• 1 cup butter (or margarine)
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs (lrgs)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • chocolate ganache (see below)
  • frosting (Praline, see below)
  • pecan halves (for garnish)
  • 1 semisweet chocolate morsels (12 oz)
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup butter (or margarine cut into pieces)
  • 1 cup butter (or margarine)
  • 1 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (toasted)


  1. Cook first 3 ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until butter melts and mixture is smooth; remove butter mixture from heat.
  2. Beat buttermilk, 2 eggs, baking soda, and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add butter mixture to buttermilk mixture, beating until well blended.
  3. Combine sugar, flour, and salt; gradually add to buttermilk mixture, beating until blended.
  4. Coat 3 (9-inch) round cakepans with cooking spray, and line pans with wax paper. Pour cake batter evenly into pans.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 22 minutes or until cake is set. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
  6. Spread about 1/2 cup Chocolate Ganache between cake layers, and spread remaining ganache on sides of cake.
  7. Pour Praline Frosting slowly over the center of cake, gently spreading to edges, allowing some frosting to run over sides. Freeze, if desired; thaw at room temperature 4 to 6 hours. Garnish, if desired.
  8. Chocolate Ganache: Microwave chocolate morsels and whipping cream in a glass bowl at MEDIUM (50%% power) 2 to 3 minutes or until morsels are melted. Whisk until smooth. Gradually add butter, whisking until smooth. Cool, whisking often, 15 minutes or until spreading consistency. (
  9. Makes about 2 cups)
  10. Praline Frosting: Do not prepare this frosting ahead as it will harden very quickly.
  11. Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat, and whisk in 1 cup powdered sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Stir in toasted pecans, stirring gently 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thicken slightly. Pour immediately over cake. (
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