Chocolate Stack Loaf


1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot tap water
1 recipe Easy Fudge Frosting, recipe below
Natural unsweetened cocoa powder

1. Position rack in lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease sides of 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In large mixing bowl whisk together flour, brown sugar, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add butter, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk gently until dry ingredients are moistened and mixture resembles a thick paste. Whisk briskly about 30 strokes. Tap or shake any batter from whisk. Use rubber spatula to stir in hot water, scraping sides as necessary, just until batter is blended and smooth. With spatula scrape batter from bowl into prepared pan and spread to make a thin even layer.

3. Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Slide a thin metal spatula or knife around cake edges to loosen from pan. Invert cake onto rack. Remove paper liner; carefully turn cake right side up. Cool completely.

4. Cut cake crosswise in three equal rectangles. Thickly spread frosting on one piece, top with a second piece and spread with frosting. Leave top unfrosted. Thickly frost long sides. Before serving, dust top with cocoa powder. Makes 12 servings.

Easy Fudge Frosting: In medium saucepan melt 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter. Stir in 1 cup sugar, 1 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt. Gradually stir in 1 cup whipping cream. Heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and hot but not boiling. Remove from heat; stir in 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract. Set aside; cool until thickened and spreadable. To cool quickly, loosely cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Store up to 1 week in refrigerator. Makes 2 cups.

My Notes:

The first pic above is the one from Better Homes & Gardens (where I got the recipe).  The second pic is what MY version looked like.  Not nearly as pretty.  However, this is one of those where I SO wish you could sneak a little nibble while you are reading this.  It was a true OLD-FASHIONED CHOCOLATE CAKE.  My MIL agreed.  It was rich and chocolatey like you wouldn't believe.  You could just taste the "grandma" in it.  (o:

I failed to follow directions and frosted the top of mine.  It wasn't because I thought I knew more than them.  It was simply because I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing and plopped that last bit of frosting right on top before I read the rest of the instructions.

One word to describe this cake - UNBELIEVABLY CHOCOLATE (ooops, that's 2)

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