When the use of Crisco and Canola Oil, etc. was being "pushed" (pushed A LOT!), LARD was given a bad rap! A really bad rap! These days, that "bad rap" is unraveling (actually, it is reversing!). Today, when I googled "lard benefits", ONLY 1,620,000 sites popped up for one reason or another. You can read and decide for yourself if you would ever care (dare?) to use lard. Check it out at:
BUT!, ...today's lard which is sold in the old-time and similar-looking green/white-colored Armour brand box is NOT what it used to be. Read on that container and you're likely to see that the "hydrogenators" have even "hydrogenated" today's lard-- and, the "hydrogenation" part is what I want to get AWAY from!
A while ago, to get around that "hydrogenation" issue with most of "today's" store-bought lard, I picked up some pork fat from a local butcher and home-rendered my own. I store it in glass jars and in the freezer-- just like my mother always did! (Rendering it out wasn't anything hard to do, but it did take up a good bit of time.)
IF you REALLY like CHOCOLATE, you could pour "extra" of the glossy frosting on top of a piece and let it be all runny like this:
Read through the entire recipe (including the directions) before starting.
- 1/3 cup lard, room temperature
- 3 squares unsweetened chocolate
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups sifted flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Melt lard in a 3 qt. saucepan over low heat.
- Add chocolate blocks to the melted lard over low heat and stir together until melted. Remove from heat.
- Separately, mix 3/4 cup sugar and cornstarch thoroughly. Stir this into chocolate mixture until well blended.
- Add the first 1 cup of milk; stir and cook over low heat until smooth and thick. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. (Set pan in cold water to speed cooling.)
- Sift all of the remaining dry ingredients together 3 times.
- Add 1/2 of this sifted mixture to the thickened chocolate mixture, blend and beat only 1/2 minute (75 strokes).
- Add 3/4 cup milk and blend.
- Add remaining sifted dry ingredients, blend; beat just 1 minute (150 strokes).
- Add eggs and vanilla, blend and beat just 1/2 minutes (75 stokes).
- Bake in a paper-lined 9x13x2" pan in moderate oven (350-degrees) for about 35 minutes, or according to how your oven bakes. COOL.
- Frost with Glossy Fudge Frosting (it is more like a ganache). The recipe is below, but first make this syrup:
BASIC SUGAR SYRUP
FIRST, while the cake is baking and cooling, mix up this BASIC SUGAR SYRUP which will be used in the frosting. To make this, you'll need: 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water. Boil sugar and water together for just one minute. Pour into jar. Cool, cover and refrigerate this. This will make about 1 cup of "basic sugar syrup".
GLOSSY FUDGE FROSTING
Actual Frosting Ingredients and Directions:
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter over hot (not boiling) water. Remove from heat before the water boils.
- Add chocolate chips to butter over hot water and stir until melted, and well blended.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Add just 1/3 cup of the cooled "Basic Sugar Syrup" very gradually, stirring after each addition until blended. Mixture will become glossy and smooth.
- Remove from hot water and cool until of spreading consistency.
- Spread thinly over cake. Apply quickly by pouring a small amount at a time on top of cake, near the edges; as it runs down the sides, you can leave "as is" or spread it with a spatula. (Might work better to frost the top of the cake last.) This frosting recipe should be enough for two 8" layers, or one 9x13x2" pan cake.