Don’t you just admire those people who can decorate cakes like it was the easiest thing in the world to do? Magic, blessed hands….
Unfortunately, I’m not one of them. Here’s my latest sorry attempt at cake decorating. I can bake it and it tastes great, but does it look that way? Never mind…
Looking at the photo now, I think about all the things I could have done better. Piped some whipped cream at the bottom, laid the top layer straighter so the cake doesn’t look so lopsided…a dozen things really.
Oh well, the cake tasted great…the sweet and slightly tart raspberry cream went so well with the bitter chocolate filling. The raspberry syrup added great depth to an otherwise ordinary chocolate sponge cake.
The base cake is what you call a genoise, a European sponge cake tracing its roots to Genoa, hence the name. It doesn’t use any shortening or leavening and is perfect for high altitude baking.
Here’s the recipe:
1/3 c. cake flour
1/3 c. cornstarch
1/4 c. cocoa powder
3 large eggs plus 3 large eggyolks, at room temperature
3/4 c. sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. water
1/4 c. raspberry liqueur (I used a substitute that worked well for me, rhum and a blue raspberry drink mix)
1/2 c. heavy cream
4.5 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped ( I used unsweetened just because)
2 tbsps. butter
2-12 ounce bags frozen raspberries
3.4 c. sugar
1/3 c. raspberry liqueur
1 1/2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
2 c. heavy cream
1 c. heavy cream
dark chocolate shavings
1/2 pint fresh raspberries
Make the Genoise:
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter bottom and side of 9-inch spring form pan. Line bottom with parchment paper.
Sift together all dry ingredients. Beat together rest of ingredients using a heatproof bowl. Use a handheld mixer at medium speed. Place bowl over pan of simmering water and continue beating until the mixture is lukewarm. Remove from heat. Increase speed to high and beat until mixture is cooled and increased in volume, about 3 to 4 minutes. The mixture should turn a very light yellow.
Sift dry ingredients over egg mixture in three additions, gently folding with a rubber spatula.
Spread batter in prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes before removing from pan and invert onto a rack. Cool completely.
Make the Syrup: Combine sugar and water in saucepan over medium heat, boil. Remove from heat. Cool and add liqueur.
Make the Chocolate Filling: Heat cream in saucepan to boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and add chocolate, let stand 30 minutes. Whisk in butter until smooth.
Make the Raspberry Bavarian: Combine raspberries in a saucepan. Heat to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine-meshed siever into bowl. Cool to room temperature. Combine liqueur and gelatin in heatproof bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Place in a saucepan with simmering water and heat until gelatin is dissolved. Whisk into raspberry puree. Beat cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into raspberry mix.
Assembly: Cut genoise horizontally into two equal layers. Place one layer in bottom of spring form pan, cut side up. Brush with half of raspberry syrup. Spread half of chocolate filling over cake. Top with a third of the raspberry Bavarian cream. Top with other half of cake, cut side down. Brush cake with remaining syrup and layer the chocolate filling on top. Refrigerate about an hour before proceeding with decorating. Refrigerate the raspberry cream as well.
Spread remaining raspberry cream on the top and sides. Spread whipped cream on the sides. Decorate top with fresh raspberries and chocolate shavings. Sprinkle confectioner’s sugar over the center raspberries. Refrigerate at least two hours before serving.