The International Obfuscated C Code Contest
Here’s a delicious double-layered chocolate fudge cake (picture) that is something of my mum’s speciality. It’s complicated and I should warn that nobody has seemed to get it down as well as she has but it’s well worth the effort if you love chocolate. My late stepmum who only liked white chocolate loved this cake!
There are two sets of ingredients and instructions; the cake and the icing. In addition there are some notes to pay attention to; some will be repeated because they’re really important for the quality of the cake.
Below I have included the ingredients separately but I include them within the instructions as well and in bold. Also in bold are some of the special notes.
Finally note that depending on where you are in the world this might not work in the warmer months of the year for the icing in particular. Oh and here’s an amusing fact about the IOCCC and chocolate. Did I say ‘the IOCCC’? I actually meant ‘an IOCCC’: it stands also for ‘International Office of Cocoa, Chocolate and Sugar Confectionery’. Perfect.
See also the International Original Chocolate Cake Contest tweet from fellow IOCCC winner Ilya Kurdyukov (GitHub) as well as the IOCCC cake source image of the picture in the tweet (which he painted over my photo of the cake with GIMP).
This was originally from an American cookery book so the measurements are in the US standards. A nice resource (that has much more than just cooking) is http://www.onlineconversion.com/cooking.htm. This will particularly matter for cups, teaspoons, tablespoons and ounces.
For example a US cup is not the same as Canadian cup and a metric cup differs too. There’s also a difference for teaspoons and tablespoons: there are metric, UK and US teaspoons and tablespoons. There’s both a UK and US ounce also.
Baker’s chocolate is a brand name and the product in question is unsweetened chocolate bars used for baking. According to a chocolates FAQ it might be called different things:
Bitter chocolate contains no sugar and is often called 'unsweetened' or 'baking' chocolate. In some countries it's called 100% cacao since it's composed only of ground up cocoa beans, and nothing else.
The FAQ suggests that you might have to look for a baking supply shop but I cannot offer any specific advice other than it’s unsweetened chocolate bars for baking. The FAQ talks about what looks like substitutes but I have no idea what that would turn out as; I somehow suspect it wouldn’t be good.
Either way please still pay attention to the notes on the chocolate in the recipe and recipe notes because they’re really important!
PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THESE:
USE MARGARINE. Butter does not work well.
Over the years they changed the size of the unsweetened chocolate squares; they used to be one ounce each now they are ¼ ounce each square so be sure to note the amount is by ounce not squares as listed. See the measurements link if there’s any doubt.
Pay careful attention to cook for only the indicated time.
Remove the cake from the pans 2 minutes after removing from oven. Then allow to fully cool on racks. The important point is that they don’t overcook.
When the recipe was first written they sold powdered sugar in a box; now it’s confectioners sugar in a bag. My mum experimented with the amount and found that 4 cups seems about right.
She uses whole milk for this recipe; she doesn’t know if it really matters but given that she and I both prefer skim milk except for here and in chocolate milk I would recommend whole milk for this recipe too. In any case it turns out great!
Lightly grease two 9 x 1.5 inch round pans; lightly dust with flour.
Preheat oven to 350 F (176.67 C).
Melt 3 oz unsweetened chocolate in double boiler or small bowl over hot (but not boiling) water; let cool whilst proceeding.
Sift 2 ¼ cups flour, 2 tsp baking soda, and ½ tsp salt
Beat 1 stick margarine in large bowl until soft.
Add 2 ¼ cups packed brown sugar and 3 eggs. Beat until light and fluffy.
Beat in 1 ½ tsp vanilla and cooled melted chocolate.
Stir in dry ingredients alternately with 1 cup sour cream; always beat until smooth.
Stir in 1 cup boiling water.
Pour into prepared pans.
Bake for ONLY 35 minutes (NO LONGER) at 350 F (176.67 C).
When you take the cake out put the cake pans on a cooling rack for TWO MINUTES ONLY AND THEN IMMEDIATELY TURN CAKES OUT ON TO RACK. Let cool completely.
You will also need a bigger pan or bowl that can have ice water that the icing bowl can sit in.
PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THESE:
Make sure that the melted chocolate and margarine does not get solid.
For step #4 put 8 to 10 ice cubes in a pan or big bowl (that’s big enough that another bowl can fit in it). Add an inch of water and then set the bowl with the icing in the pan or bowl of ice water. Do not let the icing get wet!
Do not let icing get too thick.
Use whole milk.
Combine 4 oz unsweetened chocolate and ½ cup margarine in pan. Melt and remove from heat. DO NOT LET IT GET SOLID.
Combine 3 ¼ cups powdered sugar, ½ cups whole milk and 2 tsp vanilla into a bowl. Stir until smooth.
Add chocolate mixture.
Set bowl in pan/bowl of ice and water. Beat with spoon/mixer until it’s thick BUT not too thick. Make sure icing doesn’t get wet! The idea is to MAKE THE BOWL IT’S IN COLD but not let the icing get wet.
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Leo Broukhis, Simon Cooper, Landon Curt Noll
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