Chocolate Raspberry Crunch

My sibling loves chocolate.  In fact, I think she loves chocolate more than anything else on the face of the planet.  Except for stuffed animals.  And Doctor Who.  Maybe.   In any case, she celebrated her birthday just the other day and I was (naturally) in charge of the cake.  She told me she wanted chocolate and raspberry to be involved…but other than that, I had free reign.

In all honestly, I was just going to make a straight-up double-chocolate cake with raspberries on top.  You know, chocolate cake, chocolate buttercream, raspberries.  BOOM.

But…then I got to thinking.  I could make a raspberry filling.  Hmm.  And all that chocolate needs some variation.  Maybe I could make a feuilletine-type layer, with a little crunch for “texture,” as they say on all of those fancy cooking shows (that I adore watching).

And we were off to the races.  I ended up making two round layer cakes of regular chocolate cake.  I cut each layer in half and put a different filling on each layer, one being a chocolate cookie crunch (feuilletine), a raspberry buttercream, and a dark chocolate raspberry ganache, finally smothering the entire gateau in chocolate buttercream. And lining it in fresh raspberries.

Yes.  I know.

Need I add that it was about 90F outside and there is no AC here in da kitchen.  The chocolate melted all on its own….

I don’t really have a name for this cake…so “Chocolate Raspberry Crunch” is a working title.  Any suggestions are MORE THAN WELCOME .  Also, given the experimental nature of this cake, I do not have specific measurements for the fillings.  I’ve given approximations, but know that you may need to change the amounts if you (dare?) attempt this delicious, decadent and dangerous torte.

For the cake : look on the back of a Trader Joe’s cocoa box !

3 1/2 cups flour
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
1 1/3 cups cocoa
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
12 oz butter
3 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla

 Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans.  Know that this cake does sometimes make extra batter – the pans I normally use are a little small, so I often have a little leftover.  If you use pans with a removable bottom (like I did this time), all the batter will fit.
Crack the eggs into a large bowl.  Cream together the EGGS and the SUGAR until you reach the ribbon stage.  For more information on ribboning, please scroll down to the Fraisier post.  :) Add the milk and vanilla and mix until smooth.
In medium pot, melt the butter and stir in the cocoa powder until it looks like velvet.  Yes, velvet.
Mix together the flour and the baking soda in a large bowl.  Add this to the egg mixture at the same time as the chocolate, as if you were making brownies.  Stir until uniform and incorporated – about 2 minutes.  TASTE:  It should taste like chocolate.  This is my one big critique of chocolate cake :  it often doesn’t take enough like chocolate, so I end up adding more cocoa…
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and place in oven.  Let cook for about 45 minutes or until springy to the touch.  Remove and let cool.

For the feuilletine :

A handful of chocolate chips…
Some butter….
A bunch of butter cookies (shortbread, waffle cookies – anything crunchy with a vanilla-type flavor.)

Prepare a jelly roll pan by covering it with tin foil (or parchment, or wax paper…whatever you prefer).  I placed mine in the freezer to cool it off.

Put the cookies in a small plastic bag and beat with the back of a spoon until nice and crushed.

In a separate pan, melt the butter and the chocolate chips, stirring until smooth.  Pour the cookie crumbles into the pan and stir until they are covered in chocolate.

Pour the chocolate mixture on top of the jelly roll pan and, using the back of a spoon, spread it until it is as thin as possible.  I made mine into a circle, guestimating the size of the 9” pan.  Place this in the freezer to chill/set.

For the raspberry buttercream :

Raspberry syrup (seedless)
Butter, soft
Confectioner’s sugar

In a large bowl, cream the butter.  Add the raspberry syrup and taste for raspberry flavor.  Add sugar until the butter taste has diminished.  Set aside.

For the dark chocolate raspberry ganache :

Another handful of chocolate chips
Cream
Raspberry syrup

In an effort to minimize dirty dishes, I re-used the pan in which I melted the chocolate for the crunch layer.  If you do the same, start by adding the raspberry syrup and whisking over high heat.

Bring that syrup to a boil.  Add 1 tbsp cream and continue whisking.  When hot hot hot, remove from heat and add the chocolate chips.  Let sit 1 minute before whisking together to combine.  Add another tbsp cream and taste.  It should taste like a lindt raspberry truffle.

Add more chocolate or raspberry or cream to adjust the flavor as you like it.  The mixture of the syrup and chocolate is surprisingly forgiving and can take a fair bit of variation.  Let cool in the fridge.

For the chocolate buttercream:

1 1/2 sticks butter, soft
1 1/3 cups cocoa
Powdered sugar
Cream (for texture)

In a large bowl, whisk the butter until light and creamy.  Add the cocoa and whisk again.  Add sugar until the frosting is as sweet as you like.

I make a very bitter frosting – I really like the deep and strong flavor of cocoa powder, so I avoid adding a lot of sugar.  In fact, little note for everyone : when recipes state how much powdered sugar to add, I usually halve it.  Too sweet !

Assembly:

This is a little tricky.  First, cut both layer cakes in half.  Place the bottom layer of one of the cakes on a large, flat cake plate.  Get the crunchy layer out of the freezer and (bring to room temperature if possible.  I didn’t have to wait long given the suffocating temperature of the kitchen) and place the empty cake pan overtop.  Cut the feuilletine down to size, nibbling the leftovers.  Place the chocolate layer on top of the cake and then peel the foil (or paper) off. Place the second cake layer on top.

Grab that raspberry buttercream and spread that on top of the next layer.  Leave a border without frosting – it will leak out as you put the other layers on.  Cover with the third cake layer.

Remove the ganache from the fridge and bring to room temperature – though highly viscous, it should still flow.  Pour overtop the third layer of cake, again leaving a little border by the edge so that it will ooze properly.  Cover with the final layer of cake.

Get the chocolate buttercream and cover the cake, being sure to spread overtop the sides before adding more to the top.  Decorate with raspberries.

CUT AND SERVE, preferably with a glass of ice cold milk OR fresh-brewed coffee.

Bon appétit !

Categories: English | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Chocolate Raspberry Crunch

  1. I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! Congrats! http://at350degrees.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/versatile-blogger-award/

  2. That’s an amazing and gorgeous looking cake!

  3. Eliza Manning

    This LOOKS SO GOOD. I bet it tastes even better. YUM!

  4. Heather

    my husband made this for me for my birthday cake. It turned our excellent. absolutely wonderful

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