My friend Marcella was born on December 27, which means she is a Capricorn. Oh, and I’m never around to make her a cake. (Those Christmas birthdays are tough!) SO, last night we had a Marcella Birthday Redux at Sola’s in the East Village, and I was able to bake her a little something…
This cake is INTENSE.
Three layers of a dense sour cream chocolate cake. In between each layer of cake there is a generous layer of solid ganache AND thick raspberry sauce. The cake is frosted in a raspberry buttercream (so divine!), and then topped with a chocolate glaze.
So it’s basically the best cake to continue your 2012 weight loss resolution–did you hear mention of all that fruit!?
I combined two recipes from great food bloggers: I used Annie’s cake, ganache, and glaze; Deb’s raspberry filling and swiss buttercream. I made a few minor tweaks, mostly by mistake. While this recipe looks intimidating, it’s actually very simple. Just time consuming, but even that could be solved by making the cake ahead and freezing, and the raspberry filling would keep in the fridge for a couple of days. Anyway, here’s the how-to:
1½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp. espresso powder or instant coffee granules
1½ cups boiling water
¾ cup sour cream
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2½ cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar
3 large eggs
1¾ cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1¼ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Grease and flour the edges of three 9-inch round cake pans, and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. Grease and flour the parchment paper. Combine the cocoa and espresso powder in a small bowl. Add in the boiling water and whisk together until smooth. Let cool slightly. Whisk in the sour cream.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Blend in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl; stir together to combine. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl in three additions, alternating with the cocoa-sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat each addition just until incorporated.
Divide the batter between the prepared baking pans. Bake 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans about 15 minutes, then transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
Raspberry Filling 2 10-ounce bag frozen raspberries, thawed
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Directions Puree the raspberries in a food processor or blender. Press the puree through a fine-mesh strainer with the back of a spoon, removing the seeds. Set aside 1/2 cup of the puree to use in the buttercream. Heat the remaining puree in a small pot with the sugar and cornstarch until mixture boils, stirring constantly. As it boils, it should quickly thicken. Remove from heat and let it cool completely.
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
Directions Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Immediately remove from the heat and pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Let stand 1-2 minutes, then whisk together until a smooth, thick ganache is formed. Whisk in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time until completely incorporated. Let the ganache sit to thicken a bit so that it is suitable for spreading and piping. Transfer about ½ cup of the thickened ganache to a pastry bag (a ziploc with a corner cut off works fine, too) fitted with a plain round tip about ½-inch in diameter. Reserve another ½ cup of ganache in a small bowl for decorating the top of the cake.
Swiss Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
3 sticks butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup raspberry puree
Directions Whisk egg whites and sugar together in a big metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk occasionally until you can’t feel the sugar granules when you rub the mixture between your fingers.
Transfer mixture into the mixer and whip at medium-high speed (with the whisk attachment) until it turns white and doubles in size, about 8 minutes.
Add the butter a stick at a time and whip at medium-high speed. Do not panic when you see a soupy, curdled mess. It might take as much as 15 minutes for the buttercream to come together.
Add the vanilla and raspberry puree. Blend to combine thoroughly.
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla
Directions Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit 1-2 minutes. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and homogenous. Blend in the corn syrup and vanilla. Pour the glaze into a pitcher or measuring cup and let cool for 10 minutes. (Do not let the glaze cool longer or it may become difficult to pour over the cake.)
ASSEMBLY: Place one of the cooled cake layers on a cake board or serving platter. Spread ½ cup of the ganache in an even layer over the cake. Using the reserved ganache in the pastry bag, pipe a border around the perimeter of the cake layer. This will act as a well to help hold in the raspberry filling. Spoon some of the raspberry filling (I used about 1/2 cup) inside the ganache border in an even layer. Top with another layer of cake and repeat this process, layering with another ½ cup of ganache and additional raspberry filling. Top with the remaining cake layer.
Frost the top and sides of the assembled cake with the raspberry buttercream, smoothing the surface as much as possible. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Slowly pour the glaze over the cake, ensuring that the top is covered and the glaze drips over the sides. Let the glaze set about 5-10 minutes. Top with reserved ganache and fresh raspberries.
From experience, taking this baby in a clear cake carrier to the bar on a Saturday night (via subway, no less) is a sure way to get some attention. No push-up bra or stilettos required.