Classic Fudge Cake
From a Betty Crocker recipe first published in 1965, this dreamy chocolate cake is the kind of dessert we zeroed in on at those pitch in picnics of my childhood. The moist, tender cake, iced with the creamiest of cocoa buttercream frosting, is baked in a 9 x 13 pan and is perfect for a casual family dessert, yet scrumptious enough for company. It was inhaled by my family and disappeared as fast as those I remember from the summer potlucks of yesteryear.
Party Like a Mad Man
You’ve probably all heard the hype about the final season of Mad Men this year. Season 7 is split into two parts, and the last series of episodes,”The End of an Era,” premieres on Sunday, April 5th. This cake recipe comes from the cookbook, The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Inside the Kitchens, Bars, and Restaurants of Mad Men by Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin. All the dishes in this collection have a connection to one of the Mad Men episodes. For example, an iced chocolate cake like this beauty was whipped up by Don and Betty Draper’s daughter, Sally, after she received a frosting machine. The Sterlings had invited themselves over for dinner at the Drapers, and an inebriated Roger Sterling cornered Betty in the kitchen where she rebuked his advances. Much alcohol was flowing at this impromptu dinner party for four in Season 1, Episode 7.
- 1⅔ cups flour
- 1½ cups sugar
- ⅔ cup cocoa powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
- 1½ cups buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
- ½ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1½ cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350º. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan (or spray with Baker's Joy). Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add butter, buttermilk and vanilla and beat for a couple minutes, scraping sides of bowl as needed.
- Add eggs and beat for 2 more minutes, scraping sides of bowl often.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or till center of cake bounces back when pressed with your finger.. Cool pan on wire rack.
- When cake is almost fully cooled, make frosting.
- Mix sugar and cocoa in a saucepan. Add butter, milk and corn syrup and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and place pan in cold water (I fill my sink with ice and water).
- When mixture is cooled, stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. You may thin frosting with a little milk if desired.
- Frost cake.
By the way, my post won one of the photography awards at this Virtual Mad Men Finale Party!
A Cookbook Giveaway (Closed)
Even though I was barely a tot at the end of this Mad Men era, I don’t recall these sorts of shenanigans when my parents entertained. There were plenty of martinis and old fashioneds, though. This cookbook highlights the foods of the era, whether eaten at one of the legendary Manhattan restaurants frequented for business rendezvous or dishes cooked up when one of the characters threw a party. They’re all a blast from the past and highlights include Mint Juleps, Oysters Rockefeller, a variety of canapes, hearts of palm salad, chicken Kiev, and pineapple upside-down cake. I cannot wait to cook my way through this cookbook.
Along with this scrumptious cake recipe, I’m giving away a copy of The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Dine Like Draper and Drink Like Sterling with More Than 70 Recipes from the Kitchens, Bars, and Restaurants Seen on Mad Men. Just follow the Rafflecopter prompts below to to enter. Open to those with a US or Canadian mailing address only. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Follow the Rafflecopter prompts to enter; and make sure to answer the mandatory question in the comments below. Good luck!
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