Aunt Frances' Chocolate "Bonga" Cake

Posted by Callies Biscuits on

Cake making is an art in itself, one I haven’t yet mastered. But even I can make this cake without worrying about lopsided layers or the middle caving in. The frosting is a bit more challenging than the cake; its consistency should bring to mind spreadable fudge. John’s grandmother “Bonga” used to make this cake from her sister Frances’s recipe, so we lovingly call this moist chocolaty goodness “Bonga Cake” in her memory.

Aunt Frances's Chocolate "Bonga" Cake


    - 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, plus more for buttering the pan, at room temperature - 2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped 11⁄2 cups white sugar - 3 large eggs, separated 1 cup buttermilk - 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 cups cake flour


    1. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 9 × 13 inch baking pan. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over gently simmering heat. Set aside to cool. 1. Beat the butter with a mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat 10 minutes, or until light in color and creamy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Stir in the melted chocolate. Add the buttermilk and mix well. 1. Sift the baking soda with the flour. Add to the batter and mix well. 1. With clean beaters in a clean bowl, whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Fold into the batter. 1. Pour into the prepared pan and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. 1. Let the cake cool slightly in the pan on a cooling rack. Turn the cake out onto the rack and let cool completely. Remove the cake to a serving platter. 1. Make the frosting: Combine the water and brown sugar in a large saucepan on low heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the butter. When the butter is melted, add the chocolate. Raise the heat to medium and boil for 6 minutes. 1. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and salt. Whisk in the powdered sugar 1⁄2 cup at a time, until the frosting thickens. This may happen before all of the powdered sugar is added. 1. Spread the frosting over the cake. Allow the frosting to set, about 20 minutes.


    - 1⁄2 cup water or coffee - 1 cup packed light brown sugar 3 tablespoons butter - 3 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped - 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt - 11⁄2 to 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted