4 ounces unsweetened
baking chocolate, melted and cooled
Whipped Cream Topping
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9 x 1 1/2-inch) round pans.
In a medium saucepan, heat brown sugar, butter and whipping cream over medium
heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted. Divide among pans; spread evenly.
Sprinkle with chopped pecans.
For cake batter, beat cake flour, sugar, sour cream, shortening, water, baking
soda, salt, vanilla extract, baking powder, eggs and melted baking chocolate in
large bowl of an electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on high speed for
3 minutes. Pour batter over pecans in pans; spread evenly. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes,
staggering cake pans in oven on middle racks for even heat flow. Cake layers are
done when top springs back when touched lightly. Cool 5 minutes. Turn upside down
onto wire racks; let pans sit for a few minutes before removing pans. Cool completely.
Place 1 layer, pecan side up, on cake plate. Spread with a third of the Whipped
Cream Topping. Repeat with remaining layers. Garnish top of cake with a circle of
pecan halves. Store covered in the refrigerator.
Whipped Cream Topping: Beat whipping cream, confectioners' sugar and vanilla
extract in a chilled medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed until cream is