It came to me in a dream…

I dreamt last night that I was somewhere, not sure where, and I saw a piece of the most beautiful, moist, rich, chocolate cake with a thick layer of fudgy frosting go by on a plate.  In the dream I said to my husband, “Ok, we can do that but can’t we have that cake first?”  When I woke up I decided that today was the day to bake chocolate cake.  Then eat some.  So here’s what I made.  It isn’t quite the cake that was in my dream but it is very good none-the-less.  These cake layers don’t rise up high and crumbly, they’re rather flat and dense.  But they are moist and the ganache – well, it’s cream, butter, chocolate, and raspberry jam.  So, yeah, it’s delicious.  This recipe looks like it has lots of steps, and it kind of does, but don’t be put off – it is very do-able.

Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Whipped GanacheIMG_1815

for the cake:

  • 4 oz (1 stick) butter
  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c sour cream

for the ganache:

  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 3 Tbs raspberry jam or preserves

for the filling:

  • 3 Tbs raspberry jam or preserves

Put a rack in the middle of the oven and heat oven to 350° F.  Heat the butter, chocolate, and milk in a pot over low heat until all the chocolate is melted.IMG_1804  Do not boil or scald or even come close, this should not be steaming hot.  Whisk well then pour into a mixer bowl.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.IMG_1805

Lightly grease 2 round cake pans and line the bottom with either a circle of parchment paper or buttered waxed paper.  The chocolate mixture should be coolish to the touch, if it isn’t wait a few minutes until it is.

Beat in the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and sour cream.IMG_1806  Mix on low until fully mixed then beat on high for 2 minutes.  The batter should get lighter and thicker.  IMG_1807

Put an equal amount of the batter into each of the pans.  Tap on the counter to get out big air bubbles and to even the batter in the pans.

Bake for ~15-30 minutes (this will depend on your oven, the weather, etc).  After 15 minutes check the cakes.  When they are done they will have pulled away from the edges slightly and a knife inserted in the middle will come out clean.  Remove cakes from oven and cool in the pans.IMG_1811

While cakes are cooling make the ganache*.  IMG_1809Put the chocolate, cream, butter, and jam into a bowl over simmering water and let the chocolate melt.  Do not cook the mixture, remove from heat as soon as it is all melted.  Whisk well then put the bowl in the fridge.  Allow to cool.

When you are ready to assemble the cake get out the ganache and use a mixer to beat it until it lightens and thickens into a very thick whipped cream texture.  Remove one cake layer and peel off the paper.  Put the cake onto a plate.  Spread the top with the jam for the filling.  Put a couple of tablespoons of the ganache on top of the jam and spread out a bit (be gentle, the jam is slippery and it is hard to spread on top of it.)  Remove the second cake layer and peel off the paper then put the cake on top of the first.  Push down a little to even out the filling.  Top with the rest of the ganache, spreading it evenly on the top and sides of the cake.  If you want you can garnish with raspberries or chocolate shavings.IMG_1813

You can eat the cake now or keep in the fridge until you want to eat it.  It will last, well-covered, for a few days in the fridge.  If you don’t eat the whole thing right away, that is.

*A word about making ganache.  The most common method is to heat the cream and butter then pour it over the chocolate to melt it and mix.  This method has you doing it all together, only because it is somewhat easier.  If you have a different method you prefer then do that one.

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