Chocolate Raspberry Cake

For Cake Layers:
3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups well-shaken buttermilk
1/4 cup Kahlúa (coffee- based liqueur)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
For the Raspberry Filling:
1 quart fresh or frozen red raspberries
1 cup Chambord (French black raspberry liqueur)
3 tablespoons lemon juice

For the Syrup:
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup of juice from raspberry filling
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
For the Ganache:
5 tablespoons Kahlúa (coffee- based liqueur)
6 ounces heavy cream
12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make Cake Layers:
Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease pans. Line bottoms with rounds of parchment paper and grease sides of pans.
Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer 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, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well. Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.
Make Raspberry Filling:
Place raspberries in a small sauce pot and add Chambord and lemon juice, stirring to coat raspberries.Heat over medium low heat until most of liquid evaporates, then remove from heat and let cool. Drain the berries in a fine mesh strainer and retrieve approximately 1 cup of juice to be used when making the syrup.
Make Raspberry Syrup:
Combine the sugar, raspberry juice, Chambord, lemon juice and cream of tartar in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat stirring only until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is hot. Cover and simmer gently for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover and let cool.
Make Ganache:
In a small saucepan combine the Kahlúa (coffee- based liqueur) and heavy cream. Bring to a simmer and add the chocolate. Stir until smooth. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract.
Begin to assemble the cakes by placing the two layers on a wire rack with a baking pan positioned underneath and pouring about 1/2 cup of syrup over each of the layers of the cake and allowing it to absorb in to the cake. Next, evenly spread the raspberry filling on top of the bottom layer. Place the top layer on and make sure that the filling is not spilling out of the sides or is too sparsely applied (filing and cake should be leveled with one another). Pour the chocolate ganache over the top of the cake slowly, making sure that it is spilling down the sides of the cake evenly and is covering all of the cake evenly. Finally, garnish with fresh raspberries and chocolate shavings.
Serves 10-12.

12/2008 – Christmas Dinner


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