Tuesday, August 28, 2012


3 squares (1-oz each) unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup water
1 cup sour cream
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour 2 9-inch round cake pans; set aside.

In a saucepan, melt the chocolate in the water over very low heat, stirring constantly until smooth; cool.  Stir in the sour cream.

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl; set aside.

Cream butter; add sugars gradually and beat until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.  Alternately add the flour mixture and the chocolate mixture, beating after each addition until smoooth.  Stir in the vanilla extract.

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean.  Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes then remove from pans and place on wire racks to cool completely.

1 quart large fresh strawberries
chocolate glaze (recipe follows)
5 tbsp granulated sugar, divided
1 3/4 tsp vanilla extract, divided
1 3/4 cups whipping cream

Choose the 5 prettiest berries and dip down halfway into the chocolate glaze; set aside on waxed paper.  Stem the remaining berries and cut in half.  Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla to the berries; stir gently to mix.

Whip the cream with the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract until soft peaks form.

To assemble cake, place 1 cake layer on a cake plate.  Spoon or arrange half the strawberries over the layer.  Drizzle with half the glaze and top with half the whipped cream.  Repeat with the remaining layer, other half of the berries and the remaining half of the whipped cream.  Garnish the top with the 5 dipped berries.

Chocolate Glaze:
3 squares (1-oz each) semi-sweet chocolate
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp butter
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
dash of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Place chocolate, water, and butter in a saucepan over very low heat; cook, stirring constantly, until completely melted and smooth.  Remove from the heat.

Place the powdered sugar and salt in a bowl; gradually blend in the chocolate mixer then stir in the vanilla.

Note: For thinner glaze, add a dab of hot water.  For a thicker glaze, cool until desired consistency is reached.

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