Double Chocolate Valentine Cake
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- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- ½ cup hot water
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1⅓ cups sifted cake flour
- 2½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- ¾ cup whipping (heavy) cream
- About 4 cups fresh raspberries
- ¼ cup seedless raspberry jam
- 1 tablespoon Chambord or Framboise raspberry liqueur (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350o degrees F. Prepare one 9-inch heart shaped cake pan; lightly grease the pan with shortening, line the bottom with parchment paper, and then lightly grease the top of the parchment paper and dust the pan with flour.
- Wrap the outside of the pan with a cake strip to help ensure the cake rises evenly. Make a cake strip with a length of aluminum foil long enough to encircle the pan with a little overlap. Fold the strip lengthwise until it is 2 to 3 inches wide. Wrap the strip around the outside of the pan and secure it with a metal paper clip or tape. If you don’t have a heart shaped cake pan, substitute with a 9-inch round layer cake pan.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the cocoa powder and hot water. Stir until smooth, and then blend in the cold water. Add vanilla; stir until thoroughly blended and smooth. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine cake flour, baking powder, and salt; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
- In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 4 to 5 minutes to add all of the sugar, beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light, or pale yellow color, with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugar, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
- Add egg yolks one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed.
- With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the cocoa mixture, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and cocoa mixture, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended.
- Bake: Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon or small offset spatula. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place pan on a wire cooling rack.
- Meanwhile, during the last 10 minutes while the cake is baking, prepare the Ganache glaze. Glaze the cake as soon as it is removed from the oven.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a small heavy saucepan over medium low heat, heat the cream until it is hot and just beginning to steam. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate, stirring until the chocolate is completely melted.
- Glazing the Cake: As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, place the pan on a wire cooling rack and poke holes all over the top of the cake with a wooden skewer or tooth pick. Slowly pour half of the Ganache glaze over the top of the cake, spreading the glaze with a pastry brush, and allowing some of the glaze to soak into the cake. This should take about 10 minutes.
- Run a small metal spatula around the sides of the pan, and invert the cake onto a serving plate so the bottom side is up.
- Peel off and discard the parchment paper, and poke holes all over the top. Slowly pour the remaining Ganache glaze over the top of the cake, spreading the glaze with a pastry brush, and brushing some of the glaze around the sides.
- Let cake cool completely and until the Ganache glaze is firm to the touch.
- Starting at the outside border and working toward the center, place the raspberries, rounded bottom up, closely together to cover the surface of the cake.
- In a small saucepan, stir and heat the raspberry jam over low heat until it liquefies. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon Chambord or Framboise raspberry liqueur (optional.) Use a pastry brush and gently brush the warm jam over the top of the raspberries.
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