Monday, January 29, 2018

Chocolate Raspberry Layer Cake

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Most of the time, I am not a fancy dessert maker. I like to create recipes that are easy, quick and delicious. But sometimes you have to make an effort and Valentine's Day is the perfect occasion for an extra fancy chocolate cake.


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This cake, or at least a version of it, has a personal history for me. It involves a very special man who took my chocolate loving self to a French restaurant for my birthday. I'd wanted a chocolate souffle for dessert only to find not one single chocolate item on the menu. How is that even possible? We settled for sharing some almond creation but he knew I missed getting my chocolate fix. So, when he came to pick me up for our next date, he brought me the most amazing chocolate cake ever. (How to make a woman fall in love with you 101!)

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At first glance, it looked like a standard 3 tiered, frosted chocolate cake in a bakery box but it tasted heavenly. The cake layers were soaked in raspberry syrup and the frosting was actually a light fluffy mousse. The top was covered in ganache, piled high with shards of chocolate and dusted with powdered sugar. Nothing standard about this cake. And, it became "our" cake on all special occasions.

I always knew I'd one day learn to make it and I think I've pretty much got the recipe nailed. Mine is not as neatly piped as the bakery version but it's rich, chocolaty and definitely a heavenly tasting splurge. Perfect for your special valentine. Enjoy!

Chocolate Raspberry Layer Cake
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by Hungry Couple
Prep Time: 50 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
Ingredients (10 Servings)
    Cake:
    • 1 Tablespoon coffee dissolved in 3/4 cup boiling water
    • 3 Eggs
    • 2 Cups light brown sugar
    • 1 1/2 Sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
    • 1 Cup buttermilk
    • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
    • 3/4 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 Cups all purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 Teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 Teaspoon salt
    Raspberry Syrup:
    • 1/2 Cup water
    • 1/2 Cup sugar
    • 1 Pint raspberries
    • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
    • Pinch of sea salt
    Chocolate Mousse:
    • 8 oz. Semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
    • 2 1/2 Cups heavy cream
    • 1/4 Cup sugar
    • Pinch of salt
    Chocolate Ganache:
    • 8 oz. Semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
    • 1 Cup heavy cream
    • 2 Tablespoons butter
    • Pinch of salt

    • 4 oz. White chocolate for topping
    Instructions
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    Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees and butter and flour two 9" cake pans

    Prepare the coffee and water mixture and set aside to cool.

    Using a hand or stand mixer, cream together the eggs, sugar and butter. Mix in the buttermilk, vanilla and coffee mixture.

    Sift together the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda and salt and mix the dry ingredients into the wet. Pour the batter evenly into the two prepared pans and bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool thoroughly before removing from the pans.

    To make the syrup, add the water, sugar, raspberries, lemon juice and salt to a pot and bring to a simmer. Stir to dissolve the sugar and continue cooking for a few more minutes until the raspberries begin to break up and the mixture begins to reduce and thicken. Strain through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth and set aside to cool. You can also make this ahead and refrigerate.

    To make the mousse, melt the chocolate in either the microwave or in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Allow to cool slightly.

    Beat the heavy cream, sugar and salt in a large bowl, using a hand or stand mixer, until stiff peaks form. Beat in about a quarter of the cooled melted chocolate to lighten, then add the cream to the chocolate and slowly fold in by hand.

    To make the ganache, add the chopped chocolate, heavy cream, butter and salt to a large bowl set over a pot of simmering water and stir until the chocolate is melted and all the ingredients are smooth and combined.

    To assemble the cakes, slice each cake into two even layers using a large serrated knife. Brush each layer very generously with the raspberry syrup.

    Spread 1/3 of the mousse onto a layer of the raspberry soaked cake, top with the second layer and another 1/3 of the mouse. Top with the third layer of raspberry soaked cake and the final 1/3 of the mousse. Top with the final raspberry soaked cake layer.

    Using a palette knife or butter knife, smooth the sides from whatever mousse came out but you don't need to be precise. Pour the ganache over the entire cake. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the white chocolate over the top of the cake and decorate with fresh raspberries or currants.

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    Special thanks to my friend Barb from Creative Culinary for providing an excellent chocolate cake base recipe. Check out her peanut butter version here.

    2 comments:

    1. Please explain what coffee to use: is it instant, ground coffee beans, or would expresso powder provide a strong enriching flavor. Many thanks.

      I love reading your wonderful stories which accompany your recipes. Happy Valentine's Day.

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    2. Hi Ronnie, I'm so glad you enjoy them! I used the ground coffee beans we keep to make coffee with but I've also used instant coffee in a pinch and it was just fine. You won't taste the coffee but it will make the chocolate more chocolaty. :) Happy Valentine's Day to you, too.

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