I recently made this cake for a friend's 60th birthday party. (Happy Birthday, Dr. Bill!)
It was from the book, "Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts", and as I have said before...
her recipes as well as instructions are to be trusted, and that means a lot when you are baking.
The last time I had made this particular cake was when my youngest daughter turned 12 years old, and that was 28 years ago!
(I made a notation in the book alongside the recipe).
Perhaps that's why I like cookbooks so much... they never seem to go out of style.
Though this recipe is a bit labor intensive, it is worth it!
4 ounces UNSWEETENED CHOCOLATE
1/4 lb. BUTTER
1/2 c. SOUR CREAM
1 1/2 tsp. BAKING SODA
2 c. SUGAR
1/2 tsp. VANILLA EXTRACT
1/4 tsp. SALT
2 EGGS (large or extra large)
2 C. sifted ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
1 c. BOILING WATER
Adjust the rack to center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter two 9-inch round layer-cake pans and line them with wax paper cut to fit the bottom.
Then, butter the paper and dust the inside of the pan with flour, invert and tap to shake out the excess. Set the pans aside.
Place chocolate and butter in a small bowl in a microwave, stirring frequently until melted.
Watch closely as you just want them to melt.
In another small bowl, mix together the sour cream and baking soda and set aside.
Place melted chocolate and butter in a large bowl of a mixer.
Add sugar, vanilla, and salt and beat just to mix.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating until mixed after each addition.
Mix in the sour cream and baking soda and then, on low speed, add the flour, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula and beating only until smooth.
Now, on lowest speed, add the boiling water, scraping the bowl and beating only until smooth. (The mixture will be thin.)
Pour half of it into each of the prepared pans.
Bake for 25-28 minutes, until the tops spring back lightly when gently pressed with a fingertip and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool layers in the pans for 10 minutes.
Then with a small sharp knife, cut around each layer to release.
Cover with a rack, invert, remove pan and paper lining, cover with another rack and invert again to cool right side up.
2 c. MILK
2 ounces UNSWEETENED CHOCOLATE
1 Tbsp. (envelope) UNFLAVORED GELATIN
1/4 c. COLD WATER
1/3 c. sifted ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
1 c. less 2 Tbsp. SUGAR
2 EGG YOLKS
1/2 tsp. VANILLA EXTRACT
Pinch of SALT
Scald the milk in the microwave or in a pan on top of the stove.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave, stirring frequently.
When the chocolate is melted, set aside.
Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a small custard cup and let stand.
In the top of a large double boiler, stir together the flour and the sugar.
When the milk is scalded (when it has a slightly wrinkled skin on top) gradually add it to the flour and sugar mixture, stirring well to keep the mixture smooth.
Place over hot water in the bottom of the double boiler on moderate heat.
Stir constantly and scrape around the bottom and sides of the pot with a rubber spatula until the mixture thickens to the consistency of a thin cream sauce.
Cook, stirring for about 3 minutes more.
Stir the egg yolks lightly in a mixing bowl just to mix.
Very gradually add about half of the hot milk mixture, stirring constantly, and then add the egg yolks to the remaining milk.
Stir well and place over hot water again.
Cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and add the softened gelatin and stir to melt the gelatin, then stir in the chocolate, vanilla, and salt.
Place some ice and water in a large bowl and place the pan of filling into the ice water.
Stir occasionally at first unti cool; then stir more frequently but gently until the filling is thick enough to spread...
it should be like a very thick mayonnaise... it must be stiff enough not to run when it is spread on the cake.
Place one layer upside down on the serving plate.
Spread the thick filling smoothly over the cooled cake... but do not spread it beyond the edges.
It will be almost 1 inch thick.
Place the other layer right side up over the filling.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Shortly before serving, prepare and frost with the whipped cream.
WHIPPED CREAM ICING:
2 c. HEAVY CREAM
1/3 c. sifted CONFECTIONERS SUGAR
1 tsp. VANILLA EXTRACT
Whip above ingredients in a mixer until thick enough to spread.
Spread on top and sides of cake.
Garnish as you wish...
I chose to use strawberries to decorate the top.
You may also use chocolate curls or you may press toasted almond slices to the sides of the cake.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.