Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.
Sift together the flour,
sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and reserve.
Melt together the butter,
water, chocolate, and cocoa in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring
well. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes and remove from the heat. Stir the sifted
dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture. In a bowl, combine the eggs,
buttermilk, and vanilla and mix well with the chocolate mixture. Stir
in the almonds.
Spoon the cake batter
into the prepared pans and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted
in the center comes out clean.
Allow the layers to stand
in their pans for about 5 minutes. Run a knife around their edges, invert
them onto cake racks, and remove the pans. Let them cool.
While the layers cool,
prepare the icing. Melt the butter together with the chocolate and cocoa
in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the half-and-half
and heat thorough. Mix in the remaining ingredients and blend well. Stir
in the remaining half-and-half if needed for easy spreading consistency.
To assemble the cake,
place one layer on a decorative serving plate. Ice the top and sides of
the cake layer. Repeat with the remaining layer and frosting.
Yield: One 8-inch layer
cake, serving 8
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Reprinted with permission
from ©1995 Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison, The Border
Cookbook, published by Harvard Common Press back
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