Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Chocolate Raspberry Layer Cake

I made this dessert when we had family over for dinner on August 15th.   I looked online for a chocolate cake recipe, found this one from Bon Appetit and then realized I even had the magazine and had never seen it in there (it was in the pile with all those other magazines I never get a chance to read). 

Everyone loved it but we had a lot left over.   Larry's eaten a piece almost every night since then and finished the last piece tonight. 

I have to admit I had a sliver of the cake the first day and did a lot of sampling while making the ganache.  I never realized how easy it was to make ganache.  The recipe says it makes 12 servings but those are awfully big pieces.  I would suggest 16 servings.  Even at the 16 servings, a slice of cake has 13 pts, 6 for the cake and 7 for the ganache and raspberry filling/topping.   Still, it's worth it if you can feed it to a lot of other people and have someone to eat any leftovers.  It was also easy to make, especially since it's better if you spread it out over 2 days.
Here is the recipe and at the bottom is the link to the source from Bon Appetit.

Chocolate-Raspberry Layer Cake

Tender chocolate cake is layered with raspberry jam and rich chocolate ganache (a mixture of melted chocolate and whipping cream) in this great dessert. Fresh raspberries make a pretty and easy topping.

10 TO 12 SERVINGS (16 is more reasonable)

Nonstick vegetable oil spray 

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour 

1 3/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 

2 teaspoons baking soda 

1/4 teaspoon salt 

1 cup water 

3/4 cup buttermilk 

3/4 cup vegetable oil

3 large eggs

18 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped(I used Ghiradelli 61% choc chips and just 16 oz. to adjust for the amount of cream I used)
2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream (I used a 1 pt container, unless you use cream why buy more for an extra 2 oz.)
6 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam, stirred to loosen, divided 

2 6-ounce containers fresh raspberries 
Powdered sugar
2 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides  ( I used what I had with 1½ inch sides and it worked fine)

  • Position racks in top and bottom third of oven; preheat to 350°F. 
  • Coat two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. 
  • Line bottoms with parchment paper rounds; spray rounds. 
  • Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into large bowl; whisk to blend and form well in center. 
  • Whisk 1 cup water, buttermilk, oil, and eggs in medium bowl to blend. 
  • Pour wet ingredients into well in dry ingredients; whisk just to blend. 
  • Divide cake batter between prepared pans (about 3 cups each).

  • Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.  (If cakes form domes, place kitchen towel atop hot cakes, then press gently with palm of hand to level.) Great tip!!
  • Cool completely in pans on cooling racks. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover cakes in pans and let stand at room temperature.

  • Place chopped chocolate in medium bowl. 
  • Bring cream just to boil in heavy medium saucepan. 
  • Pour over chocolate. 
  • Let stand 1 minute, then stir until ganache is melted and smooth. 
  • Transfer 1 1/4 cups ganache to small bowl. 
  • Cover and refrigerate until ganache is thick enough to spread, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. 
  • Let remaining ganache stand at room temperature to cool until barely lukewarm.
Place rack inside rimmed baking sheet. (use of the rack keeps the drippings on the pan under the rack and not a plate - for appearance)
  • Carefully run knife around pan edges to release cakes. 
  • Invert 1 cake layer onto cardboard round or bottom of 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. 
  • Peel off parchment paper. 
  • Place cake layer on round on prepared rack.
  • Spread 3 tablespoons jam over top. 
  • Spoon dollops of chilled ganache over, then spread evenly. (I think it would be easier to put the ganache on first and then the jam, not so slippery)
  • Invert second cake layer onto another cardboard round or tart pan bottom. 
  • Peel off parchment paper. 
  • Carefully slide cake off round and onto frosted cake layer on rack. 
  • Spread remaining 3 tablespoons raspberry jam over top of second cake layer. 
  • Pour half of barely lukewarm ganache over cake, spreading over sides to cover. 
  • Freeze until ganache sets, about 30 minutes.  (I couldn't fit in my freezer so put in fridge - worked fine)
  • Pour remaining ganache over cake, allowing to drip down sides and spreading over sides if needed for even coverage and to smooth edges. 
  • Freeze to set ganache, about 30 minutes. 
DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover with cake dome and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours before continuing.

Arrange raspberries in concentric circles atop cake. Sift powdered sugar lightly over raspberries and serve.

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