- Chocolate Cake with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache
- This recipe makes two 9-inch layers or three 8-inch layers
- 3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 ½ cups hot brewed coffee
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- ¾ cup canola oil
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Makes 3 cups
- 2 pints fresh raspberries, washed - reserve 7-8 for decoration
- 2 ½ sticks butter, room temperature
- 2 lbs. powdered sugar
- 2-5 tablespoons (or more) half and half, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2-3/4 cup raspberry jam
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease 2 9-inch cake pans, or three 8-inch cake pans. Use a circle of waxed and greased paper to line the bottom of the cake pan for easier removal.
In a small bowl, add chocolate and hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Allow to cool and set aside.
Sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.
In a large liquid measuring cup or bowl add oil, buttermilk and vanilla and set aside.
In large mixing bowl, 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 mixture and mix until incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add flour mixture and gently beat until just combined. The batter will be slightly runny.
Divide batter between pans. Bake for 50 to 70 minutes for cakes, or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool cakes completely in pans on racks. Run a knife around edges of pans and gently remove cakes to cooling racks. Cakes may be made one day ahead and kept wrapped in plastic wrap.
Place raspberries in a fine mesh sieve and over a bowl, press berries through sieve. Reserve the raspberry puree.
In a mixing bowl, add butter and mix well. Add powdered sugar, raspberry puree, 2 tablespoons half and half and salt and start out slowly mixing until well combined. Add vanilla, and beat very well for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy, stopping to scrape the bowl. The buttercream should be light and fluffy and have a good taste of butter and a hint of salt in the background. Add a touch more half and half or powdered sugar until it is the right consistency.
After the cake has completely cooled, take a serrated knife and cut away the crisp edges of the cake and brush off any crumbs. Place on serving platter. Take 4-5 sheets of waxed paper or parchment and place under and around cake to protect platter from buttercream.
To the bottom layer - take raspberry jam and spread it almost to the edges of the cake leaving a 3/4-inch boarder (to help prevent the jam from leaking through the buttercream). Take 1/4 of the buttercream and gently frost the bottom layer right to the edges. Take remaining cake and place on top and lightly frost entire cake with a light coating of buttercream (called a crumb coating). Refrigerate for 20 minutes and continue to frost the entire cake. If you want to make decorations, reserve some of the buttercream. Place remaining frosting in a piping bag with a rose tip and pipe a border around top of cake to hold the ganache. Place in refrigerator for an hour.
In a small saucepan over medium high heat, bring cream to a boil and remove. Add chocolate and salt and allow to sit for 1 minute and then stir with a whisk until combined. Allow to cool for 40 minutes to room temperature, stirring occasionally or until it has thickened to the consistency of molasses. Pour some of the ganache in the center of the cake decoration and place in refrigerator for 10 minutes. Decorate with fresh raspberries and place cake back in refrigerator to allow the ganache to set.