With over 100 company-owned and franchised restaurants throughout the Eastern and Midwestern United States, RARE Hospitality International Inc. has a fast-growing presence in the steakhouse segment of the dining industry. This relative newcomer to the market--at scarcely 15 years in business, compared to such 1960s-era chains as Ponderosa and Bonanza--RARE's irreverent style of "cowboy cuisine" shook up the segment. By 1996, the company's core chain of LongHorn Steakhouses numbered 81 units. Following its initial public offering in 1992, the company acquired the Bugaboo Creek Steak House chain and its smaller The Capital Grille group of pricey eateries. Founder George W. McKerrow, Jr. continued to serve the company as chairman through the mid-1990s.

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Triple Chocolate Cake




TRIPLE CHOCOLATE CAKE
Lone Star Steakhouse Copycat Recipe

Cake:
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa, divided
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
cooking spray
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
8 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Filling:
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
dash of salt
4 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed

Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
3 tablespoons fat-free milk
2 teaspoons butter
1/8 teaspoon instant espresso granules
dash of salt
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To prepare cake, combine 1 cup boiling water and 1/2 cup cocoa. Add 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate; stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature. Coat 2 (8-inch) round metal cake pans with cooking spray; line bottoms of pans with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray; dust pans with remaining 1 tablespoon cocoa.Place 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, 6 tablespoons butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 1 minute. Add egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sour cream; beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture and cocoa mixture alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat just until combined. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool 10 minutes in pans on wire racks. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks. Discard wax paper.

To prepare filling, combine 1/3 cup milk and the next 3 ingredients (through dash of salt) in a saucepan over medium-low heat; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add milk chocolate, stirring until smooth. Pour into bowl. Cover and chill. Uncover; fold in whipped topping.

To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar and remaining ingredients in a saucepan over low heat. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Place 1 cake layer on a plate. Spread filling over cake, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Top with remaining layer. Drizzle glaze over top of cake, spreading it out over edges.

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