Yum!!! This cake has shot up to one of my favorites!!! Sometimes I get worried when I make a chocolate dessert that it may be too sweet, but too sweet this is not! It's just perfect. The raspberry jam cuts through the chocolate frosting nicely and gives it a little something extra. This recipe comes from the book Chocolate Passion.
MAKES 10 SERVINGS
Prep time: 2 hours plus baking, cooling and chilling times
SOUR CREAM CHOCOLATE CAKE
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups sifted cake flour (not self rising)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 large whole eggs plus 2 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
3/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 cup milk, at room temperature
One 12 ounce bag frozen unsweetened raspberries
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons black raspberry liqueur, such as Chambord
DARK CHOCOLATE SHAVINGS
6 ounce chunk dark chocolate, about 3/4 inch thick
BLACK SATIN RASPBERRY FROSTING
20 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups evaporated milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup black raspberry liqueur, such as Chambord
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 tablespoons seedless raspberry preserves
fresh raspberries, for garnish
MAKE THE SOUR CREAM CHOCOLATE CAKE
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 F. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of three 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper or wax paper. Dust the sides of the pans with flour and tap out the excess.
Melt the chocolate in 30 second increments, stirring in between until melted. Let the chocolate cool for 10 to 15 minutes, until tepid.
In a medium bowl, using a wire whisk, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt until thoroughly blended. Sift the flour mixture onto a piece of waxed paper.
In a 4 1/2 quart bowl of a heavy duty electric mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening at medium speed for 45 to 60 seconds, until creamy. Add the brown sugar and white continuing to beat, gradually add 1 cup of the granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time over a 6 minute period. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue beating for 1 to 2 minutes longer, until the mixture is light in texture and off-white in color. Beat in the vanilla extract.
Break the 2 whole eggs into a measuring cup and add the 2 separated egg yolks. Beat with a fork until frothy. At medium speed while continuing to beat, slowly add the beaten eggs to the batter. Add the sour cream and beat until smooth. Beat in the melted chocolate until blended.
At low speed, one-third at a time, beat in the flour mixture, alternating it with the milk. Mix briefly, just until each addition is barely incorporated into the batter. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Mix the batter for 10 more seconds.
In a grease free 4 1/2 quart bowl of a heavy duty electric mixer, using the wire whip attachment, be the 2 egg whites at low speed until soft peaks start to form. One teaspoon at a time, add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and continue beating the whites until stiff, shiny peaks form.
Using a large rubber spatula, fold the beaten egg whites into the batter to lighten it. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and smooth it with the back of a soup spoon. Bake the cake layers for 15 minutes. Reposition the cake pans so that the pans at the back of the oven rack are placed in the front. Continue to bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer, until the edge of the cake layer has pulled away slightly from the side of the pan and the center springs back when gently pressed with a finger.
Cool the cake layers in the pans set on wire racks for 5 minutes. Run a thin bladed knife around the edges of the cake layers to loosen them. Invert the cake layers onto wire racks. Peel off the paper circles and leave them loosely attached to the bottom of the cake layers. Re-invert the layers onto other racks so that they are right side up. Cool the cake layers completely.
MAKE THE RASPBERRY SAUCE
In a noncorrosive medium saucepan, combine the frozen raspberries and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves and the raspberries start to soften. Continue to cook at a gentle simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, until the raspberries are completely softened.
Press the raspberry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a 1 quart measuring cup, reserve 1 cup of the puree. Discard the seeds. Pour the raspberry puree into a clean noncorrosive medium saucepan.
Put the cornstarch in a small cup. Slowly stir in the water until the mixture is completely smooth. Scrape the cornstarch mixture into the raspberry puree and stir until blended.
Cook the raspberry puree over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 30 to 60 seconds, until the sauce is translucent. Do not boil for longer than 1 minute, or the sauce will become watery. Remove the pan from the heat.
Cool the sauce to room temperature and stir in liqueur to taste. Transfer the sauce to a bowl; cover and refrigerate.
MAKE THE DARK CHOCOLATE SHAVINGS
Warm the 6-ounce chunk of dark chocolate by placing it on a piece of waxed paper. Microwave on medium (50%) power for 10 second intervals, until the chocolate starts to soften slightly.
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Grip the chocolate chunk with a folded paper towel so that your hand does not melt the chocolate. Using a sharp vegetable peeler, scrape one of the edges of the chocolate chunk in a downward motion, forming loose shavings. As you form the shavings, let them fall onto the waxed paper. Continue making shavings until most of the chocolate has been used. Refrigerate the dark chocolate shavings on the baking sheet until ready to decorate the cake.
MAKE THE BLACK SATIN RASPBERRY FROSTING
Melt the chocolate in 30 second increments in a microwave, stirring in between intervals.
Put the evaporated milk, butter, black raspberry liqueur, and vanilla extract in a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade. Add the melted chocolate. Process for 20 to 30 seconds, until the frosting is thick and creamy. Use the frosting immediately. Reserve 1 cup of the frosting for piping on top of the cake. Use the remaining frosting to fill and frost the cake.
ASSEMBLE AND FROST THE CAKE
Remove the paper circles from the bottom of the cake layers. If necessary, trim the tops of the cake layers with a long serrated knife so that they are level. Place 1 of the cake layers on a 9 inch cardboard cake circle. Using a small offset metal spatula, spread 3 tablespoons of the raspberry jam over the top of the cake layer. Spread the remaining 3 tablespoons of the raspberry jam over the cake layer. Spread 3/4 cup of the black satin raspberry frosting in an even layer over the raspberry jam. Put the second cake layer on top of the frosting. Spread the remaining 3 tablespoons of the raspberry jam over the cake layer. Cover the raspberry jam with 2/3 cup of the frosting. Put the third cake layer on top of the frosting.
Lift up the cake, supporting the bottom in one hand. With the other hand, using a metal cake spatula, frost the top of the cake with some of the frosting. Spread more of the frosting around the side of the cake, filling in the space between the edge of the cardboard and the side of the cake. Finish the top by holding the metal cake spatula at a slight angle and with several strokes, smooth the raised lip of frosting around the upper edge toward the center of the cake until the cake is smooth.
DECORATE THE CAKE
Remove the tray of dark chocolate shavings from the refrigerator. Lift up the cake on the cardboard, supporting the bottom of the cake with one hand. Hold the cake over the tray of chocolate shavings. Using a baker's scraper or metal spatula, scoop up some of the shavings and gently press them against the side of the cake. Continue until the side of the cake is evenly covered with shavings.
Set the cake down on a work surface. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium closed tip (such as Ateco #5) with the reserved frosting. Pipe a reserved shell border around the top edge of the cake. Store the cake under a cake dome at room temperature for up to 3 days.
To serve, decorate a dessert plate with some of the raspberry sauce. Lay a slice of cake on top of the sauce. Garnish with fresh raspberries.