Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dark Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Filling

I'd like to take full credit for this cake, but my sweet Lily did more than her fair share.  I wonder if she will ever remember "learning" to cook, or will she be like my Mom and consider that its just something that she's always known... because she never remembers a time when she WASN'T helping out with kitchen activities.  Cooking with my children has been such a gift to me, and I hope they will regard it the same when they are adults.  I've always thought of it as a way to spend quality time together, teach them valuable lessons and techniques, and of course we are building precious memories along the way.  So... while you probably don't NEED to see every step of this process, I will go ahead and include the step-by-step photos if for no other reason than to allow my daughter, years from now, to see herself involved in this project in an integral way.

For my husband's birthday, he requested a dark chocolate cake with raspberry filling - two tastes that he really enjoys together.  All of the components to this cake are from scratch and yields a cake that is three cake layers tall... however; for a short cut version, you could certainly use a boxed devil's food chocolate cake mix.  That would cut your prep time down significantly!! 

Click Here For Printable Recipe (without photos) 

Ingredients -

     Double Chocolate Cake Layers:  Adapted from Gourmet, March 1999   
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips 
  • 1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
  • 3 cups sugar 
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups dark cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups well-shaken low fat buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
     Raspberry filling:
  • 1/2 cup raspberry preserves 
  • 1/3 cup fresh raspberries, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
     Chocolate Ganache:
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream 
     Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:   Adapted from Pure and Yummy
  • 3 3/4 sticks butter, softened
  • 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp heavy cream

Fleur de lis decorations:
I simply molded them out of fondant, pressed together with a drop of water, and added a (non-edible) bead from an old decoration.  I did these the day prior so they could harden.
Fondant can be molded, rolled, etc into basically any shape you want.  Use a little confectioners sugar to keep it from sticking.  (The Snapple Peach Tea is NOT part of the recipe.  Ha!)
Don't be intimidated by this.  It's really no different than playing with Plah-Doh!
Just a bead off of an old decoration.  Make sure everyone knows these are not edible.

 
Cake: Written instructions only
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Prepare 3, 9" cake pans - I use cooking spray and granulated sugar. And then I added round cutout pieces of parchment paper.
  3. In a bowl, pour the hot coffee over the chocolate chips. Let them stand for a few minutes and then stir until the chocolate is all melted.
  4. In a large bowl (because there will be a lot of this), sift together: sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  5. In a stand mixer, beat the eggs until they are lemon colored and thickened slightly (about 3 minutes with a stand mixer, about 5 minutes for a hand held mixer).
  6. Slowly add the oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to the eggs, continuing to beat until well combined.
  7. Add all the dry ingredients a bit at a time, and combine on medium speed until just combined.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the three cake pans.
  9. Bake on the middle oven racks until a tester comes out clean from the middle of the cake. This was about 50 minutes for mine.
  10. Cool the layers completely in pans set on wire cooling racks.
  11. Once cool, invert the layers and wrap each individual layer tightly in plastic wrap.
  12. Freeze the layers a few hours (up to 24 hours) so they are firm when you are handling them.
Cake:  Step-by-step
Prepare 3, 9" cake pans - I use cooking spray and granulated sugar, then parchment paper.
Sugared and prepared cake pans
In a bowl, pour the hot coffee over the chocolate chips. Let them stand for a few minutes and then stir until the chocolate is all melted.
Use 1/3 cup DARK chocolate chips for this.
1 1/2 cups HOT brewed coffee (Yes, I just popped it in the microwave.)
If any of you have watched enough Food Network, you have surely seen Ina Garten preaching about using coffee in your chocolate to bring out the chocolate flavor further.
Stir to combine and melt the chocolate.
In a large bowl (because there will be a lot of this), sift together: sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
3 cups sugar
You will want to sift all of the dry ingredients to avoid having lumps in your batter.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups dark cocoa powder
Lily had some problems with the sifter, so patting it on the sides worked just great to move the ingredients through the sieve.
2 tsp baking soda, 1/8 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
Mix to combine.
In a stand mixer, beat the eggs until they are lemon colored and thickened slightly.
3 large eggs
This will take about 3 minutes with a stand mixer, about 5 minutes for a hand held mixer.
Slowly add the oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to the eggs, continuing to beat until well combined.
3/4 cup vegetable oil, 1 1/2 cups well shaken low fat buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
Melted chocolate, coffee mixture.
Add all the dry ingredients a bit at a time, and combine on medium speed until just combined.
Of course you should taste it to make sure...
Divide the batter evenly between the three cake pans.
Bake on the middle oven racks until a tester comes out clean from the middle of the cake. This was about 50 minutes for mine.

Cool the layers completely in pans set on wire cooling racks.
Remember to remove the parchment paper.
Once cool, invert the layers and wrap each individual layer tightly in plastic wrap.
Now pop them into the freezer!
Raspberry Filling:  Written instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, heat all ingredients until heated through.
  2. Pour into a small bowl and set aside in the refrigerator to cool.

Raspberry Filling:  Step-by-step
In a small saucepan, heat all ingredients until heated through.
1/2 cup raspberry preserves
1/3 cup fresh raspberries, finely chopped

2 Tbsp corn starch
Pour into a small bowl and set aside in the refrigerator to cool.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:  Written instructions
For this frosting, you need to use cool, softened butter. The butter needs to be set out at room temperature a couple of hours prior to making the frosting.
  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  2. Slowly add the salt and powdered sugar and beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is incorporated, about a minute or more.
  3. Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until the mixture is fully combined, about 30 seconds.
  4. Scrape the bowl down and add the vanilla and heavy cream. Beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 30 seconds.
  5. Then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping the bowl down once or twice as needed.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:  Step-by-Step
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds.
3 3/4 sticks butter, softened
Slowly add the powdered sugar and salt and beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is incorporated, about a minute or more. 
dash of salt
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
    Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until the mixture is fully combined, about 30 seconds.
Scrape the bowl down and add the vanilla and heavy cream. Beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 30 seconds.
1 Tbsp vanilla
3 Tbsp heavy cream

Then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping the bowl down once or twice as needed.
Yumm.
Chocolate Ganache: Written instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream until warm. Be careful to NOT boil it.
  2. Add in the chocolate chips and stir until completely blended.
  3. Pour into a small bowl and set aside to cool and thicken to at least room temperature or more.

Chocolate Ganache:  Step-by-Step
In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream until warm. Be careful to NOT boil it. 
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
Add in the chocolate chips and stir until completely blended.

Pour into a small bowl and set aside to cool and thicken to at least room temperature or more.

Assembly:  Written Instructions
  1. Remove cake layers from freezer. You will unwrap them one at a time.
  2. Use a piping bag with a medium circular tip filled with frosting to pipe a circle around the top of the cake layer to act as a barricade to confine the filling.
  3. Spread half of the chocolate ganache onto the cake inside the circle.
  4. Spread half of the raspberry filling on top of the ganache.
  5. Add the 2nd cake layer and repeat the process.
  6. Add the 3rd cake layer and cover the cake with frosting. You may wish to refrigerate everything again at this point... just to get it all cohesive.
  7. For my cake, I sprayed it with a gold frosting spray (Wilton), decorated with fresh raspberries, and small mint leaves. You can certainly decorate with whatever else your mind comes up with. I also added candied "silver balls" and fleur de lis that I made out of fondant. Chocolate curls would be pretty on top as well.

Assembly:  Step-by-Step

Remove cake layers from freezer. You will unwrap them one at a time.

Use a piping bag with a medium circular tip filled with frosting to pipe a circle around the top of the cake layer to act as a barricade to confine the filling.
Making a frosting barricade.
    Spread half of the chocolate ganache onto the cake inside the circle.
Spread half of the raspberry filling on top of the ganache.
Add the 2nd cake layer and repeat the process.

Add the 3rd cake layer and cover the cake with frosting. You may wish to refrigerate everything again at this point... just to get it all cohesive.


For my cake, I sprayed it with a gold frosting spray (Wilton), decorated with fresh raspberries, and small mint leaves. You can certainly decorate with whatever else your mind comes up with. I also added candied "silver balls" and fleur de lis that I made out of fondant. Chocolate curls would be pretty on top as well.

Adding the candy "silver" balls and fleur de lis fondants.
Adding the raspberries.


Add small mint leaves amongst the raspberries.


You can see here that we are all tired.  It was a long and busy day around the house.  But this cake was a very nice ending to a day of family time!
And that is one proud little baker girl sitting there!!! :)

Click here to Subscribe to MenuMusings so you won't miss a thing!


  1. Looking for more recipes?
    Please visit my Recipe Index for tons of great recipes to cook for/with your family!  Some things are made from leftovers to stretch your budget, others are totally from scratch, while others make use of convenience items for a semi-homemade meal.  I also have a wide array of ethnic recipes represented.  Here are a few to pique your curiosity:
Left Over Pot Roast Pot Pie

Hoppin' John Fritters

Cheater Cheater Chicken and Dumplings

Sun Dried Tomato Chicken

Smoky Sweet Pulled Pork

Sesame Shrimp and Asparagus Stir Fry
Subscribe here!
Written Directions

     Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Prepare 3, 9" cake pans - I use cooking spray and granulated sugar.
  3. In a bowl, pour the hot coffee over the chocolate chips.  Let them stand for a few minutes and then stir until the chocolate is all melted.
  4. In a large bowl (because there will be a lot of this), sift together:  sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  5. In a stand mixer, beat the eggs until they are lemon colored and thickened slightly (about 3 minutes with a stand mixer, about 5 minutes for a hand held mixer).
  6. Slowly add the oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to the eggs, continuing to beat until well combined.
  7. Add all the dry ingredients a bit at a time, and combine on medium speed until just combined.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the three cake pans.
  9. Bake on the middle oven racks until a tester comes out clean from the middle of the cake.  This was about 50 minutes for mine.
  10. Cool the layers completely in pans set on wire cooling racks.
  11. Once cool, invert the layers and wrap each individual layer tightly in plastic wrap.
  12. Freeze the layers a few hours (up to 24 hours) so they are firm when you are handling them.
 Raspberry Filling:
  1. In a small saucepan, heat all ingredients until heated through.
  2. Pour into a small bowl and set aside in the refrigerator to cool.
Chocolate Ganache:
  1. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream until warm.  Be careful to NOT boil it.
  2. Add in the chocolate chips and stir until completely blended.
  3. Pour into a small bowl and set aside to cool and thicken to at least room temperature or more.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
For this frosting, you need to use cool, softened butter.  The butter needs to be set out at room temperature a couple of hours prior to making the frosting.
  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  2. Slowly add the powdered sugar and salt and beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is incorporated, about a minute or more. 
  3. Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until the mixture is fully combined, about 30  seconds.
  4. Scrape the bowl down and add the vanilla and heavy cream.  Beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 30 seconds.
  5. Then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping the bowl down once or twice as needed.
Assembly:
  1. Remove cake layers from freezer.  You will unwrap them one at a time.
  2. Use a piping bag with a medium circular tip filled with frosting to pipe a circle around the top of the cake layer to act as a barricade to confine the filling.
  3. Spread half of the chocolate ganache onto the cake inside the circle.
  4. Spread half of the raspberry filling on top of the ganache.
  5. Add the 2nd cake layer and repeat the process.
  6. Add the 3rd cake layer and cover the cake with frosting.  You may wish to refrigerate everything again at this point... just to get it all cohesive.
  7. For my cake, I sprayed it with a gold frosting spray (Wilton), decorated with fresh raspberries, and small mint leaves.  You can certainly decorate with whatever else your mind comes up with.  I also added candied "silver balls" and fleur de lis that I made out of fondant.  Chocolate curls would be pretty on top as well.
 

6 comments:

  1. The step by step pictures are my favorite part of your blog! Seriously, you always post the most wonderful looking recipes and I will definitely be making this cake.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh Thank you, Jenny! I sometime struggle with that decision.. as I don't ever want it to seem like I'm being condescending by adding each step. On the other hand, I want someone with very little kitchen skills (or confidence) to pick a recipe and think "I can do this. All I have to do is follow the steps." Thanks for your input, and for following my blog! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree!! Whenever i am doing something for the first time....I am always nervous and think, "I wish I could see what this is supposed to look like".....and I don't have to worry about that with your great recipes! And I agree....it's your blog, and the memories are priceless!! What a treasure for those kids of yours:)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm a very accomplished baker and I loved your step by step instructions. Also loved seeing you little one doing most of the preparations..!! You can never start them out too young:) I will be making this cake in the near future...thanks for sharing, K

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kathleen. These days it seems I don't have much of a choice. She gets offended almost if I don't allow her to be a part of the whole process. :)

      Delete

Follow me on Pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest