Signature Dish: Nikki's Homemade Chocolate Cake
Who: Nikki Sclafani, 14, ninth grade, Seminole High School. She'd love to grow up to be a pastry chef.
What: Nikki's Homemade Chocolate Cake
How often she makes it: "I make it about once a month, especially for people's birthdays."
Where's the recipe from? "The recipe belonged to my great-grandmother. She started making it when she was in her 40s and she passed it down to my grandma. My grandma made it for birthdays, then I got the recipe because I loved it — it's so moist and delicious. Sometimes we serve it with chocolate ice cream."
Tips for others: "So the cakes don't stick, trace circles in waxed paper with your cake pans then line the greased cake pans with waxed paper rounds."
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1 cup water
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
Cream cheese frosting:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 pound powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon melted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two
9-inch round cake pans.
In a double boiler combine water, chocolate and butter until melted. Allow mixture to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, add chocolate mixture and buttermilk; combine with a mixer. Add flour, salt, sugar and baking soda and mix until combined. Add two eggs, mixing just until combined. Pour batter evenly into two round cake pans.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool cakes on a wire rack and unmold.
To make frosting, in a small mixing bowl combine all ingredients. Put one cake on top of a turntable and frost top. Put the other cake on top of the frosted cake, then cover the second layer and sides with frosting.
Source: Nikki Sclafani