What kind of baker, blogger and all round chocolate lover would I be if I didn’t mark the first day of National Chocolate Week with something ridiculously over the top and full of chocolatey goodness?
This chocolate and raspberry cake hopefully fits the bill – three layers of chocolate sponge, dotted with raspberries, sandwiched with a raspberry sauce and whipped milk chocolate ganache, smothered in dark chocolate ganache and finished with dark chocolate panels and raspberries on top.
This cake was a request from a friend, to make his girlfriend a 30th birthday cake. He wanted me to recreate a cake I baked about two years ago, which she apparently declared ‘the best thing she had ever eaten, anywhere, ever’. Pretty high praise!
The only problem was I didn’t write the recipe down at the time, and consequently had to guess at what exactly it was I did. Luckily the birthday girl was pleased with the result, and I was pretty happy with how it turned out looks-wise although I didn’t have a chance to taste it.
If you haven’t already started to celebrate National Chocolate Week, do it now! I will be eating it fairly moderately during the week, but going all out at the weekend when I attend Salon du Chocolat, which is coming to London for the first time. If you don’t hear from me for a little while it’s fine, I’ll just be lying in the corner in a chocolate induced coma…
Chocolate and raspberry cake
For the sponge ingredients and method, see here – just add 100g fresh raspberries and divide between the three cake tins, lightly pressing into the top of the batter, before baking.
For filling, icing and decorating:
- 125g rasberries
- 50g raspberry jam
- 10g cornflour
- 100g milk chocolate
- 90ml double cream
- 200g dark chocolate
- 150ml double cream
- 100g dark chocolate
- Red or pink sprinkles/shimmer sugar
- 100g raspberries
To make the raspberry sauce, heat the raspberries and jam together in a saucepan until the raspberries break down and the mixture comes to a boil. Add in the cornflour, keep stirring, then remove from the heat. Press the mixture through a sieve to get rid of all the lumps and seeds, then return the liquid to the saucepan and simmer until thickened. Leave to cool.
For the whipped milk chocolate ganache, heat the 90ml cream until almost boiling, then pour over the milk chocolate. Stir until no lumps of chocolate remain, then chill for at least three hours, or preferable overnight. Once cool, whisk for 2-3 minutes, until it becomes light and airy and peaks start to form.
To make the dark chocolate ganache, heat the 150ml cream and pour over 200g of the dark chocolate, again stirring until no lumps remain. Leave to cool at room temperature until thick enough to spread (you can always re-heat a little if it becomes too thick).
For the chocolate panels, heat the remaining 100g dark chocolate until just melted – this in theory should help it keep it’s temper, or you can temper properly if you’re feeling fancy. Measure a piece of baking paper a couple of inches higher than the cake will be, and long enough to wrap around the outside of the tin. Spread the chocolate in an even layer over the paper, then sprinkle the decorations all over. Before the chocolate sets, wrap it around the outside of a cake tin or something of a similar shape, so it will set with a curve. Once completely hardened, remove and break into panels – they can be neatened up later.
To assemble the cake, place the first sponge on a cake card then spread half of the whipped milk chocolate ganache on top. Spread half the raspberry sauce on the underneath of the next layer and place sauce side down on top. Repeat with the top layer of the cake, using the remaining whipped ganache and sauce to sandwich.
Spread a thin layer of the dark chocolate ganache all over the outside of the cake to crumb coat, then chill for half an hour. Spread the rest all over the top and sides. To make the panels, use a hot knife to cut them to the same height as the cake and to straighten up the sides, then gently press into the ganache going all the way around the cake. Finish by arranging the remaining raspberries on top of the cake, and placing on a cake board or serving plate.