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Author Notes: A devil's food cake flavored with a touch of coffee, filled with raspberry sauce and dark chocolate ganache, then frosted with mocha truffle frosting and drizzled with more raspberry sauce: Serving this for dessert after a light Valentine's dinner might lead to something more sinful and decadent than the cake! The cake itself is a simple generations-old butter recipe that can be frosted with a plain buttercream or powdered sugar icing and served for any occasion, or the batter can me made into cupcakes. Wrapping each still-warm layer in plastic followed by immediate chilling or freezing will help keep the cake moist by trapping the steam that normally escapes during the cooling process, and a thin layer of raspberry sauce adds to that moistness. Oh, and use great quality chocolate such as Valrhona, Callebaut, Ghirardelli and such. —betteirene
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
- 12 ounces milk chocolate (about 39% cacao), chopped
- 2 teaspoons shortening
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, any type, plus additional for preparing pans
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups cold tap water or brewed coffee, cooled
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder or granules (optional; omit if using brewed coffee)
- 3 cups fresh or thawed, undrained frozen raspberries
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate (about 60% cacao), chopped coarsely
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder or granules (optional)
- Chocolate curls or shavings
- In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup cream and the coffee powder to boiling. Off heat, add milk chocolate, let stand five minutes, then stir until smooth. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Cover and chill until very cold.
- Lightly coat two 8" round cake pans with shortening. Dust with cocoa, tapping out excess. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, stir together cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, 1 3/4 cups sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed until well-blended and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Turn the mixer to low speed and add half the cocoa mixture and half the coffee, beat until just combined, then add the remainder of the cocoa mixture and coffee. Scrape sides of bowl and mix on low about 30 seconds more.
- Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into center of cake. Let cool for 10 minutes, remove from pans and immediately wrap hot cakes with plastic film. Refrigerate or freeze while preparing fillings and frosting.
- Place raspberries in a blender or food processor container and blend until smooth. Strain into a fine-mesh sieve set over a measuring cup--there should be slightly more than 1 cup of puree--and discard seeds.
- Combine 1/2 cup sugar and the cornstarch in a small saucepan. Stir in raspberry puree and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until the sauce is thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- When cake is completely cold (or has frozen slightly), split the layers in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Spread each layer with 1/3 of the raspberry sauce and put layers back together. Reserve remaining 1/3 of sauce for garnish.
- In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup of cream just to boiling. Off heat, add chopped semisweet chocolate, let stand five minutes, and stir until smooth. Allow to cool until thickened but still slightly pourable. Place one cake layer top side down on plate. Spoon/spread half the dark ganache over the top and sides of cake. Place the other cake layer on top, this time with the top side up. Spoon/spread the remainder of the ganache over the top half of the cake. Refrigerate while preparing mocha whipped cream.
- When mocha ganache is thoroughly chilled, beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy and spreadable. Remove cake from refrigerator and frost. Sprinkle with chocolate curls. To serve, drizzle dessert plates with remaining rasperry sauce and place cake slices on top. Refrigerate any remaining cake, covered, for up to three days.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Chocolate Cake
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