Inspired by Kissimmee bakers David and Elaine Duran who are competing on TLC’s “Next Great Baker,” I dug into the Tribune family recipe archive for an old show-stopping favorite. The recipe appeared in a piece written in 1995 by William Rice. It was a fall preholiday column, but let's face it: Chocolate is good 365 days a year. The recipe was developed by Margaret Lastick, a granddaugher of a Viennese baker who worked at the court of Emperor Franz Josef.

She created the cake in 1993 to make a higher, more striking cheesecake. She placed a cheesecake on a pedestal of chocolate cake with a layer of caramel-walnut sauce in between, a coating of buttercream and a chocolate topping.


10 to 12 servings

For the chocolate cake:

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sour milk (see note) or buttermilk

3/4 tablespoon light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 large egg

1 scant cup cake flour

For the pumkin cheesecake:

2 pounds cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla