¼ pound butter, softened, plus butter for the pan
Wax paper and flour for the pan
4 level tablespoons Crisco or other vegetable shortening
1 ½ cups sugar
1 1/3 cups milk
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sweet ground chocolate (preferably Ghirardelli’s)
¼ teaspoon salt
2 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate, melted in a double boiler
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Butter, line with wax paper, butter and flour 2 9-inch cake tins.
In a bowl, cream the butter, Crisco and sugar.
Fill a measuring cup with the milk, eggs and vanilla. On a sheet of wax paper, sift together flour, baking soda, ground chocolate and salt.
Add the liquid and dry ingredients alternately to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Add the melted chocolate and beat well.
Divide the batter evenly into cake tins and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry. Cool one layer on a cake stand, the other on a wire rack.
Prepare the butter-cream icing, but with this exception: frost the top of the first layer before you add the melted and ground chocolate; this way the cake will have a white center.