My friend Peggy Antenucci is very, very popular at potlucks because she always brings this amazing chocolate cake. So I've reproduced it here, though I couldn't find the pan she called for so I used a regular rectangular glass pan. The only drawback with the smaller pan is thicker icing--and some folks wouldn't consider this a drawback at all. Peggy reports that she substituted yogurt and applesauce for another stick of butter--believe me it's plenty rich as is.
For the Cake:
1 stick of butter
1 cup water
4 heaping TBSP cocoa powder
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp soda
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup applesauce
½ cup plain no-fat yogurt (or sour cream if feeling decadent)
1 tsp vanilla
To make the cake, melt the stick of butter in a saucepan & add the water and cocoa powder.
Bring to a boil on stove and remove from heat.
Sift dry ingredients in a bowl. Beat the applesauce, the yogurt or sour cream, the vanilla, and the eggs in a second bowl. Then blend with dry ingredients. And finally, add in the cooled chocolate liquid from saucepan and mix thoroughly
Pour into a greased & floured 15 x 10 x 2 “jelly roll” pan or a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 375 for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. The smaller pan will take longer to cook, as the cake batter is thicker--add 5 minutes and check with toothpick. Bake another five minutes if needed.
Make frosting five minutes before cake is done and spread on cake while still hot and then let cool.
For the frosting:
1 stick of butter
4 TBSP (or more for darker chocolate) cocoa powder (though I found 4 was plenty!)
6 TBSP milk
1 pound box powdered sugar (I used about 2/3 of the box as it tasted pretty darn sweet)
1 tsp. vanilla
Melt butter in saucepan with cocoa & milk but do not boil. Remove from heat and beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread on hot cake, taking care that the hot frosting doesn't pool in the corners. That will mean the cook has to smooth off the overly-thick parts and eat them herself.
Then cut yourself a large square, pour a glass of milk, and settle in with a cozy culinary mystery.
AN APPETITE FOR MURDER. She is very excited to be nominated for an Agatha Award for best short story along with fellow blogmates Krista Davis and Avery Aames. "The Itinerary", written as Roberta Isleib, can be found here.