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Recipe Finder: Mocha Cake with Coffee Icing

Rosemary Molloy from Little Egg Harbor, N.J., has been looking for a recipe for a mocha cake like the one her mother used to. She said that her mother made the cake so many times over the years that she knew the recipe by heart and never wrote it down.

Molloy says that she has tried many mocha cake recipes, but none that have been as good as her mother's. She thinks her mother used sour milk and butter, not oil, in the batter. Lucy Remington from Princeton, N.J., sent in her own mother's recipe for mocha cake with a coffee icing. Her recipe calls for buttermilk, but she says that her mother often substituted sour milk for the buttermilk.

To make the sour milk, simply add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup milk and let stand for 10 minutes. This easy-to-make, one-bowl cake is a decadent treat that would be wonderful to serve for a special occasion or any time you feel the need for a taste of days gone by.

REQUESTS: Hiltrud Tuinstra from Santa Rosa, Calif., is looking for a recipe she lost some years ago for making stuffed zucchini that used frozen chopped spinach, the flesh from inside the zucchini, egg and bread crumbs. She cannot remember the rest of the ingredients.

Greg Padgett from Selma, Ala., is looking for a recipe for blueberry dumplings like his late grandmother made. He says her recipe was a bit different from most because she would layer the dumplings and the filling to make a cobblerlike dish.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe finder, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert Street, Baltimore 21278. If you send more than one recipe, please put each on a separate piece of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Please list the ingredients in order of use and note the number of servings each recipe makes.

Mocha cake with coffee icing

Serves 12

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups white sugar

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk (sour milk may be substituted)

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon instant coffee

1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two, 9-inch round cake pans.

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, melted butter, eggs, buttermilk or sour milk, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a mixing bowl. Dissolve instant coffee in 1 cup hot water and add to mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes until smooth; batter will be thin. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes and then turn out onto racks to cool completely before icing.

Coffee icing

2 cups confectioners' sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

3 to 4 tablespoons strong brewed coffee

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat together confectioners' sugar, butter, coffee and vanilla until smooth. Add more liquid or sugar as needed to reach proper consistency.

Place 1 cake layer on serving dish and frost top. Add second layer on top of first and frost top and sides with remaining frosting. If desired, drizzle some melted chocolate over top of iced cake and allow it to drip down sides.

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