Aztec Chocolate Cake

¼ cup butter, melted

½ cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

4 canned pear halves

¼ cup quartered maraschino cherries

¼ cup chopped pecans

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons butter

1 ¼ cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1 ½ cups unsifted all-purpose flour

¼ cup Hershey's cocoa

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup buttermilk or sour milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have ready a 9-inch square baking pan.

Combine the ¼ cup melted butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in the 9-inch square pan; spread evenly over the bottom of the pan.

Drain the pear halves; slice each into 4 sections and place in a sunburst design on the mixture in the pan. Arrange the cherries and pecans between the pear sections, in the center and at the corners.

Cream the ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs; beat well.

Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add alternately with the buttermilk or sour milk to the creamed mixture. Pour over the fruit and nuts in the pan.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Immediately invert onto a serving dish. Serve warm, with whipped cream, if desired.

“Hershey’s Cocoa Cookbook”, Western Publishing Company, 1979

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