Monday, January 13, 2020

Chocolate, Raspberry, and Almond Cake Recipe

We simply call this “Shauna’s cake” around my house, because it includes so many of my favorite combinations: chocolate and raspberry, chocolate and almond, almond liquor and my mouth…

I spent a long time thinking I didn’t like chocolate cake, but as it turned out, I am just very, very particular about it. I don’t like overly sweet chocolate cake, and it has to be rich and light at the same time. This one is perfect for me. Some may need to up the sugar, depending on your preference. And yes, there are a lot of steps… but the end result is worth it.



1 cup butter (2 sticks)
½ cup coffee or hot water
¾ cup dark  or semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups cake flour
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup cocoa powder
2 tbsp black cocoa powder (optional)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
¾ cup full fat buttermilk 

½ cup almond liquor
6 ounces mascarpone, room temperature
2 cups heavy whipping cream
½ cup cocoa powder
1 ½  cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
¼ cup water
3 tbsp granulated sugar

9 ounces raspberries
2 tbsp almond liquor
½ tsp almond extract
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup water


Cake and Soak
1.        Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 3 8” cake pans with parchment paper (or butter and flour the pans).
2.       Add ½ cup almond liquor to a small saucepan and bring to a boil for 1-2 minutes until it starts to reduce and darken in color. Remove and cool.
3.        Add butter, coffee, and chocolate chips to a microwave safe bowl. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until the butter and chocolate are melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
4.       In a mixing bowl or bowl of your stand mixer, add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder(s). Whisk together.
5.       Add in eggs, vanilla, cooled chocolate mixture, and buttermilk. Beat on low speed for 1-2 minutes, until all ingredients are just incorporated. Overmixing will result in a chewier cake.
6.       Divide equally among three pans and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
7.        Cool the cakes completely.
8.       Add 1 tbsp of reduced almond liquor to ¼ cup of hot water. Stir in 3 tbsp granulated sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool slightly.
9.       Trim the tops of the cake and brush liberally with the water mixture.

Raspberry Filling
1.        Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and place over medium heat.
2.       Bring to a slow simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until most of the water has evaporated and the mixture resembles a thick sauce.
3.        Optional: push sauce through a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds.
4.       Cool mixture completely.

1.        In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the mascarpone and beat on low speed until smooth. Add the heavy whipping cream.
2.       Every 1-2 minutes, increase the speed slightly. This will help create a more stable whipped cream.
3.        Once the mixture starts to thicken, add the rest of the reduced almond liquor, sugar, vanilla, and cocoa powder.
4.       Continue to slowly increased the speed, periodically scarping the sides of the bowl, until the mixture becomes a very thick whipped cream.

1.        Place 1 trimmed and soaked cake on your plate or pedestal. Spread with a very thin layer of frosting. With a piping bag, pipe a thin “wall” of frosting around the outer edge of the cake. Fill the inside of the cake with half the raspberry sauce.
2.       Repeat with layer two.
3.        Top with the final layer of cake, and spread a thick layer of frosting to cover.
4.       Optionally, top with fresh raspberries. Serve slightly chilled.

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