About this recipe:This is an old Italian family recipe for a cake we make at every big holiday. We actually lost the recipe for a while, and holidays just weren't the same. Then were overjoyed to recover it after a friend reminded us we had given it to her! We call it "The Cake That Saved Christmas." A chocolate delight any gangster would love.
In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup cocoa and 3/4 cup boiling water; set aside.
In another small bowl, dissolve bicarbonate of soda in the sour cream by stirring them together.
In a large bowl, cream the 1/2 cup butter and 2 cups sugar. To the butter and sugar mixture, alternately add the sifted flour and the cocoa mixture with the sour cream mixture. Beat until fluffy. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold in the egg whites and 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla.
Grease a 24cmx34cm (9x13 inch) pan and pour the batter into it. Bake at 150 degrees C (300 degrees F) for 50 minutes. Frost with La Famiglia Chocolate Frosting (below).
To Make La Famiglia Chocolate Frosting: Cream 6 tablespoons butter or margarine in a small bowl. Add 3/4 cup cocoa and icing sugar alternately with milk; beat until spreading consistency. More or less milk can be used depending on the texture you want. Blend in the vanilla. This yields about 2 cups of frosting.