When one of my co-workers celebrated a birthday this week, I was asked (or maybe I volunteered) to bake a birthday cake. The Frustrated Baker is nothing if not eager and willing. The birthday boy asked if I could somehow combine chocolate with raspberries and cream cheese frosting.
Buy a box of Devil's Food cake mix.
Next up, add powdered sugar and cocoa (pretend I have a picture of me adding cocoa). Be sure to mix slowly at first and then whip it up for 1 minute.
Once your cakes are cooled, grab some fresh raspberries. Make sure they are dried thoroughly so they don't make the cake soggy. Soggy cake is a baking no-no.
To assemble, place the bottom cake on a platter or cardboard base. Add a drop of frosting to the base so the cake will not slide around. A flying cake is another baking no-no.
Next, add 2/3 of the ganache and all of the raspberries on the bottom cake until the base is completely covered. (Again, pretend I have a picture of a completely covered cake.)
On the under side of the top cake, spread the remaining ganache. Press the top cake firmly on the raspberries and refrigerate for 10 minutes. This will help set the ganache and raspberries, preventing the top cake from flying off and landing on the floor, causing you to weep.
Once the ganache is set, pile on the fudgy cream cheese frosting!
Start with a big dollop on top and work your way to the sides.
Keep adding frosting to the top and moving it to the sides until the entire cake is covered. Be generous with your frosting, your co-workers will thank you.
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon instant espresso granules dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water or 1/2 cup warm coffee
Chocolate Fudge Cream Cheese Frosting:
Recipe adapted from Country Living
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3 tablespoons hole milk or cream
3 cups confectioners' sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4oz. heavy whipping cream
6 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
2 pints of fresh raspberries, washed and dried
Cake Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9" baking pans. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, eggs, vanilla and espresso water mixture. Beat for about two minutes on medium speed until well combined. Divide batter between two 9" baking pans. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched. Allow cakes to cool before adding the frosting.
Frosting Directions: In a medium bowl, using a mixer set at medium speed, beat the cream cheese, butter, and milk together until smooth. Add the sugar, cocoa, and salt and continue to beat until blended. Reduce mixer speed to low, add the vanilla, and beat until smooth. Cover and chill until needed.
Ganache Directions: Pour cream into small saucepan and set on low heat. Once the cream simmers, turn off heat and add chocolate. Stir mixture until chocolate is melted and it becomes smooth and shiny. Chill until slightly thicker.
Assembly: Place small drop of frosting on cake server or cardboard plate. Place bottom cake on top. Add 2/3 of the ganache and spread to cover the cake. Add all of the fresh raspberries and cover the cake. Add the remaining ganache to the underside of the top cake layer. Press top cake firmly onto raspberries, smooth out any ganache that seeps out between the layers, and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Once the ganache is set, scoop a large dollop of frosting on top of the cake. Work the frosting to the sides and smooth. Cover the cake completely, adding more frosting to the top and working towards the sides. Place cake in cake carrier or covered cake plate and refrigerate until serving.