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Chocolate Cake with Cheese Filling

Photo: Howard L. Puckett; Styling: Cindy Manning Barr
Yield 12 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

Ingredients

  • Ricotta Filling
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup Kahlúa or other coffee-flavored liqueur
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
  • Mint sprigs (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 218
  • caloriesfromfat 29 %
  • fat 7.1 g
  • satfat 3.1 g
  • monofat 2.3 g
  • polyfat 1.3 g
  • protein 7.8 g
  • carbohydrate 30 g
  • fiber 0.7 g
  • cholesterol 31 mg
  • iron 0.9 mg
  • sodium 189 mg
  • calcium 92 mg

How to Make It

  1. Prepare Ricotta Filling. Place in a bowl; cover and chill.

  2. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, oil, and egg in a large bowl; beat at medium speed of a mixer until thick and pale (about 5 minutes). Add yogurt and vanilla; beat well. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; stir well. Add to egg mixture; beat well. Set batter aside.

  3. Beat 3 egg whites (at room temperature) and cream of tartar at high speed of mixer until foamy. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently stir one-fourth of egg white mixture into batter; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture.

  4. Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean; let cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan; let cool completely on a wire rack.

  5. Using a serrated knife, split cake into thirds horizontally. Brush each of 4 cut sides of cake with 1 tablespoon Kahlúa. Place bottom layer, cut side up, on a serving platter; spread with 1 cup Ricotta Filling. Arrange 3/4 cup strawberries over Ricotta Filling, and top with middle cake layer. Spread cake with remaining Ricotta Filling, and arrange remaining strawberries over Ricotta Filling; top with the remaining cake layer. Cover and chill for 24 hours. To serve, sift powdered sugar over top of cake. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.