Preheat oven to 350*, grease and flour 2 9 inch round cake pans.
Combine cocoa powder and boiling water in bowl and stir until cocoa is dissolved, about 30 seconds.
Combine the sugar and butter in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Add the cocoa mixture and mix for 1 minute longer. Beat in the sour cream, vanilla, and baking soda. Add the flour and salt. Mix for 1 minute more. ( if using organic turbinado sugar, it will take longer to cream the sugar and butter)
Beat the egg whites in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form, 2-3 minutes. Fold into the batter.
Spoon the batter into the cake pans and bake till a toothpick comes clean, 25-28 minutes. Cut each cake layer into 2 even layers for 4 layers total. Spread the frosting between the layers and over the top and side of cooled cake.
** substitue chocolate buttercream frosting for the canned frosting
For Black Forest Cake
Whip 2 cups heavy cream until stiff. Spread 1 cup of whipped cream between each layer. Top each layer of whipped cream with 1/2 cup canned cherry pie filing. Frost top of cake with remaining whipped cream.
For less fat and sugar:
reduce sugar to 1 3/4 cups
replace butter with 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce and 1/4 cup veg. oil
use lowfat sour cream ( I use plain greek yogurt)
replace 1/3 cup flour with whole wheat flour.
instead of frosting, layer and top the cake with 4 cups fresh berries or other sliced fruit.
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