Ordinary people make easy cakes. Cakes that get mixed in one bowl. Cakes without icing or frills. Cakes that get baked in a 9x13 disposable pan which gets tossed in the recycle bin and forgotten. 

Ordinary people definitely do not make cakes that use six bowls and two beaters. They do not make cakes that require separating of eggs. And they definitely do not make cakes that get made in real pans that have to be washed and dried. 

That's why this is a Special Occasion Chocolate Cake. It's not a cake you make for an ordinary dessert or when you have just a bit of extra time on your hands. It's a cake that should be reserved for special times, when you're willing to go the extra mile. Our special occasion this week was my husband Avi's birthday. 

This recipe is based on the "Chocolate Cake" recipe in the Joy of Cooking. The icing is the "Chocolate Butter Icing," also from Joy. I used all margarine instead of butter since we wanted a pareve dessert. 

Special Occasion Chocolate Cake
This recipe has a lot of steps but isn't at all complicated. Be sure to allow enough time for prepping, baking, cooling and icing. (It took us just about two hours from start to finish.) 

3 ounces chocolate chips
5 tablespoons boiling water
1/2 cup margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dry rum

1 3/4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup water

2 ounces chocolate chips
2 tablespoons margarine
1/4 cup cream (or pareve Rich's whip)
1/8 teaspoon salt
about 2 cups confectioners sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 350*. 
  2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler. Add the boiling water and mix. Set aside to cool. 
  3. Meanwhile, cream the margarine in an electric mixer for a couple of minutes, till soft. Add the sugar and mix till light, about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple of times in middle. Add the egg yolks one at a time, and then the vanilla and rum. Mix until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients, chocolate mixture and water. Mix well and set aside. 
  4. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites on high speed till stiff but not dry. 
  5. Fold the egg white lightly into the chocolate batter.
  6. Pour half the batter into each of two well greased 10 inch round pans. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool thoroughly before removing from the pans. 
  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler. Add the margarine to the chocolate and stir well till dissolved. 
  2. Add the cream and salt, and then gradually add the sugar and vanilla. You might not need all the sugar, so add it slowly until the icing reaches the desired consistency. 
  1. After the cakes have cooled completely, lay the first cake on a round plate or platter. Put about 1/3 of the icing on it and spread it evenly. 
  2. Lay the second cake on top of that and spread the top and sides with icing. 
  3. Decorate with sprinkles or chocolate shavings if desired. 
  4. Refrigerate for up to three days, or serve immediately. 
Egg whites, beaten till stiff

The chocolate batter

The chocolate batter once again.

The icing

The two cakes before baking
The two cakes after baking

One of the best
cookbooks I own
Linking this up to Ultimate Recipe Swap.