Every once in a while, I start thinking about high (also high in cholesterol, but let's not make it the main point here...), rich cakes. I'm talking about those monster cakes, like 5 layers high. You can see them on blogs everywhere; so moist, chocolate-y and dense. Seriously, haven't you ever dreamed of making one?
These cravings usually happen right before important tests. They start with: ''If I pass this one, I'm going to bake...'' and they usually end with ''and it's going to be at least FIVE LAYERS HIGH.'' But then, when I actually pass this test that I never thought I would, and it's time to make the cake, I start searching for recipes and often find out, how much money this is going to cost me and that I don't even have the proper equipment. I don't know if it's ever occurred to you (to me it hasn't until now), but those monster cakes on other blogs actually have a really small diameter, so making a high cake with the same amount of batter isn't that difficult and ingredient-consuming at all. But guess what? I don't have such small pans. My smallest pan has an 8-inch diameter and I've been watching those tiny pans in the store for a while, but they look like they are made for a child to play with and they cost as much a normal, 10-inch round pan. Which is too much. So I settled with not making sky-high layer cakes.
After going through my Recipes notebook in Evernote (which is an awesome tool for storing recipes), I found this one. It's originally from RecipeGirl, but the yield was too large - I mean, I would love to make a three layer cake, or even a tiered cake, but who would eat it? So I did what I usually do - I only made 2/3 of it. I omitted the corn syrup. I also reduced the amount of sugar in the cake, frosting and puree. I increased the amount of frozen raspberries, because they taste surprisingly good.
Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Filling (makes a two-layer 8-inch cake)
60 g (2 oz) dark chocolate
1 cup (240 ml) hot brewed coffee
1 2/3 cups (375 g) granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups (200 g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (125 g) cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C) and butter two 8-inch cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper.
- Combine hot coffee and chocolate in a small bowl and let it stand until chocolate is melted. Stir occasionally.
- In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- In another bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer about 5 minutes, until slightly thickened and lemon colored. Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla and coffee-chocolate mixture. Beat until combined. Add dry mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
- Divide batter between pans and bake around 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with a few crumbs on it.
- Cool the cakes in pans. After a while, run a knife around the edges of pans and invert cakes onto racks. Carefully remove parchment paper.
10 oz (300 g) frozen raspberries, thawed
some sugar - to taste
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- Puree thawed raspberries in a food processor and press it through a strainer to remove the seeds.
- Heat it with the sugar (optional) and cornstarch until the mixture boils, stirring constantly.
- Let cool.
10 oz (300 g) dark chocolate
2/3 cup (160 ml) whipping cream
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 stick (30 g) unsalted butter
- Bring cream and sugar to a boil over low heat, whisking until the sugar is dissolved.
- Remove pan from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted.
- Add butter pieces and whisk until smooth.
- Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable.
Spread the raspberry filling on the first cake layer. Top with second layer and cover the top and sides with chocolate frosting.
I don't have any photos of the whole cake, because it looks just like any other chocolate covered cake. It's the inside that matters! I love the filling. It has been a week since I made this cake and I'm still thinking about it! It was so beautifully red and the taste was perfect. I've never seen a redder (is that a word?) natural filling. Perfect for Valentine's Day cakes... and anything else.
The cake batter is very liquid. In fact, if you add all the liquids together, you get 2 1/2 cups, which is more than 500 ml! This was the second time I worked with such a liquid mixture - the first time was in Martha Stewart's One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes, and I know now that these cakes have a different texture than the ''solid'' ones. They're softer and very delicate. I like them. The only thing I didn't like was that I could still taste the coffee in the finished product. Next time I'll omit the coffee and maybe just use plain water. Oh, and one more thing. If I ever make this again with the raspberry filling, I'll use one half of uncooked pureed raspberries to spread it over both layers to make them both very moist and a bit more sour. I'll cook the other half and spread it over the first layer, like I did this time.
You can also make cupcakes with the same batter, just like I did. Bake them around 10 minutes, cover them with a spoonful of raspberry filling and a little chocolate. Perfect! If you ever attempt to make this recipe, let me know how it turned out!