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Iowa Chocolate Cake with Boiled Frosting Recipe

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April 22, 2014 / USA/Canadian / By
Holly Christine Brown

If you’re looking for a heavenly chocolate cake recipe, look no further. Wait, no, it’s not heaven, it’s Iowa.

This is possibly my favorite cake ever. It can be a little tricky, especially the boiled frosting, but it’s well worth the effort. I seem to remember a story surrounding this cake - that it was named for Iowa due to the dense, yet moist, cake appearing similar to the fertile soil of my home state. However, I couldn’t find a history on this recipe. However, I was shocked to learn that most people use chocolate frosting on this cake. While normally I would agree that you can’t have too much chocolate, I think the lightness and sweetness of the boiled frosting pairs well with the dense and not overly-sweet chocolate cake. I can’t imagine it any other way.

Because this can be a tricky recipe, I’ve taken pictures of the process to help you along the way. As an American recipe, it uses U.S. volume as the base for the measurements. While there are some measurement converters around the internet, it’s best if you can use equipment that lists both U.S. and metric values. Now - let’s bake!

Iowa Chocolate Cake

¾ cup shortening

2 cups white sugar

1 ½ cups boiling water

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup cocoa

2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla

Pre-heat your oven to 350°F or 175°C, and grease the inside of your 12” x 9” cake tin.

Mix your first 3 ingredients until your shortening is dissolved. This is important because if you don't, you can end up with lumps. Once the shortening is dissolved, add in your other ingredients and mix. It's best if you can use an electric handmixer for this. Your batter will look pretty runny at this point...

...but that's PERFECT! Bake your cake for 35 - 40 minutes. You can insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean, you're done! Set aside your cake to cool.

 

Boiled Frosting

2 cups sugar

¾ cup water

¼ tsp cream of tartar

dash of salt

3 egg whites, stiffly beaten

1 tsp vanilla

Heat your sugar, water, cream of tartar and salt over a low heat, until your sugar dissolves...

this is close, but what you're looking for here is...

PERFECTION! Cover for 2 - 3 minutes to dissovle any sugar that might be on the sides of your pot. Uncover, and heat to soft ball stage - 240°F or 115°C. This is a good time to beat those egg whites! Then slowly add the hot syrup to your egg whites, beating constantly. Add your vanilla and beat until spreading consistency - about 6 minutes. If it's too thin, let it stand for 3 minutes, stirring once or twice. This doesn't get to thick however but if your frosting can do this...

you've gotten it just right!

 

It's time to dig in!

Enjoy!


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Country: United States

Province/State: Iowa

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Price Guide:N/A (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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