When someone with 30 years service retires there is only one cake you can present to him on his last day. His love of chocolate was legendary so chocolate ganache was also called for. Certain that he would share it with other people I made sure there was an element of "healthiness" to it by including raspberries - as decoration and to flavour the fresh cream filling. I give you my Chocolate and Raspberry Cake.
Ingredients - Based on 3 x 7" sandwich tins
For the Cake
190g Dark Chocolate
4 tsp Instant Coffee
140 ml Water
110g Self Raising Flour
10g Plain Flour
40g Cocoa Powder
0.25 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
420g Caster Sugar
3 medium Eggs
6 tsp Vegetable Oil
95 ml Buttermilk (or sour cream with a little milk to loosen)
For the Ganache
75g milk chocolate
75ml cream (not straight from the fridge)
For the Raspberry cream
250ml double cream
35g icing sugar
75g fresh raspberries
Extra raspberries to decorate
Preheat the oven to 160C Gas 2-3. Grease and line your sandwich tins with baking parchment.
Put the butter, chocolate, coffee and water into a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the chocolate has melted. Take off the heat and leave to one side.
Sift both flours, cocoa & bicarbonate into a large bowl, stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre of the bowl.
In a separate bowl combine the eggs, oil & buttermilk. Add this egg mix to the flour, along with the chocolate mixture. Stir until completely combined.
Evenly split the mixture into the three tins and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then remove and allow to cool completely before assembling.
To make your cream whip until you can form soft peaks. Sieve in your icing sugar and continue whipping until you have firm peaks. Gently break apart your raspberries into 3 or 4 pieces and fold these gently into your cream. Use the cream to layer between each cake.
To make the ganache break your chocolate into small pieces an place in a small, clean bowl. Melt over a pan of simmering water. Once melted stir in your cream and combine well. If your cream is cold this will thicken very quickly to a consistency like mine. If you want to have a pouring consistency it is important to allow your cream to come to room temperature before adding to the chocolate. As your chocolate and cream mix cools it will thicken. Keep checking it and once it coats and sticks to the back of a spoon you can pour this over your cake. If you want a thicker consistency just wait a little while longer before spreading over your cake. Finish decorating with raspberries.