Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Filling

Every once in a while, I start thinking about high (also high in cholesterol, but let's not make it the main point here...), rich cakes. I'm talking about those monster cakes, like 5 layers high. You can see them on blogs everywhere; so moist, chocolate-y and dense. Seriously, haven't you ever dreamed of making one?

These cravings usually happen right before important tests. They start with: ''If I pass this one, I'm going to bake...'' and they usually end with ''and it's going to be at least FIVE LAYERS HIGH.'' But then, when I actually pass this test that I never thought I would, and it's time to make the cake, I start searching for recipes and often find out, how much money this is going to cost me and that I don't even have the proper equipment. I don't know if it's ever occurred to you (to me it hasn't until now), but those monster cakes on other blogs actually have a really small diameter, so making a high cake with the same amount of batter isn't that difficult and ingredient-consuming at all. But guess what? I don't have such small pans. My smallest pan has an 8-inch diameter and I've been watching those tiny pans in the store for a while, but they look like they are made for a child to play with and they cost as much a normal, 10-inch round pan. Which is too much. So I settled with not making sky-high layer cakes.

After going through my Recipes notebook in Evernote (which is an awesome tool for storing recipes), I found this one. It's originally from RecipeGirl, but the yield was too large - I mean, I would love to make a three layer cake, or even a tiered cake, but who would eat it? So I did what I usually do - I only made 2/3 of it. I omitted the corn syrup. I also reduced the amount of sugar in the cake, frosting and puree. I increased the amount of frozen raspberries, because they taste surprisingly good.

Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Filling (makes a two-layer 8-inch cake)

60 g (2 oz) dark chocolate
1 cup (240 ml) hot brewed coffee
1 2/3 cups (375 g) granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups (200 g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (125 g) cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C) and butter two 8-inch cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper.
Combine hot coffee and chocolate in a small bowl and let it stand until chocolate is melted. Stir occasionally.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In another bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer about 5 minutes, until slightly thickened and lemon colored. Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla and coffee-chocolate mixture. Beat until combined. Add dry mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
Divide batter between pans and bake around 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with a few crumbs on it.
Cool the cakes in pans. After a while, run a knife around the edges of pans and invert cakes onto racks. Carefully remove parchment paper.
Raspberry Filling

10 oz (300 g) frozen raspberries, thawed
some sugar - to taste
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
Puree thawed raspberries in a food processor and press it through a strainer to remove the seeds. 
Heat it with the sugar (optional) and cornstarch until the mixture boils, stirring constantly.
Let cool. 
Chocolate Frosting

10 oz (300 g) dark chocolate 
2/3 cup (160 ml) whipping cream
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 stick (30 g) unsalted butter
Bring cream and sugar to a boil over low heat, whisking until the sugar is dissolved. 
Remove pan from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted.
Add butter pieces and whisk until smooth.
Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable.
Assembling the Cake

Spread the raspberry filling on the first cake layer. Top with second layer and cover the top and sides with chocolate frosting.

I don't have any photos of the whole cake, because it looks just like any other chocolate covered cake. It's the inside that matters! I love the filling. It has been a week since I made this cake and I'm still thinking about it! It was so beautifully red and the taste was perfect. I've never seen a redder (is that a word?) natural filling. Perfect for Valentine's Day cakes... and anything else.

The cake batter is very liquid. In fact, if you add all the liquids together, you get 2 1/2 cups, which is more than 500 ml! This was the second time I worked with such a liquid mixture - the first time was in Martha Stewart's One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes, and I know now that these cakes have a different texture than the ''solid'' ones. They're softer and very delicate. I like them.  The only thing I didn't like was that I could still taste the coffee in the finished product. Next time I'll omit the coffee and maybe just use plain water. Oh, and one more thing. If I ever make this again with the raspberry filling, I'll use one half of uncooked pureed raspberries to spread it over both layers to make them both very moist and a bit more sour. I'll cook the other half and spread it over the first layer, like I did this time.  

You can also make cupcakes with the same batter, just like I did. Bake them around 10 minutes, cover them with a spoonful of raspberry filling and a little chocolate. Perfect! If you ever attempt to make this recipe, let me know how it turned out!

Look: 4/5
Taste: 4/5
Approximate cost: 10 ?

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