Hershey’s Holiday Chocolate Cake

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      Holiday Chocolate Cake
      2 cups sugar
      1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
      3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
      2 teaspoons baking soda
      1 teaspoon baking powder
      1 teaspoon salt
      2 eggs
      1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
      1 cup strong black coffee or 2 teaspoons instant coffee dissolved in 1 cup hot water
      1/2 cup vegetable oil
      2 teaspoons vanilla extract
      Ricotta Cheese Filling (recipe follows)
      Chocolate Whipped Cream (recipe follows)
      Vanilla Whipped Cream (recipe follows)
      1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

      2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat at medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (batter will be thin).

      Pour batter into prepared pans.

      3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks.

      Cool completely.

      4. Slice cake layers in half horizontally. Place bottom slice on serving plate; top with 1/2 Ricotta Cheese Filling.

      Alternate cake layers and filling, ending with cake on top. Frost cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream. Decorate with Vanilla Whipped Cream and cherries, if desired.

      Cover; refrigerate leftover cake.

      *To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup.

      ricotta cheese filling:

      1 3/4 cups (15 oz.) ricotta cheese*
      1/4 cup sugar
      3 tablespoons Grand Marnier (orange-flavored liqueur) or orange juice concentrate, undiluted
      1/4 cup candied red or green cherries, coarsely chopped
      1/3 cup HERSHEY’S Mini Chips Semi-Sweet Chocolate

      Beat ricotta cheese, sugar and liqueur in large bowl until smooth. Fold in candied cherries and small chocolate chips.

      *1 cup (1/2 pt.) whipping cream may be substituted for ricotta cheese. Beat with sugar and liqueur until stiff. Fold in candied cherries and small chocolate chips.

      Chocolate Whipped Cream: Stir together 1/3 cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons HERSHEY’S Cocoa in small bowl. Add 1 cup (1/2 pt.) cold whipping cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; beat until stiff.

      Vanilla Whipped Cream: Beat 1/2 cup cold whipping cream, 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract in small bowl until stiff.

      Makes 10 to 12 servings.

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