4 squares Baker's unsweetened chocolate
1 cube butter
1 cup boiling water
2 cups sifted Swans Down cake flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten lightly
Pour boiling water over butter and chocolate - in large bowl - dissolve well. Sift flour and then measure - add sugar, baking soda, and salt. Sift dry ingredients into chocolate-butter mix, then add buttermilk and, lastly, eggs and vanilla.
Pour batter into an 9-inch greased, floured and lined square pan. Bake for 1 hour at 325º.
Frost with buttercream frosting (1 egg yolk, about 1/2 cup melted butter, and enough powdered sugar to make a frosting consistency--mix it together with a fork not a whisk) or bake in 3 layers and frost with whipped cream.
Notes: An 8-inch pan is too small--if you use it, your cake will overflow in the oven. I have had the best luck with an 9-inch aluminum pan. Don't mix the cake in a mixer because you will incorporate too much air if you do. This is a very simple cake to make: all you need is a bowl and a spatula. Put the butter and chocolate in the bowl. Make sure you use Baker's chocolate; your cake will not have the same flavor if you use another brand. Also, you need to use cake not regular flour. Pour in the hot water and let it melt. Meanwhile sift and measure the flour (make sure your cake flour is not "expired"), then measure out two cups of flour and re-sift with sugar, baking soda, and salt (I sift it onto a piece of parchment paper like Gramma did). Once the chocolate mixture is melted, just pour the flour-sugar mixture into the bowl and stir well to incorporate everything. Then, stir in the buttermilk and incorporate again, and lastly the eggs and vanilla. Grease your pan really well; line it with parchment paper that extends a little up the sides of the pan, and grease and flour the parchment paper really well or your cake will stick to the pan. You may have to bake it for an hour and 5 minutes. It is done when it is set in the middle and has pulled away from the sides of the pan slightly. Also, don't open the oven. This is a very dense cake that has the tendency to fall if moved or disturbed while baking. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes before turning it out to cool. I turn it out on a dish towel (what Gramma did) which allows me to rotate it from one side to the other until it is cool enough to plate. You frost it on the bottom side of the cake. --PKS