The crowd will cheer when you bring out this masterpiece! A creamy caramel frosting lends old-fashioned flavor to the moist chocolate cake. "This dessert is a hit whenever I serve it," notes Esther Wise of Longmont, Colorado.
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon red food coloring, optional
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
- CARAMEL FROSTING:
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 15 pecan halves
- In a small saucepan, melt chocolate in water. Stir in food coloring if desired. Remove from the heat; cool completely. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Add cooled chocolate mixture; beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
- Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
- For frosting, combine the brown sugar, milk, butter and salt in a large heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 234° (soft-ball stage). Remove from the heat; cool to lukewarm. Transfer to a small bowl; beat in confectioners' sugar, cream and vanilla until mixture achieves spreading consistency. Frost cake. Garnish with pecans. Yield: 15 servings.
Originally published as Caramel Chocolate Cake in Country Woman January/February 2003, p40
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