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Rose M. Daley | Houston County EC

“My family fondly refers to things I make as ‘MeMa’s throw-togethers,’ ” Dailey says. “I rarely ever go by a recipe, and if I do, it’s usually three or four recipes that I have broken apart and put back together my way.” For this cake, she wanted bold chocolate flavor and rich chocolate frosting. The decadent result is a staple for Dailey family birthdays. “We are a family of chocoholics,” she confesses.

2 ounces Baker’s German’s sweet chocolate
2 ounces Baker’s semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup strong black coffee
2 cups flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 ounces Baker’s semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 pounds powdered sugar
1 cup milk, or more as needed

1. Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with waxed paper or parchment. Microwave chocolate and coffee in large microwave-safe bowl on high 1 1/2–2 minutes or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 minute. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; set aside. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the melted chocolate and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beating well after each addition. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form, then gently fold the whites into the batter.

3. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Immediately run a small metal spatula around the edges of cake layers in pans. Cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes, then invert layers from pans. Cool cake layers completely.

4. Frosting: Melt the butter and chocolate in microwave. Add the shortening, cocoa and vanilla. Stir until shortening is also melted. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time, alternating with the milk (about ¼ cup at a time of milk). Whisk well until you have a smooth, spreadable consistency. You might need a little more milk (if so, add a tablespoon at a time). The frosting should be firm and hold its form.

Serves 8–10.