Victor Protasio
Yield
Makes 8 servings

Notes: Jane Ingraham of Santa Barbara reworked her great-grandmother's recipe to lower the fat. She calls this rich, dark cake "my number one favorite dessert." Mile-high bakers need to add an extra 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour and decrease the sugar by 2 tablespoons.

How to Make It

Step 1

Oil a metal 8-inch-square or 8-inch-wide round cake pan, or a 9-inch-wide, 1 1/2- to 2-inch-deep heart-shaped pan. Line pan bottom with waxed paper cut to fit; oil paper. Dust pan with cocoa, shaking out excess.

Step 2

In a bowl, mix 2/3 cup cocoa, flour, soda, and salt.

Step 3

In another bowl with a mixer, beat to blend sugar, 1/4 cup salad oil, egg whites, vanilla, and 1 cup water. Add flour mixture; stir to mix, then beat until batter is smooth. Scrape batter into prepared pan.

Step 4

Bake in a 350° oven until cake begins to pull from pan side and springs back when lightly pressed in center, 35 to 40 minutes.

Step 5

Let cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Run a thin knife between cake and pan rim, invert cake onto a rack, lift off pan, and gently pull off and discard waxed paper. Let cool about 1 hour. Invert a flat plate onto cake; holding rack and plate together, turn cake over onto plate. Spread cake with whipped frosting, swirling with small spatula. Lightly dust with more cocoa.

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