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Velvet Chocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche filling, and Caramel Butter Frosting

Make a wish!
Photos posted by Kaishin Chu © 2007.

Velvety Chocolate Cake
1-3/4cup pre-sifted flour
3/4cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour three 9" cake pans with 1-1/2" sides. (If using non-stick, omit this step.) Then line bottome of pans with parchment paper.
2. Sift first 5 ingredients into medium bowl.
3. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until well blended.
4. Add eggs to the butter mixture, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.
5. Add dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk in 3 additions each, beating until well blended. Divide batter equally among prepared pans, smooth top of batter.
6. Bake cakes until tester inserted into centres coes out with some moist crumbs still attached, approximate 25 min.
7. Cool cakes in pans on racks for 15 mins, then turn cakes out onto racks, and peel off paper to let cool completely.

** Cake can be made 1 day ahead, covered, storing at room temperature.

Dulce de Leche
1/2 tin of 14 oz tin of condensed milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
( some milk for thinning, if desired)

1. Scrape condensed milk into a heavy-bottomed saucepot.
2. Heat over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. 3. Cook milk until it thickens and becomes a rich caramel colour, stirring constantly with metal whisk. This takes about 20-30 minutes. 4. Remove from heat and scrape dulce de leche into a heatproof bowl (glass or plastic might melt initially), stir in vanilla and allow to cool to room temperature.
5. If you find the Dulce de Leche a bit too thick after cooling, you can heat up in the microwave and add in some milk, one tablespoon at a time, mixing well, and letting it cool to test consistency.

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