I decorated my brown beauty with a few of the lovely little violets growing in our yard. Then there was nothing left to do but light some candles, sing Happy Birthday to my dear maman and devour a big slice with some Ronnybrook Farm vanilla ice cream.
Chocolate Sour Cream Layer Cake (from Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts)
Makes one gorgeous cake
3 squares (3 ounces) unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups sifted flour
1-1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups butter (use organic)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
3 eggs (use organic, free range if you can get 'em)
1 cup sour cream (use organic)
Adjust rack to center of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter two 9 inch round layer cake pans and dust both lightly with fine, dry bread crumbs (though I think flour works just as well if you don't have any breadcrumbs on hand.)
In a small heavy saucepan over low heat melt the chocolate with the boiling water. Stir occasionally with a small wire whisk until smooth. Set aside. You can also zap these things together in the microwave for about 30 seconds if you're in a hurry.
Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In large bowl of electric mixer, cream the butter. Add vanilla, granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat well, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary to keep mixture smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
Stir sour cream and cooled chocolate together until smooth and add to batter, beating only until mixed. On lowest speed, add the sifted ingredients continuing to scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat only until smooth.