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1. In a large bowl finely crumble the cake (it is easiest to cut the cake into quarters and work with one quarter at a time).
2. In a medium bowl beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and milk; beat together until smooth and creamy.
3. Scrape cream cheese mixture into the crumbled cake. Using a large spoon, mix until blended (at some point, it gets hard to mix with a spoon, so just reach into the bowl and use your hands). Mix in the crushed graham crackers, if desired. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the dough; chill at least 2 hours or (up to 2 days).
4. To form the cake balls, line a few baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper. Using a medium-size cookie scoop or 2 level tablespoons, scoop out mounds of dough and shape into balls between your palms. As you finish a baking sheet, transfer it to the freezer and continue working with the dough. It is easiest to coat the cake balls if they are very cold, so keep them in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
5. To coat the cake balls line another baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper; set aside. Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water (be sure that the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl). Add the chocolate pieces and shortening. Melt over gentle heat, stirring until smooth.
6. Drop the cake balls into the chocolate one at a time, lifting them out and placing on the prepared baking sheet when coated.
7. When all the cake balls are coated, transfer to the freezer for about 20 minutes to harden the chocolate. To serve, coat with cocoa powder. Serve chilled. Pass small skewers or lollipops sticks, if desired.
1. Let butter and eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease and flour a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating on medium speed until well combined (3 to 4 minutes). Scrape sides of bowl; continue beating on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition (about 1 minute total). Beat in vanilla.
4. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to beaten mixture, beating on low speed just until combined after each addition. Beat on medium to high speed for 20 seconds more. Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan.
5. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack. Remove cake from pan.