1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two heart-shaped or two 9-inch round pans.
2. Beat egg whites in small bowl until foamy; gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.
3. Stir together remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add oil, buttermilk and egg yolks; beat until smooth. Gently fold egg whites into batter. Pour batter into prepared pans.
4. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
5. Prepare CHOCOLATE LEAVES, if desired. Prepare CHOCOLATE CREAM FILLING. With long serrated knife, cut each cake layer horizontally in half. Spread one cake layer with one-third of prepared filling; top with second layer. Repeat procedure ending with plain layer on top. Prepare CHOCOLATE FUDGE GLAZE; spoon over top of torte, allowing glaze to drip down sides. Garnish with CHOCOLATE LEAVES or other garnish, if desired. Refrigerate until serving time. For easier cutting, use knife dipped in warm water and wiped dry. Cover; refrigerate leftover torte. 12 servings.
*To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup.
CHOCOLATE CREAM FILLING: Combine 2/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa or HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa in medium bowl. Add 1-1/2 cups cold whipping cream and 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract; beat on low speed of mixer until blended. Beat on medium speed until stiff. About 3 cups filling.
CHOCOLATE FUDGE GLAZE
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon water
1 cup HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY'S Semi- Sweet Chocolate Chips
Combine butter, corn syrup and water in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat, add chocolate chips, stirring until melted. Cool to desired consistency. About 1 cup glaze.
CHOCOLATE LEAVES: Line tray with wax paper. Thoroughly wash and dry several ivy, lemon, rose or other non-toxic leaves. Place 1/2 cup HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips and 1 teaspoon shortening (do not use butter, margarine, spread or oil) in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 10 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted when stirred. With small soft-bristled pastry brush, brush melted chocolate on top of each leaf. (Use underside of leaf for more distinct vein markings.) Avoid getting chocolate on other side of leaf or removal may be difficult. Place on prepared tray; chill until very firm. Carefully peel or tear leaves away from chocolate. Place on tray; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.