I am back :)
Lately, more and more people were asking me whether I gave up on my blog, so my bad conscience for being such a lousy blogger during this summer grew bigger and bigger... but instead of giving you some lame excuses such as "I was just too busy with my studies" (which I actually was though) I'll try to make up for that much too long waiting period with a very special recipe:
A double chocolate layer cake filled with chocolate ganache and raspberry puree!
It was Emanuel's birthday cake this year and it was the first time for me to bake a multiple layer cake! As it turned out: it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be! The only difficult task was to select a recipe; it almost took me 2 days to decide on this cake for his birthday which I found on Deb's blog Smitten Kitchen. I chose it for two reasons: 1)
I love he loves the combination of chocolate and raspberry and 2) every recipe I ever chose from Deb's Smitten Kitchen turned out to be super good, so her blog is a very reliable resource!
This time was no different - this cake is just HEAVEN!!! The sponge is so fluffy, soft and moist that you could serve it just by itself! For those of you who don't like coffee - don't worry, it just adds some extra flavor to the sponge; neither Emanuel or I or our guests could taste a distinct coffee flavor.
Regarding the ganache: Deb uses semisweet chocolate but I went for a combination of dark and milk chocolate since we like that a bit better. She's also using light corn syrup but I used honey instead which worked just fine.
Another little twist: since raspberries were/ are in season I opted for fresh ones but you can use frozen raspberries (same amount) as well.
I made the layers, the ganache as well as the raspberry puree the day before, so on his birthday I just had to assemble everything and put it in the fridge for a while. Comes in quite handy if you have to prepare a BBBQ (Birthday-BBQ) too!
Hopefully you'll enjoy it as much as we did (and we did 3 days long) !
Double Chocolate Layer Cake With Raspberry Filling
For the chocolate sponge/ layers
Note: I used one 26cm pan and baked 2 sponges in 2 turns.
3 ounces (85g) semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour (Type 405)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (nut Dutch process)
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 tsp ground vanilla
For the ganache
Note: If you only want to use it for frosting and not for filling halve the recipe!
1 pound (approx. 454g) semisweet or milk chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp honey
1/2 stick (approx. 57g) unsalted butter
For the raspberry filling
20 ounces (approx. 567g) raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
To make the layers:
1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (it's important to let the sponge bake longer at such a low temperature because that helps to get an even surface!); grease the pan, line with wax paper and grease the wax paper.
2. Chop the chocolate, put it in a bowl and add the hot coffee. Let it stand until the chocolate is melted and stir occasionally.
3. In a large bowl sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl beat the eggs until they thicken (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer and 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Carefully add the oil, buttermilk (don't forget to shake it), vanilla and the coffee-chocolate mixture to the eggs, beat until combined well. Add the sugar mixture to the liquid and beat until just combined well.
4. Pour half of the batter in the prepared pan and put the remaining batter in the fridge. In case you are using 2 pans at the same time divide the batter evenly between them. Bake for 60 - 70 minutes or until a tester comes out clean; depending on your oven that can also take a bit longer.
5) Let them cool down completely before cutting. Wrapped in plastic they can be kept 1 day at room temperature. If you want to use it the same day, place the sponges in your freezer for about 30 minutes; that makes cutting it much easier. Use a long, serrated knife to cut each layer horizontally so it yields 4 layers.
To make the ganache:
1. Finely chop the chocolate. In a saucepan bring the cream, sugar and honey to a boil over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate and stir until it's melted. Cut the butter, add it and stir until it's melted.
2. You can keep it in you fridge until (at least) the next day; I did that and simply used a water bath to get it smooth again the next morning before assembling the cake. In case you are directly using it, you will have to cool it down which works best if you stir it over a bowl of ice water.
To make the raspberry filling:
1. Puree the raspberries in a food processor or blender. Press it through a fine-mash strainer with the back of a spoon to remove the seeds. In a small pot heat the puree with the sugar and the cornstarch until it just boils, stir constantly. It should thicken quickly then.
2. Let it cool down completely or place it in the fridge over night.
Assemble the cake:
1. Cut each of the 2 layers horizontally (see tip above). Place strips of wax paper on the edges of a large plate and put a bottom sponge part in the middle; so in case you spill some frosting, it doesn't land on the plate. Like this:
2. Spread some ganache on the sponge followed by some raspberry filling.
3. Place another layer on it; place ganache and raspberry filling on it and repeat it again until you end with the forth layer as top.
4. Frost the cake with the remaining ganache and put it in the fridge for about 30 - 60 minutes. You can decorate it with fresh raspberries, strawberries, candles or whatever you like!