The Perfect Chocolate Cake
(Lot of work, but definitely worth it!)
1 package Betty Crocker Devil's Food Cake Mix
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup oil
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar -- sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Perfect Chocolate Frosting
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup half and half
2 sticks butter -- in tablespoons
2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar -- sifted
Place rack in center of the oven. Preheat to 350. Lightly grease 3 9" round pans with shortening, then dust with flour. Shake out excess. Set aside.
Place cake mix, sour cream, water, oil, eggs, and vanilla in large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low for 1 min. Stop the machine, scrape down sides. Increase speed to med and beat 2 mins. Scrape down sides if needed. Batter should look well combined. Divide batter among prepared pans, smoothing it out with a spatula.
Bake until cakes spring back slightly when lightly pressed with your finger, about 20 to 25 mins. Remove from oven and let cool on rack for 10 mins. Run knife around edge of pan, remove layers to rack to cool completely.
Prepare the Sweetened Cream:
Chill large mixing bowl and beaters in freezer. Pour cream into bowl, beat on high until it thickens, about 1 1/2 mins. Stop machine, add sugar and vanilla. Beat on high until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 mins more.
Place one cake layer on serving platter, top with half of the sweetened cream, spreading to within 1/2" of the edge of cake. Repeat with second layer. Top with third layer, place in refrigerator to chill.
Place a large mixing bowl full of ice water into sink. Place chips, half-and-half and butter in med saucepan over med heat. Stir mixture constantly until chips and butter melt, and the mixture thickens, 5 to 6 mins. Do not boil. Remove pan from heat. Whisk sugar into mixture until it becomes smooth. Place saucepan in bowl of ice water, being careful not to splash any into pan. Beat on low until frosting is satiny and thickened, 4 to 5 mins.
To finish, spread top and sides of cake with frosting using clean smooth strokes.
"Chocolate from the Cake Mix Doctor"