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Signature Dish: Nikki's Homemade Chocolate Cake

JIM DAMASKE   |   Times


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."

Signature Dish is published periodically in Taste. If you have a recipe that you would like featured or would like to nominate other home cooks and their dishes, please e-mail the information to with a name and daytime phone number. Include SIGNATURE DISH in the subject line. Nominations can be mailed to Taste, St. Petersburg Times, 490 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.


Nikki's Homemade

Chocolate Cake

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

2 eggs

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

Signature Dish: Nikki's Homemade Chocolate Cake 08/19/08 [Last modified: Thursday, August 21, 2008 11:56am]
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