Sunday, October 05, 2014

Chocolate Raspberry Layer Cake

There are a few steps to this one but if you like the combination of raspberry and chocolate this is the cake for you. It's a very pretty cake that brings out a  lot of oooohs and aaaahs when you bring it out to present to your guests. Really very easy to make if you follow my step by step instructions. Make it once and it gets easier each time. 
Chocolate Raspberry Layer Cake

3 ounces semisweet chocolate...
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee (you do not taste the coffee, it just enhances the chocolate)
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla

Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well.

Divide batter between the two pans and bake in middle of oven at 350 degrees for about 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cakes on wire rack and then invert on rack and remove parchment paper. Continue to cool for about an hour.

Raspberry Filling

2 10-ounce bag frozen raspberries, thawed
1/2 cup sugar
zest of 1 small lemon
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Puree the raspberries in a food processor. Press the puree through a fine-mesh strainer with the back of a spoon, removing the seeds. Heat the puree in a small pot with the sugar and cornstarch until mixture boils, stirring constantly. As it boils, it should quickly thicken. Stir in lemon zest at the end. Let it cool complete before spreading it thinly over assembled cake.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
1 cup butter, softened but not melted!
3½ cups powdered sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons heavy cream (Full cream)

Cream butter for a few minutes in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Turn off the mixer. Sift 3 cups powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl. Turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the dry ingredients do not blow everywhere) until the sugar and cocoa are absorbed by the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add a little more sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add additional cream 1 tablespoon at a time.

Raspberry Glaze
4 tbsp. seedless raspberry jam
1 tbsp. water

Microwave jam and water together in a small heatproof bowl on high for 30 seconds. Stir until well blended and set aside.

ASSEMBLE CAKE: With a long serrated knife, slice both cakes into two layers. Lay the bottom layer on cake stand. First take some of the butter cream frosting and spread it over the bottom layer. Then Take about 1/3 the raspberry filling and spread it over the layer of butter cream. Stay about 1/2 inch away from the edge. Lay the next layer on top. Spread more frosting and another 1/3 of the raspberry filling. Place the third layer on cake and more frosting and another layer of the raspberry filling. Put the final layer on the top of the cake. Make sure that all the layers line up.

Frost sides of the cake with the butter cream frosting. In the middle of the top layer pour the raspberry glaze in the middle and with an offset spatula start smoothing out the frosting - gently pushing it toward the edge. Decorate the cake as wish. I piped in flowers of chocolate butter cream and added chocolate shavings and curls to the sides.

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