Triple-Decker Raspberry Chocolate Cake
Solid vegetable shortening for greasing the pans
Flour for dusting the pans
1 package (10 ounces) frozen raspberries packed with sugar, thawed
1 package (18.25 ounces) devilís food cake mix with pudding
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
Chocolate Ganache (see recipe below)
1 tablespoon Chambord (raspberry liqueur; optional)
1/2 cup fresh raspberries, for garnish (optional)
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350
degrees F. Generously grease three 9-inch round cake pans with solid
vegetable shortening, then dust with flour. Shake out the
excess flour. Set the pans aside.
Strain the raspberries through a fine-mesh sieve if you donít want
the seeds in your cake. Place the cake mix, raspberries and their
juice, sour cream, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with
an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and
scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase
the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the
sides again if needed. The batter should look well blended.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans, smoothing it out
with the rubber spatula. Place the pans in the oven side by side, or
if your oven is not large enough, place two pans on the center rack
and the third pan in the center of the highest rack.
Bake the cakes until they spring back when lightly pressed with your
finger, 25 to 28 minutes. Check the pan on the highest rack first,
as it will bake the quickest. Remove the pans from the oven and
place them on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Run a dinner knife
around the edge of each layer and invert each onto a rack, then
invert again onto another rack so that the cakes are right side up.
Allow to cool completely, 30 minutes more.
Meanwhile, prepare the Chocolate Ganache, adding the Chambord, if
desired, after all the chocolate has melted.
Place one cake layer, right side up, on a serving platter. Spread
the top with ganache frosting. Place the second layer, right side
up, on top of the first layer. Spread the top with ganache. Place
the third layer, right side up, on top of the second layer and frost
the top and sides of the cake. Work with clean, smooth strokes.
Decorate the top attractively with the fresh raspberries, if
desired. Place this cake, uncovered or in a cake saver, in the
refrigerator until the frosting sets, 20 minutes. Then cover the
cake with waxed paper, or place it in a cake saver or under a glass
dome, and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Or freeze it
in a cake saver for up to 6 months. Thaw the cake overnight in the
refrigerator before serving.
MAKES 1 3/4 CUPS, ENOUGH TO THINLY FROST A 2- OR 3-LAYER CAKE
3/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon liqueur of your choice (optional)
Place the cream in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat and bring
to a boil, stirring.
Meanwhile, place the chopped chocolate in a large stainless-steel
mixing bowl. Remove the cream from the heat, and pour it over the
chocolate. Stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate is melted.
Stir in the liqueur if desired.
To use this ganache as a glaze, let it stand at room temperature for
10 minutes before spooning it over a cooled cake. To use the ganache
as a frosting, let it stand for 30 minutes at room temperature, or
chill it for 10 minutes, until it has thickened enough to spread
with a metal spatula.