Love Cake by Mario

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Mario Batali has a program coming up with this recipe for "Love Cake" 8-26 @
4:30 AM (on Dish)
http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_26162,00.html

He uses 1 package of cake mix -- I'd like to substitute ingredients for the
'plain vanilla' cake mix, does anyone have any substitution ingredients for
the cake mix?  This cake sounds great to me - because of all the ricotta
cheese!
He's using also a shortcut in the frosting -- now this is just not like my
Mario!

Here's the recipe:
For cake:
Vegetable spray, for greasing baking pan
All-purpose flour, for dusting baking pan
8 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups water
1 package fudge marble cake mix (or plain vanilla)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 pounds whole milk ricotta cheese
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips

For frosting:
1 package instant chocolate pudding
1 1/4 cups cold whole milk
4 cups prepared whipped cream



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease the bottom and sides of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking pan with vegetable
spray. Dust all over with flour, shaking out excess. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add 4 eggs, vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla
extract, water and cake mix including the fudge package. Using an electric
mixer with whisk attachment, whisk until well combined, about 3 minutes.

Into another mixing bowl, add ricotta cheese, 4 eggs, 1 tablespoon vanilla
extract and 3/4 cup of granulated sugar. Add chocolate chips. Whisk until
well combined, about 2 minutes.

Pour 2/3 cup of the cake batter into the pan. Add cocoa powder to the
remaining batter and pour over the batter in the pan. Gently swirl in the
cocoa batter creating a marble look. Pour the ricotta mixture over the
batter and place the pan on middle rack in the oven. Bake for 1 hour. Check
for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it
comes out clean, the cake is cooked.

Remove cake from oven and set aside to completely cool.

To make the frosting, in a large bowl, add package of chocolate pudding and
cold milk. Using an electric mixer, whisk until thick and glossy, about 1
minute. Gently fold in prepared whipped cream until well combined.

When cake is completely cool, carefully transfer it to a decorative serving
platter. Spread frosting evenly over the top of the cake and serve.

Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

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