2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetend cocoa powder, preferably not Duch-process
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temp.
2 Tbl. (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
4 tsp. pure Mexican vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 Tbl. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 Tbl. pure Tahitian vanilla extract
2/3 cup cherry preserves (or raspberry)
2 Tbl. kirsch, framboise, or Chambord
2 tsp. pure Tahitian vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans.
2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a separate, medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the sour cream, sugar, eggs, melted butter, and Mexican vanilla.
4. Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, stirring just until combined.
5. Scrape half of the batter into each of the prepared pans and bake until the top springs back when gently pressed with a fingertip, 20 to 25 mins.
6. Remove the pans from the oven and cool completely. While the cake is cooling, make the truffle frosting by heating the sugar and cream in a medium saucepan until it begins to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8 mins.
7. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate, butter, and Tahitian vanilla until smooth. Chill the frosting until it is firm enough to spread, 2 to 3 hours.
8. To finish the cake, stir together the cherry preserves, liquo, and vanilla extract. Place one layer of cake on a serving plate. Spread the preserves over the cake layer, leaving a 1/2 inch border (allowing the preserves room to spread without overflowing onto the sides when you top with the second layer). Top with the second layer of cake. Spread the frosting over th top and sides of the cake.