Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Chocolate Layer Cake

Servings: 8-10
Simply said, a pure chocolate indulgence; an old-fashioned chocolate layer cake with chocolate-sour cream frosting. Perfect for any chocolate lover's special occasion.

5 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, seperated
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 oz./113 g)) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Chocolate-Sour Cream Frosting (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Butter two 9-inch (23 cm) round cake pans and line them with rounds of parchment paper cut to fit. Butter the parchment paper, then flour the pans.

In a small saucepan, over very low heat, melt the chocolate. When it's melted, add 1/2 cup of the buttermilk and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Now whisk in the sugar and 1 egg yolk. Still over low heat, and stirring constantly, cook the mixture for 3 minutes, or until smooth and thick. Now it's a custard. Cool it to room temperature.

Thoroughly cream together the butter and brown sugar. Beat in the remaining 2 egg yolks, one at a time. Resift the cake flour with the baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed ingredients in three parts, alternating with the remaining 3/4 cup of buttermilk; you should begin and end with the dry ingredients.

Stir the cooled custard and the vanilla into the batter.

Beat the 3 egg whites until they are stiff but not dry. Take about a quarter of the beaten whites and stir them into the batter; then carefully fold in the rest. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pans.

Bake the layers for 25 minutes, or until the cake just begins to leave the sides of the pan. Cool the layers completely on cake racks before you even think about taking them out of the pan. Fill and frost cake with Chocolate-Sour Cream Frosting (see recipe below for frosting).

This cake is at its best the day it's made. If you have to make it ahead for some reason, freeze the layers in plastic wrap. Defrost and frost them on the day you need them.

Makes 1 (9-inch) 2-layer cake

Chocolate-Sour Cream Frosting

6 oz. best-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 oz. best quality milk chocolate, chopped
2 cups (16 oz./1 pint) sour cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt

In a double boiler, over low heat, melt the two kinds of chocolate. When the chocolate is three-quarters melted, remove it from the heat and stir until it's all melted. Whisk in the sour cream, vanilla and salt until the mixture is smooth. Frost the cake layers while the frosting is still warm.

Makes enough to fill and frost a two layer cake.

Date: April 21, 2004