Mulching the blueberry patch this week, it came to me that you can always make room for one more blueberry plant. The same goes for chocolate cake recipes!
In my new Irish novel "Mother Love," the main character, Grainne Larkin, loves sweets--especially chocolate, and most especially, chocolate cake. So in her honor, I just baked a celebratory chocolate cake. I tried a recipe new to me, from Irish chef Darina Allen's "Forgotten Kills of Cooking." It was a lovely cake, on the small side, and since it's a one-bowl process, quick to make. But if you want a really luscious slab of chocolate yumminess, here's the recipe for the best chocolate cake I've ever tasted. A friend gave it to me, passed down to her from her grandmother. I renamed the recipe "A-List"... with "A" = Amazing!
A-List Chocolate Cake
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons soda
1cup hot water
1/2 cup cocoa
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix sugar and butter. Add eggs. Put soda in buttermilk, stir well and add to mixture. (The soda-buttermilk mixture really foams up, making this big cake nice and light.) Pour hot water over cocoa and add to mix. Add flour and salt, then vanilla.
I use a well-greased 9x13 glass baking dish. Bake about 1 hour in 350 degree oven.
It's an easy recipe, and so forgiving you can even mix it by hand--no special time requirements for creaming or beating. I always add extra cocoa and vanilla, and because I like a super-moist cake, substitute some oil for the butter.
I frost the cake with a basic chocolate buttercream frosting, with lots of cocoa--using half-and-half in place of milk makes it extra delicious! But a cooked glaze icing works too. This is such a rich cake, it's perfect for special occasions--you might try it for Mother's Day!