Monday, January 9, 2012

Heavenly Chocolate Cake

Get ready for a rich, chocolatey adventure.  You cannot eat too much of this cake because it's so rich, but it's worth the work to make it.

Yield: 16 servings


  • Cake
    • 1 cup butter, softened
    • 2 1/2 cups sugar
    • 5 eggs
    • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
    • 2 3/4 cups flour
    • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
    • 2 tsp baking soda
    • 3/4 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Filling
    • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 1/3 cup raspberry preserves
    • 2 1/4 tsp confectioners' sugar
    • 1 1/2 tsp raspberry syrup
  • Frosting
    • 3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese
    • 1 1/2 packages (8 oz. each) neufchâtel cheese
    • 6 tbsp butter, softened
    • 24 oz white chocolate, melted and tempered
    • 5 tsp lemon juice


  1. For the cake, cream butter and sugar together.  Add the eggs and vanilla.  Beat well.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Mix together.  Add to the creamed mixture alternately with the water.
    • Pro tip: if you want to maximize quality then sift them together.
  3. Grease and flour three 9" round baking pans.  Divide the batter evenly between them and bake at 350°F for 24-28 minutes.  Cool on wire racks.
  4. For the filling, whip the cream until it starts to thicken.  Add the preserves, sugar, and syrup and whip until stiff peaks form.
  5. For the frosting, cream together the cream cheese,  neufchâtel, and butter.  Add the chocolate and lemon juice and whip together.
  6. If necessary, level your cakes.
    • Pro tip:  place the cakes in the freezer for 20 minutes before frosting.  This will help them stay solid and get the crumb coat on more easily.  You should also do this between the crumb coat (step #8) and the final coat (step #9), which helps the crumb coat solidify quicker and therefore hold in the crumbs and make the final layer look nicer.
  7. Place the first cake layer on a 10" round cardboard base.  Spread half of the raspberry filling over the top.  Place the second layer on top and spread the remaining filling over top.
    • Pro tip: Place 3-4 narrow strips of wax paper under the edge of the first cake layer.  When the crumb coat is completed (step #8) you can remove them.  They'll cake any frosting or crumbs that fall and therefore keep the cardboard base clean.
  8. Top with the third layer.  Using an icing spatula, spread a thin crumb coat over the top and sides.  This does not need to look pretty.  The crumb coat just holds the cake in so that the final coat will not have crumbs strewn throughout.
  9. Place the final layer of frosting on the cake in large swirls.  To do this, use a large spoon and place a generous amount of frosting on the back.  Press it onto the cake while rotating the spoon 180°.  This will leave a nice swirl.  Continue until you've covered the entire cake.
  10. Store in the refrigerator.

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