Dessert

Chocolate Apricot Cake with Whipped Cream
(Cake Base Adapted from Joy of Cooking)

 Base: Chocolate Meringue Cake (key to what’s special about the recipe)
2 C cake flour or 1 ¾ C all purpose flour
1 T double-acting baking powder
¼ t salt
¾ C Hershey’s cocoa powder
½ stick melted butter
½ stick creamed butter
1 ½ C white sugar
3 room temperature eggs
1 t vanilla
1 C milk
Additional ½ C sugar 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside. Completely dissolve cocoa powder in melted butter and let cool. Cream ½ stick of butter cut into pieces for 3 minutes with mixer. Gradually add 1 ½ C sugar and mix until thoroughly combined. Separate eggs. Add egg yolks and vanilla to butter and sugar mixture, mixing thoroughly. Add flour and milk in thirds and beat thoroughly each time.

Whip egg whites until stiff but not dry. Add the remaining ½ C sugar gradually, continuing to beat until egg whites reach meringue consistency. Fold carefully into batter. Bake in 2 greased and floured 9 inch cake pans about 35 minutes until done, though check at 30 minutes.

Let cake cool on racks for ten minutes. Separate from pan sides with knife. Cool another five minutes and carefully turn out onto racks. Ease out if needed and strike pan bottom against counter to help with release. Finish cooling, wrap and freeze. (For some reason, this last step is important.)

Chocolate Frosting
1 stick of melted butter
About ¾ C cocoa powder
3 C sifted powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
3/8 C milk or amount needed to reach easy spreading consistency.

When ready to frost, remove cake from freezer and make a chocolate butter cream frosting on stove with above ingredients. Spread one layer with frosting and then spread a layer of apricot preserves over the frosting. Place other cake layer on top of the first one and frost sides and top of cake.

Allow cake to defrost. Before serving, beat 1/3 C sugar into heavy whipping cream, continuing to beat until cream is whipped. Spread on top of cake, or on a portion of it if you are not serving the whole cake.

Note from Emily: This is my very favorite dessert, and one I’ve even been known to make for my own birthday.

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