Fresh fruit and a bright citrus filling are the perfect partner for this rich chocolate cake. This recipe is an easy way to celebrate during Kwanzaa.
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
Stir together cocoa, 1/2 cup sugar, water and shortening in small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until shortening is melted and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; cool.
Beat butter, remaining 1-1/4 cups sugar and vanilla in large bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add cocoa mixture, beating until blended. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add alternately with milk to butter mixture. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
Prepare CITRUS FILLING. With a long serrated knife, using a sawing motion, split each cake layer in half horizontally, forming 4 layers. Place 1 layer on serving plate; spread about 1/3 cup filling over layer. Top with about 1 cup assorted fruit. Top with second cake layer; repeat procedure until all layers are stacked. Arrange fruit on top layer in a decorative design. Top with remaining filling, if desired. Garnish with grapes. Refrigerate until serving time. Cover; refrigerate leftover cake. Makes 12 servings.
Combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, orange juice, lemon juice and water in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils; boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in butter, orange and lemon peel. Refrigerate until cool. About 1-2/3 cups filling.
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutritional advice.