The huge, fudgy, pecan-studded glory that is Benjy's chocolate cake is a Houston tradition. And Benjy Levit, whose second restaurant opened this year on Washington Avenue, can actually say that his cake is "just like Mom's," because, well, it is his mom's. She actually does bake every chocolate cake served at both Benjy's - that's about eight cakes a day, he says.
Mom's Chocolate Cake
For cake: 2 sticks of butter 1 cup of water 6 tablespoons of cocoa 2 eggs 2 cups sugar 1 tablespoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups of flour ½ cup of buttermilk
For frosting: 1 stick of butter 6 tablespoons of cocoa 6 tablespoons of milk 1 box of powdered sugar 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract 1 cup pecans
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1. In a saucepot bring the butter, water and cocoa to a boil. Remove from heat. 2. In a mixer beat the eggs, then add sugar, baking soda, salt and vanilla extract. 3. Alternately add in the flour and buttermilk, in small amounts. 4. Add in chocolate mixture. 5. Bake in a buttered 13-by-nine-inch pan at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. While the cake is baking, make the frosting and frost the cake as soon as it is taken out of the oven. 6. For the frosting, melt butter. Add in cocoa and milk. 7. Place in mixer and add powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Once the cake is frosted, sprinkle with pecans. Using a little bit of water on your hands will help prevent the icing from sticking to you.