Preheat oven to 350° F.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and soda into large bowl.
Add shortening, 1 cup milk and vanilla.
Beat 2 minutes with mixer
Scrape down sides and the bottom of bowl.
Add remaining milk, eggs and melted chocolate.
Beat 2 minutes as before
Pour into 2 greased 8-inch layer pans.
Bake in a 350° F. oven for 30 -35 minutes
Frost with chocolate frosting.
If desired, mix 2/3 cup chopped pecans. If you add nuts, increase cooking time by about 15 minutes