Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Festive Chocolate Cake

Servings: 8-10
This is my "pick" for starting Spring out right, a beautiful and delicious chocolate cake.

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa or dutch processed cocoa
1/2 cup boiling water
2/3 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups buttermilk or sour milk* (see note)

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick/3 oz./84g) butter or margarine, softened
2 2/3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened or dutch processed cocoa
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Garnish: (optional)
Decorate with fresh strawberries and chocolate curls

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

Stir together cocoa and water in small bowl until smooth. Beat shortening, sugar and vanilla in large bowl until fluffy. Add eggs; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add to shortening mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating until well blended. Add cocoa mixture; beat well. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely before filling and frosting. If desired, garnish cake with fresh strawberries and chocolate curls and sprinkle curls with a little confectioners' sugar.

Makes 8-10 servings.

To Sour Milk: Use 4 teaspoons white vinegar plus enough milk to equal 1 1/3 cups.

Beat butter in small bowl. Add confectioners' sugar and cocoa alternately with milk; beat to spreading consistency (additional milk may be needed). Stir in vanilla.

Makes about 2 cups frosting.

Source: DianasDesserts.com
Date: March 14, 2002