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America's Test Kitchen 7x23

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake

We wanted a towering layer cake of childhood, moist and chocolaty and slathered with thick, billowy frosting.

Remember old-fashioned chocolate layer cake—the kind moms everywhere baked? Each towering slice had a tender, airy, open crumb and was frosted with silky-smooth wisps of chocolate heaven. These homespun cakes were tall, sweet, and chocolaty, not dense, dark, and bitter, and they were eaten with an ice-cold glass of milk, not a demitasse of espresso. Admittedly, many of those birthday party chocolate cakes were made with a boxed mix. While those mixes deliver a pleasantly spongy, moist texture and guaranteed height, they were also full of artificial flavors—which as kids, we did not find objectionable. But, as adults with grown-up palates, we wanted real chocolate flavor in our cake. Therefore our goals were two-fold: create an old-fashioned chocolate layer cake with the same moist, tender crumb we so fondly remember and infuse this cake with true chocolate flavor—chocolaty enough to please adults, but not so dense that it might scare away the kids at the table.

Recipes:

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Layer Cake

Tasting Lab: Chocolate Chips

Equipment Center: Revolving Cake Stands

Science Desk: Enhancing Chocolate Flavor

America’s Test Kitchen: 7×23
Jun. 09, 2007

America's Test Kitchen season 7