating!! And speechless in the face of such perfection ...

Three-Cookies said...

Wow, really nicely constructed. I just wish I had a piece sitting next to my key board...

Martha said...

It does look like a perfect chocolate cake -- as everyone needs a little black dress in their closet, everyone needs a perfect chocolate cake in their recipe box!

Noor said...

Simply perfect

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

This looks great Mary! I'd love a piece right now:@)

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

I do love trying new chocolate cake recipes!! Thank you so much for the Perfect one! ;)

Rita said...

Have not seen this recipe in years; it was one of our favourite dessert; great photo Mary!
Happy Chinese New year!
Rita

Kim said...

This really looks perfect. It's tall, chocolaty... yummy!

bellini valli said...

I was dreaming of layers of chocolate cake Mary, so this just affirms that I have to make one as soon as possible.

The Food Hound said...

Isn't it great when you can replicate something you love at home? This looks gorgeous! Love the filling!

Jenn said...

Oh my gosh, Mary, that cake is just gorgeous! It's one of those cakes that you'd hesitate for just a moment before digging into it. Like you have to stop and go, "no, it's ok, you can eat that thing of beauty!!" lol

From the Kitchen said...

In the midst of the blizzard, I was on the computer ordering chocolate. Neither rain, snow nor dark of night will keep me and chocolate apart! This cake must have been before I arrived on the scene. I suppose I must try it out to see just how "perfect" it is. In the meantime, I hope the mail gets through with my order.

Best,
Bonnie

Clint said...

I love it when you talk chocolate. That's what I'M talkin' about. Blessings.

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

Beautiful cake! I love whipped cream filling. I am going to bookmark this cake for the next time I need a special chocolate cake.

CaSaundraLeigh said...

This reminds me of the frozen chocolate cakes at DQ--but it looks much tastier! Hope your having a great week Mary! :-)

carolyn bradford said...

Maybe I can talk my oldest into this incredibly delicious looking cake for his birthday next week! My youngest son went to a party to celebrate The Chinese New Year for an exchange student staying with some of our best friends! It was alot of fun! Thanks for always posting such wonderful recipes! Have a great day!

Harika's Kitchen said...

Mary your cake is really perfect and yummy thanks for shaRING SUCH A NICE RECIPE BY THE BY AN AWARD IS WAITING 4 U IN MY BLOG COME AND GRAB IT PLS....

Carol said...

That really is one perfect chocolate cake!

Keeley said...

I love whipped cream (and any whipped icing) on cake. Actually, I could just eat whipped cream by the spoonful, but that's another story.

I'm bookmarking this cake as a dessert idea for Valentine's Day.

June said...

Beautiful cake Mary and incredible photos! I love the chocolate cakes made with cocoa and boiling water because they have such a fabulous moist texture. You're making me crave chocolate!

C&G said...

wow, you can tell it is perfect! This cake looks delicious and very good looking ;-D

Dragonfly Treasure said...

Mary, thank you so much for your encouraging words. Today is court for the restraining order, so nervous.

My gosh, one delicious recipe after another. Wish I felt up to making a cake! Soon! I'm making myself get out of this slump...one way or another. "all will be ok, all will be ok" my montage going on inside my head.
*hugs*deb

Chele said...

I have died and gone to healthy eating plan hell!! I really, really, really would like a piece of that cake right about now, it looks totally amazing!

Kris said...

Good morning Mary,
That chocolate cake looks divine!!!

briarrose said...

Wow this looks good. Who could resist that slice? :)

Sushma Mallya said...

Really perfect,sounds delicious..

Beth said...

Your cake looks spectacular! Thanks for a gorgeous post!

sally said...

Wow! So many yummy looking chocolate desserts. I'm definitely inspired to make one.

Tasha said...

I don't know how you do it- I'm neither a "cake person" or a "chocolate person," yet I'd want to try this. Maybe it's the baby talking, but I think it's just because this cake looks so pretty and perfect! Plus I LOVE whipped cream!

Faith said...

This is beautiful, Mary! And sometimes, chocolate cake is the only thing that will do when it comes to dessert! ;)

That Girl said...

I could take or leave chocolate cake, but that frosting looks absolutey perfect!

Maria said...

I love the layers! It does look perfect!

Design Wine and Dine said...

With its name...and your write up...how can we NOT try to make this cake!

My husband is more the baker in the family and I KNOW for sure this recipe will inspire him to make it for me for Valentine's Day! Especially becasue I am going to demand he do so! ;)

As always, thanks Mary! :)

Lucie said...

Mmm, Mary, this cake looks light as a feather! Even after a large snack of hot chocolate with whipped cream and Viennese cakes, I could still have a nice slice of this. I'm from the Midwest but have never heard of it--I'm definitely looking into it!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Mary, heck with the slice, I'll take the cake please! :)

Laura

Lisa @ Lifes Sweet Ingredients said...

That is the best looking cake I've seen in a long time. My watering mouth really wants a piece now!!!

aipi said...

A delectable treat for the season of love..PERFECT indeed!


US Masala

Karen Harris said...

A dear friend of mine who passed away a year ago would always make a special chocolate birthday cake with whipped cream between the layers for her children. I never ate it but I'm wondering if this was the one she was talking about. I'll have to make this in both of your honors. Beatiful photos!

Midwest to Midlands said...

So far every recipe I have seen on your blog makes me want to make it and of course eat it! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I see you once lived in Illinos too. Happy cooking and baking!

Priyanka said...

Hi.....Please visit my blog an award is waiting for you ..... :)

Choclette said...

Mary, I've either been very unobservant or you have a new banner - such simplicity and lovely colours of your fork food. The chocolarte cake looks rather special too.

BarbL said...

WOW. Your post reminded me of Drake's Cakes, which I adored throughout my New York Childhood.
The cake is a must for our family, and I will definitely be making it soon. Thank you!!

Joanne said...

Thanks for your Perfect Chocolate Cake recipe. Its very delicious. I sometimes would make Just Peachy Vegan Cheesecake to balance out my diet but it taste as good as the Perfect Chocolate Cake. Try it out at http://www.fourgreensteps.com/community/recipes/desserts-a-goodies-/just-peachy-vegan-cheesecake

teresa said...

it is such a joy to come to your site everyday and feast my eyes on your beautiful pictures! this looks just incredible, i love the creamy filling!

happy chinese new year!

Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

craving! that cake looks perfect and it's not easy to make a cake look perfect, I know because I've never been successful at it. Good job!

Mateja ^_^ said...

The whole cake is one perfect bite for me...think I would be selfish enough not to share it with anyone..looks soooooooo goood! Thank you for sharing :)

highplainsdrifters said...

FYI, Chinese Year of the Rabbit, Vietnamese Year of the Cat.

Meow.

The White Farmhouse said...

OMG! I love you already and I just got here. I do have to go and drool some more. This reminds me of a cake that my grandmother used to make. I just attempted to make cakes from scratch and have done pretty good. I don't know if I will ever do a box again. I just checked and I have everything to make this yummy looking goodness. If you need me, I'm in the kitchen!

Thank you for visiting and the words of encouragement. I keep hoping that it is going to get better, yet know it is useless! Oi vey!

Anne said...

Your cake is stunning with the perfect layers and sounds SO delicious!

A Canadian Foodie said...

Mary!
Truly!
No one. Noone. No one can make a cake like you look as gorgeous and delectable and as clean and lean as you do. Those people down the hill must love you. I would start to sell my wares if I was able to make them this often and this lovely. People would pay pay pay for one of your lovely labours of love.
:)
Valerie

Claudia said...

Oh Mary - that is indeed perfect. The combination of the cream with the chocolate makes me feel so wicked and heavenly at the same time.

Sabrina said...

you're killing me with all these chocolate recipes! I would kill for some right now! thanks again! have a great night!

Melissa @IWasBornToCook said...

Absolutely amazing looking! Love the vanilla too!

Medeja said...

Mary, it really looks and sounds perfect :)
Your cake looks better than any cake you can find in a market :)

Southern Lady said...

Mary, thanks for your sweet comment on my blog. I am so glad to meet you. I have enjoyed my visit to your blog. It made me hungry looking at the yummy cake! I'll be back to visit again! Carla

Joanne said...

There have definitely been VERY few cakes in my life that have involved whipped cream...tragically enough. This looks delicious though. A beautiful way to ring in the new year!

sweetpeaskitchen.com said...

I am loving this chocolate cake! It looks sooooo moist and delicious! :)

Sarah said...

This sounds delicious, I'm going to add it to my "Recipes I Want to Try" post on my blog. I'm always in search of THE perfect chocolate cake. I haven't found it yet.

A little bit of everything said...

the cake is simply amazing. they should have this in chocolate heaven.

thanks for sharing Mary
have a wonderful rest of the week

Monet said...

Happy New Year! And yes...I can see why this cake got its name. I want to make this perfect concoction tomorrow. Thank you for sharing yet another delicious and beautiful recipe. I hope you have a fabulous Friday and a relaxing weekend!

penny aka jeroxie said...

That is indeed very perfect!

Eliana said...

Not much I ca say here other than this cake does ineed look picture perfect.

CarinE said...

Your cake looks beautiful! Simply and nice!

Sophia said...

I love Valentine's Day desserts, and yours looks so, so delicious! You should really consider submitting this to Recipe4Living's Valentine's Day Recipe Contest! You could win a GreenPan Stainless Steel Todd's Perfect Gourmet Cook Set!

Ronda Kisner said...

I was just looking for a chocolate cake recipe. My niece wants one for her birthday. This looks great!

Sue said...

I definitely understand why you picked "One Perfect Bite" as the name for your blog. THIS chocolate cake, and everything else, DOES look perfect! From your newest follower, Sue :) P.S. Thanks for your kind comment on my blog!

Mom2three said...

This cake looks absolutely delicious! My daughter, who doesn't like chocolate said "Hmmm! That looks REALLY good!" I'm going to have to try this really soon! It reminds me of the tuxedo cake I've made on special occasions. Going to treat the family this weekend to your delicious creation.

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. You put a smile on my face!

-Arielle- said...

This looks amazing! I may try and make it this weekend!

Mrs. Mix-it said...

OMG Mary!! That cake is making my mouth water. Thanks for coming by to see me at cooking Underwriter. Your recipes have always amazed me!

Thanks for sharing and stopping.

Mrs. Mix It

Courtney said...

Your cake looks delicious, huge fan of chocolate! :) Thanks for linking to my chocolate cake :)

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

How incredible! I want to copy this recipe for a special occasion! ♥

lena said...

wow! looks awesome! delicious frosting too with the added cream.

Valérie said...

This cake is a real beauty that stands tall and proud! Happy New Year to you!

silverbird said...

I couldn't get this cake out of my mind, woke up thinking about it! Gosh, Mary. Wish you wouldn't tempt us like this, I'm on a diet! :-)

zoe said...

This cake truly is a perfect chocolate cake, however, I must not have greased/floured my pans well enough because my layers still stuck and came out a broken mess :(

(I'm hoping I can fix them with the filling/icing.)

Next time I'll probably line them with parchment paper, but still, a great recipe to have - thanks for posting! :)

Anonymous said...

I have the recipe from the October 1982 McCalls magazine. This has been a favorite cake since then.

Sharon @ Fun and Life said...

Gosh, this chocolate cake actually looks PERFECT! Looks so scrumptious, I'd be happy to have a huge slice :D. Your recipes are so fantastic - please don't look through mine lol. I'm still just finding my way around the kitchen while you've got every recipe to perfection! At least you might find some amusement in my silly mistakes ;). Great photos too by the way!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Mmmmmmmmmm, this cake looks AMAZING! I'm have a picnic next week and this will be perfect. I love the recipes you share!

briarrose said...

I just wanted to let you know how much I loved this cake...finally got a chance to bake it up and it came out tender and moist. I'm adding this to my favorite chocolate cake recipes.

therufs said...

My mom made me this cake for a birthday many many years ago -- I think it is my favorite birthday confection to date, and I recreated it this year in sheet cake form. Should have made more filling, but it was scrumptious! Thanks :D

Carolina said...

This is not a cake...is a dream!!
Your site is amazing!!
I become your follower!!
Carolina

Mireya @myhealthyeatinghabits said...

Mary, You're right. That cake is perfect. And I'm sure it taste perfectly tasty.

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