My late father Morton Joseph Green, or “Morty Joe” as I loved to call him, had an insane love for chocolate cake, or more specifically the frosting. I remember many a luncheon date at The Cock & Bull restaurant on Sunset Blvd. near Doheny Dr., where he would order what seemed to me as a child a mile-high piece of chocolate cake off of which he would eat all the frosting, leaving the cake sitting there all lonely on the plate. Naturally, feeling SO sorry for the cake I would gobble it up as fast as I could!!! I remember after all these years that it was three layers high and just huge in every way — it came on a dinner plate, at least that’s how my child’s mind remembers it.

Anyway, upon my most recent visit to my Brother Billy and his beautiful family in Marin County, he declares to me that he wants chocolate cake! With a lot of frosting — he says there’s never enough frosting — and that he wishes me to make him one, to which I lovingly reply “Why of course, brotha dear!” And you my readers know when I say I’m gonna do something, well, by all means I’m gonna do it! And so the search for a recipe I can make into my own begins.

Of course I’m away from home so I don’t have my homemade cookbook and all my other wonderful books, but it just so happens I do have an issue of Bon Appetit magazine with a spread on the last ten years of the publication’s recipes for, ta-daa, chocolate cake! What a coinky-dink! Now Bill’s got me thinking of our Daddy, and his love of this coveted cake, so I pick the tallest one I can find in the magazine. We even have to go to Williams-Sonoma to find special pans to make the cake tall like he wants it! I will still do anything for my brother as when I was a child he was very much my hero and protector, and most importantly of all my very best friend.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake: (One of the best and moistest cakes you’ll ever make)

3 oz bittersweet chocolate (not to exceed 61% cacao), chopped (not to exceed – you mean no more than or no less than?)
3/4 cup cocoa powder (use a good quality)
1-3/4 cup? boiling water
2-3/4 cup? all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1-1/3 cups Best Foods Mayo (not reduced-calorie)
2 lg eggs
2 tsps. pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Frosting:
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, not to exceed 61% cacao, chopped
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tbs. pure vanilla extract

Cake Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour three 8″ round pans with 1-1/2 inch sides.
Put chopped chocolate and cocoa in a bowl and pour boiling water over and mix well with a whisk until smooth.
Sift flour, baking soda and baking (IS THIS CORRECT? YOU JUST SAID POWDER) powder into another bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat together both sugars and the mayo in a large bowl 2 to 3 minutes until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add flour and chocolate mixture in three parts each, alternately, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl. Divide batter evenly among prepared cake pans and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in pans for 20 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack until completely cool.

Frosting Preparation:
Put chopped chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, and melt while stirring until smooth. Remove to cool until lukewarm, stirring occasionally.
Using a electric mixer, beat butter until smooth and creamy. Sift powdered sugar over butter and beat until blended, about two minutes. Beat in vanilla, add melted chocolate and mix until blended well, scraping down sides as you go.
Place one cake layer top side down on a cake plate (with a high topped dome), frost with 3/4 cup frosting and put another layer on and frost, place last layer on top, and frost top and sides of rest of cake as neatly as possible. (This cake is so moist you can also do this one day in advance.)
Cut cake into wedges and serve.

And as always, Enjoy!!!
© Jennifer Green Alger 2010