Apricot Chocolate Cake
- Apricot Filling:
- 12 ounces dried apricots ; about 2 1/2 cups
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs ; well beaten
- 2 cups cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup milk ; plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- reserved apricot puree ; approx. 1 1/2 cups
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Chocolate Frosting:
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Bring apricots and water to boil in a covered heavy saucepan, reduce heat, and simmer about 30 minutes, or until moisture is absorbed. Force apricots through a course sieve or a food mill. Measure 1/2 cup puree for cake and stir in lemon juice. Set remainder aside to use in Apricot Filling.
Lightly grease (or line with parchment paper) only of three round 9-inch layer cake pans.
Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Beat in the 1/2 cup apricot puree a tablespoon at a time. Add eggs in fourths, beating well after each addition, alternately add dry mixture in fourths and milk in thirds to the creamed mixture.
Turn batter equally into the pans and spread evenly. (Batter will fill pans about 1/3 full, so that cake layers will be thin.) Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on racks 10 minutes, remove from pans to cool completely.
Split each layer into two layers. Spread one layer with Apricot Filling and place on a serving plate. Spread one side of each of the remaining five layers with Chocolate Frosting. Stack layers, chocolate side down, spreading top of each layer with Apricot Filling. Frost sides of cake with remaining Chocolate Frosting. Note: The cooled cake layers will freeze well.
Apricot Filling: Blend together in a saucepan sugar cornstarch and salt; blend in the reserved apricot puree and lemon juice. Bring to boiling over low heat and cook 3 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Cool slightly.
Chocolate Frosting: Melt chocolate and set aside to cool. Stir sugar and eggs together in the top of a double boiler; cook, stirring constantly over simmering water until thick and amber colored. Cool. Cream butter until softened; blend in cooled chocolate and vanilla. Add sugar-egg mixture gradually, beating until smooth.