Rilla Blythe's Chocolate Cake - Anne of Ingleside-Inspired Recipe
Both were hungry and both did justice to their own good cooking. "How nice things taste out of doors!" sighed Diana comfortably. "That chocolate cake of yours, Anne . . . well, words fail me, but I must get the recipe."
-L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Ingleside
She picked up the plate which held the remainder of the chocolate cake ... looked at it longingly ... shook her head and packed it in the basket with an expression of great nobility and self-denial on her face.
I think we've all been in Diana's shoes there... ;)
It's been an Anne-ish kind of week! I've been wallowing in the glories of the 1985 Anne of Green Gables film (aka, the only Anne adaptation that actually matters) and emotionally preparing myself for rereading the beloved final book in L.M. Montgomery's series, Rilla of Ingleside, next month. Quite simply, I felt like making a chocolate cake today, and having indulged the whim, decided this would be the perfect "Rilla" cake from the famous scene in Anne of Ingleside (Book 6) in which Rilla throws Susan Baker's cake into the river.
Of all the chocolate cake recipes I've tried, hands-down the winner is the unbeatable Hershey's Chocolate Cake, found on the back of their cocoa packaging. It's unbelievably perfect—but don't take my word for it, see what Nagi of Recipe Tin Eats has to say about it! I'll be following the original Hershey's recipe to make the cake.
Assembling the cake batter...
The first step is sifting together the cocoa (Dutch-processed recommended!), sugar, flour, salt, baking soda and powder. Sifting is a really important part of the cake-making process, resulting in a smooth, even, lump-free cake.
Whisking to combine!
Then we make a well in which to add the wet ingredients to the mixture: the eggs, vanilla, milk, and boiling water. You don't need to waste your time at the stove getting your water to boil; microwave 1 cup of water at about 2:45 min and it'll come out ready to add.
The resulting cake batter is incredibly thin and luscious. Just look at that gooey stream of chocolate! We then pour the batter into the prepared 9" cake pans and bake for 35 minutes.
Assembling the chocolate frosting...
I went into this cake fully expecting to make the Hershey's frosting to match—when lo and behold, I realized too late that I was out of confectioner's sugar. I flipped through my old Betty Crocker's Cookbook and searched for a chocolate frosting that used regular white sugar as an alternative. Happily, I discovered one just in time—an egg-white based frosting that incorporated a boiled sugary syrup poured slowly into the meringue mixture to ensure cooked, safe-to-eat frosting. That's something to watch out for whenever you're making egg-based frosting!
It turned out scrumptious in spite of the redirection! For your own baking endeavors however, I seriously recommend you use the Hershey's frosting. It's sheer bliss in chocolate-form. Thank me later!
I ended up only using a half-batch of my alternative-made frosting, opting for something a little less rich, but still oh-so-good and creamy.
The cake turned out incredibly delicious! I fully confess here and now that I had been sampling so much chocolate and frosting (egg-free of course!) during the making of this cake that by the time I actually sat down to dive into a slice, I felt full of chocolate. But hey, that didn't stop me from enjoying it! ;)
[Miss Emmy was] glancing at the empty basket ... "You've been taking your cake up for the social. What a pity you're not going instead of coming. I'm taking mine ... such a big, gooey chocolate cake." Rilla gazed up piteously, unable to utter a word. Miss Emmy was carrying a cake, therefore, it could not be a disgraceful thing to carry a cake. And she ... oh, what had she done? She had thrown Susan's lovely gold- and-silver cake into the brook ... and she had lost the chance of walking up to the church with Miss Emmy, both carrying cakes!
-Anne of Ingleside, Ch 34
That's all for now! If you happen to indulge in the famous Hershey's Cake yourself, do leave a comment below and let me know how it fared!
Until next time,