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Olive Garden Chocolate Lasagna

By Todd Wilbur


Score: 3.50. Votes: 2
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Menu Description: "Layers of rich chocolate cake and sweet buttercream icing."

The cake mix has cherry flavoring mixed in and the buttercream frosting between the layers is made from scratch, but the real secret to this Top Secret Recipe is how we put it all together. You've got to make two slices through the edge of the baked cake to create the three thin layers, so you'll want to use a long serrated knife. Lay down some wax paper under the cake to help you turn the cake while you slice. Slide the whole thing over near the edge of the counter so that you can more easily keep the knife parallel to the countertop. You can use your favorite chocolate cake mix for the recipe, but be sure not to use one with pudding in it or one that is "extra moist" (Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe is one such brand). These mixes make slicing and layering difficult because the baked cake falls apart so easily.

Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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  • 1 15.25-ounce box dark chocolatecake mix (not too moist)
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cherry extract
  • Vegetable shortening
Buttercream Frosting
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened (3 sticks)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chilled
  • Do This
    • Restaurant/Brand
      Olive Garden
    • Instructions

      1. Make the cake in a 13x9-inch baking pan following instructions on the box of cake mix, but add cherry extract to the mix (Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; mix cake mix, water, oil, eggs, and cherry extract together in a large bowl; pour batter into pan greased generously with shortening.). Bake at 350 F for 25 to 35 minutes. When the cake is done, take it out of the oven and allow it to cool completely.

      2. When cake is cool, make buttercream frosting by first whipping the soft butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed. Add two cups of the powdered sugar, mix well, then add remaining powdered sugar. Add 1/4 cup of whole milk and vanilla, then mix on high speed for 2 minutes or until frosting is smooth and creamy.

      3. Turn the cake out of the pan onto wax paper. Using both hands, carefully flip the cake over, so that it's right side up, onto another strip of wax paper. Now you're going to cut through the cake twice, creating three layers. We'll start at the bottom slice. First slide the cake over to the edge of your kitchen counter. This way you can drop your hand with the knife down below the counter at the edge to get a nice, straight cut through the cake. Using a long bread knife or other long serrated knife, cut through the bottom third of the cake. Spin the cake and wax paper so that you can cut through all sides (your knife probably won't get all the way through to the other side). When the cake is sliced, carefully flip the top section over onto the other sheet of wax paper. Frost the bottom layer of cake with approximately 1/3 of the buttercream frosting. Break the chilled semi-sweet chocolate into little bits that are a tad smaller than chocolate chips. A good way to do this is to put the chilled chocolate into a large zip-top bag, then use the handle of a butter knife to smash the unsuspecting chocolate into pieces. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the chocolate bits over the frosting on the bottom layer.

      4. Turn the top section back over onto the bottom layer. Again, slice through the top section creating the final two layers. Carefully flip the top over onto the wax paper, and frost the new layer as you did with the first layer, adding chocolate bits as well. You may, at this point, wish to slice the top into thirds across the width of the cake. This makes flipping over the top layer much easier. It's also how you're going to slice the cake later, so you'll never see the cuts. Any cracks or breaks are no big deal since you'll just cover up the goofs with frosting.

      5. Carefully reassemble the top section on the rest of the cake. If you have a large bulge in the center of the cake, you may wish to slice that off so that the cake is flatter on top. Throw that slice away. Frost the top of the cake with the remaining frosting, then sprinkle on the remaining chocolate bits.

      6. The cake is served as triangular slices. So, slice it up by first cutting through the middle of the cake, lengthwise. Next cut across the cake through the middle (widthwise) twice. Now you have six slices that just need to be cut from corner to corner one time each, creating 12 triangular slices. Chill any cake you don't eat that day.

      Makes 12 servings.

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Score: 3.50. Votes: 2
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Jo Ann
Nov 20, 2005, 23:00

This is the only dessert that I like to eat at Olive Garden. I, too, thought it was cherry when I first started trying to figure this recipe out at home and added a lot of cherry flavoring to the icing. Wasn't right though. Come to find out -- it is almond flavoring. Try it and you will be pleased.

Jillian from WI
Sep 25, 2005, 22:00

I made this the other night in preperation for my son's 10th birthday. I also went and bought a slice of the actual Olive Garden cake. Upon taste testing with my friends, we've decided that the frosting also needs a tad bit of cherry flavoring. We tasted more cherry in the frosting than the actual cake. So, I've decided to add at least a half teaspoon of cherry extract to the frosting. I'm hoping it won't add too much of a tint...does anyone know of a clear cherry flavoring??