I chose this one because I had some leftover raspberry-rhubarb jam in the fridge that I wanted to use up and I thought this would be the perfect way to use it. Turns out I was wrong, but the taste was good!
The cake is a good one, and not too difficult to make. The odd thing about it is that it calls for a mixture of "strong coffee" with unsweetened cocoa. As usually happens on Sunday mornings, we drank all the coffee in the pot so I used instant Folgers coffee instead, which I think was fine. I mixed butter (the recipe calls for shortening and I always assume butter will work fine) with sugar (I used raw/unrefined because it didn't say not to). Then I added 1/2 of the "dry ingredients" mix of cake flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder, then all of the coffee/cocoa mixture and then the other 1/2 of the "dry ingredients" and let the kitchen aid work its magic for awhile. That's it! See, the cake is pretty easy.
The frosting, however....
I mixed semi sweet chocolate chips with a 1/2 can of evaporated milk and melted it in a make-shift double broiler. We usually use chopstick holders for this but since my mom visited I can't seem to find where the chopstick holders disappeared to. (She has a method of putting things she thinks we use and things she thinks we don't use much in very different places and we get to play a fun "Where's Waldo" type of game for several weeks after each visit.) So I used some small sauce plates which sort of worked. Anyway, the chocolate melted even though I didn't stand there stirring constantly as the book instructed me to. Then I added powdered sugar to the melted chocolate slowly and let the kitchen aid mix it for quite awhile.
Turns out the jam acts as a sort of lube and the frosting was quite runny and so, the cakes slid all over the place. They looked like crap but they tasted good!
Next time, I would use a frosting that is less runny (more of the store-bought consistency), I would use a store-bought jam rather than a runny homemade kind, and my husband suggests never, ever, cutting a layered cake in half like it's a pizza. Now knowing it might slide all over the place, I'm more inclined to cut wedges out to keep the thing together.
Although, after eating this one, I'd say really you could skip the layering part all together since 1 piece of layered cake is really like eating 2 pieces of cake and when it's rich like this, you might be better off eating just one piece. The frosting is still way too runny though.