Mocha Cherry Cake
Unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups granulated sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
1 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
1/2 cup cooking oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
‘2-1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces
1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries, well drained
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
7-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 to 2/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Shaved semisweet chocolate, optional
Edible flower petals, optional
1. Grease two 9×1-1/2-inch round baking pans; sprinkle lightly with cocoa powder; set aside. In a very large mixing bowl combine the 2 cups granulated sugar, flour, 3/4 cup cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil, and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds until combined, then for 2 minutes on medium speed.
2. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until cakes test done. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely. Split each cake horizontally to make 4 layers total.
3. For filling, combine the ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and chocolate pieces. Gently stir in cherries. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread 1/3 of the filling on the bottom layer of cake. Top with another cake layer. Continue layering the filling and cake, ending with cake.
4. For frosting, in a bowl beat butter until fluffy. Gradually add the 1/2 cup cocoa powder and half of the powdered sugar. Slowly beat in half of the milk and the remaining vanilla. Beat in remaining powdered sugar. Beat in additional milk until of spreading consistency. Frost cake. Garnish with shaved chcocolate and edible flower petals, if desired. Makes 14-16 servings.