12 to 14
husband and I had dinner at a seafood restaurant in New Orleans.
up a conversation with a delightful couple at an adjoining table and
very flattered when they suggested cake and coffee at their house. The house
was fabulous – it had been in the family for many generations. Ditto the
which it appeared they just happened to have on hand, although it
looked like something for an important occasion (that is Southern
hospitality). I was told
that the recipe had
never been given out before;
here it is.
It is a large, dramatic two-layer dark-chocolate sour-cream cake with a
of a creamy chocolate pudding-like filling and whipped cream
It is best to fill and ice this cake the day it is served.”
4 ounces (4
squares) unsweetened chocolate
1/4 pound (1
stick) sweet [unsalted] butter
1/2 cup sour
teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs (graded
large or extra-large)
2 cups sifted
1 cup boiling
Adjust rack to
center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees [F].
Butter two 9-inch
round layer-cake pans and line them with baking-pan
liner paper or wax paper
cut to fit. Butter the paper and dust the insideof
the pans with flour,
invert and tap to shake out excess. Set the pans aside.
chocolate and butter in a small, heavy saucepan over low heat
frequently until melted and smooth.
chocolate is almost melted stir the sour cream and baking soda together in a
small bowl and set aside.
chocolate and butter are melted transfer to the large bowl of an electric
mixer. Add the sugar, vanilla, and salt and beat just to mix. Then
eggs one at a time, beating until mixed after each addition. Mix in
cream and baking soda and then, on low speed, add the flour,
bowl with a rubber spatula and beating only until smooth.
Now, on the lowest
speed, very gradually add the boiling water, scraping
the bowl and beating
only until smooth.
will be thin. Pour half of it into each of the prepared pans.
Bake for 25 to
28 minutes until the tops spring back lightly, when gently pressed with a
layers in the pans for 10 minutes. Then with a small, sharp knife
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.
might stick to the racks as they cool. After they have cooled
for about 10
minutes on the racks, cover each layer with another rack, invert for a
moment just to release, and then replace right side up to finish cooling.)
2 cups milk
2 ounces (2
squares) unsweetened chocolate
(1 envelope) unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold
1/3 cup sifted
1 cup less 2
tablespoons granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
Scald the milk
in a small, uncovered, heavy saucepan over moderate heat.
place the chocolate in the top of a small double boiler, cover,
over hot water on low heat to melt. When the chocolate is
melted, remove it
from the hot water and set aside uncovered.
gelatin over the cold water in a small custard cup and let stand.
In the top of
a large double boiler, off the heat, stir together the flour and sugar.
When the milk
is scalded (when it has a slightly wrinkled skin on top)
gradually add it o
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 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 yolks to
remaining milk. Stir well and place over hot water again. Cook, stirring,
the heat. Add the softened gelatin and stir to melt the gelatin,
the stir in
the chocolate, vanilla and salt. (If you wish, the mixture may be
but it is not essential.)
Place some ice
and water in a large bowl and place the pan of filling into
the ice water.
Stir occasionally at first until cool; then stir more frequently
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
filling is chilling prepare a large, flat cake plate or serving board
placing four strips of wax paper around the outer edges.
layer upside down on the plate. Check to see that it is touching
If you have a
cake-decorating turntable or a lazy Susan, place the cake
thick filling smoothly over the cake – do not spread it beyond
the edges. It
will be almost 1 inch thick. Then place the other layer right
side up over
the filling. Refrigerate.
2 cups heavy
strained confectioner’s sugar
teaspoon vanilla extract
In the small
bowl of the electric mixer (the bowl and beaters should be
the above ingredients until they are thick enough to spread.
(As a safety
precaution against overwhipping it is a good idea to finish the
with a wire whisk.)
Spread the cream over the sides and then over the top – it will be a thick
layer. It may be spread smoothly or into swirls and peaks…
remove the wax paper strips by pulling each one out toward a
should be refrigerated for at least an hour or so before serving; whipped
cream is not as light and delicious if it stands overnight.
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