Guest Author - Gillian Scianna
The onset of Valentines brings out my chocolate urges...cravings....needs. I search literally thousands of recipes to become inspired to create a delicious cake.
Yields 1 9inch cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup whipped cream cheese
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans, knocking out excess flour.
In a bowl and sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl whisk together sour cream, water, and vanilla.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each egg. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in batches alternately with sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating until batter is blended well.
Divide batter between prepared pans and smooth tops. Bake layers in middle of oven 25 to 30 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans on racks 10 minutes before turning out onto racks to cool completely. Cake layers may be made 1 week ahead and frozen, wrapped well in plastic wrap. Thaw layers before proceeding with recipe.
In a bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add remaining ingredients and beat until combined well.
Arrange 1 cake layer on a large plate and spread with about 3/4 cup frosting. Top frosting with remaining cake layer.
For a special occasion you can add chocolate covered strawberries or make a cherry layer for the top of the first layer.