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Chocolate Cake

2-3 (1 oz.) squares baking chocolate (unsweetened)
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. sifted cake four
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
3 eggs
1 c. sour cream

Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two layer pans (8
or 9"), or line each with waxed paper.

Sift cake flour a second time with the soda and powder. Set aside.
Melt chocolate in water over low heat, or, better yet, in a double
boiler (I use a small pan over a larger pan with a finger of water
in it... I don't have a DB). Cream butter and sugar. Add flour
mixture. Add eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Beat two minutes.
Add chocolate mixture. Beat two more minutes. Bake for 30-35
minutes. Cool on racks. Remove wax paper, if used, when partly
cool, and frost when entirely cool.

Chocolate Frosting

1-2 1 oz. squares chocolate
1/4 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
icing sugar (about 3 cups)
cream or evaporated milk
8 or 9 crushed Andes mints, or 1 Heath bar, crushed [optional]

Carefully melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Add vanilla
and 1-2 tbs. cream or milk. Add icing sugar gradually. Keep adding
sugar and milk (the latter in VERY small amounts) until you get
the right amount and consistency of frosting. Frost the cake when
it is cool. Add the candies to the top of the cake after it has
been frosted, if you like.

(As kids, we always wanted mint frosting. After one attempt at a
white mint frosting --- which tasted and looked remarkably like
Crest toothpaste --- Mom decided the mint candies were a good
compromise. Now I prefer the cake without the candies... and
without frosting, but that's me.)

If you go with a plain chocolate or white frosting, you can use
your favorite spreadable jam for between the layers. I like apricot
or raspberry.


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