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Friday, February 13, 2009

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake

1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cocoa
2/3 cup butter; or margarine
1 3/4 cups sugar; granulated
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour; sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate for garnish
Chocolate-dipped strawberries, mint leaves; for garnish

1/4 cup flaked coconut; optional
1/4 cup nuts; chopped; toasted

Fluffy cocoa frosting:
4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
5 tablespoons half-and-half; or milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate-dipped strawberries
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening
10 fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans. Add 2-3 teaspoons flour to each pan. Gently tap side of pan to evenly coat bottom and side of pan with flour. Invert pan and gently tap bottom of pan to remove excess flour. Gradually add water to cocoa, stirring until well blended; cool slightly. Meanwhile, beat butter and sugar in large bowl at high speed with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition. Add cocoa mixture to batter; beat until well blended. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool the layers in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Loosen edges and remove to racks to cool completely. To assemble, place one cake layer on cake plate; spread with filling. Top with second cake layer. Frost with fluffy cocoa frosting. Grate chocolate; sprinkle over cake. Prepare chocolate-dipped strawberries. Place on cake. Surround with mint leaves, if desired. Filling. Combine ingredients in small bowl; mix until well blended.

Fluffy cocoa frosting: Combine confectioners' sugar and cocoa in medium bowl; set aside. Beat butter in large bowl until creamy. Add 1/2 of the cocoa mixture; beat until fluffy. Blend in half-and-half and vanilla. Gradually add remaining cocoa mixture, beating until frosting is of spreading consistency.

Chocolate-dipped strawberries: Place chocolate chips and shortening in small microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high 1 1/2-3 minutes or until smooth when stirred, stirring after each minute. Or, place in top of double boiler. Heat over boiling water until chocolate is smooth when stirred. Dip strawberries into chocolate. Place on waxed paper covered jellyroll pan or cookie sheet; let stand until chocolate is set.

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