Ritz Chocolate Cake

The first GrandyCamp recipe post HAS TO BE for Ritz Chocolate Cake. My mom got the recipe from a neighbor, and we've had it for birthdays our whole entire lives, our kids as well, and now it is THE birthday cake for a third generation. From scratch, but so worth it! And the sweet-salty icing too. For Jack's second birthday, with a construction theme, we decorated with crumbled Oreo Cookie "dirt" to set the stage for vehicles, but plain icing, or festive sprinkles, will suffice. The original recipe is for cake in a 9x13 pan, but i usually make cupcakes and mini cupcakes for one-bite fun.

RITZ CHOCOLATE CAKE

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix in larger saucepan over medium heat 4 squares (1 oz) of unsweetened chocolate, 2 cups water, and 1/4lb (1 stick) butter. Stir until melted. Remove from heat and add 2 cups of granulated sugar. Allow to cool.

Mix in 2 beaten eggs and 1 tsp vanilla.

Sift together (I know, but flour is too lumpy to dissolve otherwise) 2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking powder, and 2 tsp baking soda and add to chocolate mixture. Pour into greased 9x13 pan and bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick tests clean. Cupcakes usually take in the 10-12 minute range. the tops should look spongy.

 

BUTTERCREAM ICING (I usually double for cupcakes)

Blend with mixer or food processor 1/4 cup soft butter, 2 cups powdered confectioner's sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp vanilla, 2-3 tblsp heavy cream, 1 1/2 tblsp light corn syrup.       Spread on cooled cake or cupcakes. Lick the spoon. Really.

 Baking in Tuscany with Giacomo

Baking in Tuscany with Giacomo

When I made it for Italian world-traveling friends, they declared it the best they had ever tasted. Tried to recreate it in their Tuscan summer kitchen the following year, guessing at Italian versions of baking soda and baking powder at the grocery! And trying to "powder" granulated sugar as best I could.