Cake. Cake is awesome. Allow me to explain. On November 21 my father turned 49. This means that my father is also one year closer to being fifty, and if there is one thing that could make the consequences of his ensuing midlife crisis any better it is cake, specifically this cake.
3 Layer Chocolate Raspberry Birthday Cake
(Serves 16, adapted from Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes)
- 3 cups cake flour (make cake flour by combining two tablespoons of cornstarch with every cup of flour and then sifting the mixture twice. Measure your flour from there.)
- 3 cups sugar
- 1½ cups of unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process, I had an unfortunate hockey-puck-like cake incident once)
- 3 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp salt
- 3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1½ cups buttermilk
- 3 eggs
- 1½ cups freshly brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350°F and Butter three 8-inch square cake pans. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper as well.
In a large mixer bowl combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. With the electric mixer on low speed, blend them for about 30 seconds.
Next Add the butter and buttermilk and blend on low until moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat the batter until it is lighter and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
In a separate bowl Whisk the eggs and coffee together. Add it to the batter in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beating only until blended after each addition. Divide the batter evenly among the three prepared pans. The trick to this cake is to scrape down the bowl often, Otherwise little bits of unmixed flour, butter, or eggs will pop up in the cake.
Bake the cakes for 38 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Carefully turn them out onto wire racks and allow them to cool completely. Remove the paper liners only when they are cool.
Once the cakes are cooled you can wrap them tightly with plastic wrap and freeze them for up to a month. Frozen cakes are easier to handle when you are assembling them.
- 2 10 oz bags of thawed frozen raspberries
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
Press the puree through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the seeds. You don’t have to this if you don’t mind the seeds.
Then heat the puree in a small pot with the sugar and cornstarch until mixture boils, stirring constantly. As it boils, it should quickly thicken. It will firm up a bit once it cools.
Let it cool completely before spreading it over the layers.
(double the recipe to make the cake without the raspberry filling)
- ½ lb semisweet chocolate
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp of sugar
- 1 tbsp light corn syrup
- ¼ stick unsalted butter
Finely chop the chocolate. If you’re inpatient like me, put it in a bag and stomp on it.
In a large saucepan bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over medium-low heat, whisking the mixture until the sugar is dissolved.
Remove pan from the heat and add the chocolate.
Whisk the chocolate until the chocolate is melted.
Finally, cut the butter into pieces and add it to frosting, whisking it until smooth.
Transfer the frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable
Assembling the cake
Then stack the layers and fill them with the raspberry filling.
Next, spread the ganache evenly on the top and sides of the cake.
Allow time for the cake to reach room temperature before serving