Sunday, April 24, 2011

Chocolate Raspberry Cake

It's a gluten-free desert that anyone can make.  And you don't even need fancy gluten-free flours to do it.  You might want to have a stand mixer, though.

And the tech writer in me TOTALLY needs to re-order this recipe.  It is one of those recipes that might be written in an order that makes sense in the fact you deal with one element at a time, but that means you spend very few minutes doing stuff and way too much time waiting.

The recipe is from Chuck Hughes from the show Chuck's Day Off.  Don't let the tattoos and goofy Canadian accent throw you - the guy does some good, easy to make at home food.

Do the ganche for the chocolate mousse first.  I let that stuff cool for an hour, and it still was warm enough to make my mousse runny on the first go.  But that was easy enough to fix - stuck the runny stuff in the fridge for an hour, then re-whipped it and got it fluffy, then let that go into the fridge for another half hour before I assembled.

Basically, the recipe is two chocolate souffles with chocolate mousse and berries in the middle.  I used a mix of berries sine raspberries were apparently in short supply in the Chicagoland area this Easter.

You whip 12 egg whites...

Then you take your twelve egg yolks...

If you are smarter than me, you'll pay attention to the recipe and NOT add the cocoa powder right away.  If you are like me, at least the recipe is nice enough to tell you how long you're supposed to beat them so it doesn't matter too much anyway (good technical instruction - sometimes it's best to give multiple instructions because even tech writers don't always follow directions).

At this point I was juggling some other stuff, so peekytures stopped happening.  But basically, you mix the egg whites and yolks together, put it in two greased springform pans (note - if you are doing this for someone who needs no wheat or no gluten, line the whole pan with parchment paper if you've baked wheat-things like other cakes or cheesecakes in your pans before - better safe than sorry!).

And they come out of the oven all puffy and wonderful.

And then they totally deflate as they cool.  That is what souffles do.  Don't sweat it.

My ganache was apparently still too hot when I started the mousse and it was originally a runny mess - if that happens, just throw it in the fridge and let it cool, then give it a go again.  I probably could have had a fluffier mouse, but it was still pretty good.

To assemble, you plop one cake down, load it with half the mousse (and there is a LOT) and then add your berries, then plop on the second cake, add the rest of the mousse, and the berries.  I kinda ended up doing the berries on the side since they were making more of a mess than anything else when I tried to add them.  If you also need to watch the seeds, something like fresh cherries mixed with some cherry jam (or even melted cherry jam) would be awesome.

It's not cake - it's still eggy (which isn't exactly a bad thing) but it is tasty.  And rich.  And chocolatey. 

Oh... and also a note for gluten-free - read the labels on the chocolate you use.  Hershey's chip chocolates are usually OK, and I used some dark Lindt bar chocolate (their plain chocolates seem to be fine but others can have wheat-cross contamination, I've discovered). 


Chocolate Cake

12 eggs, separated

1 cup sugar (250 ml)

1/3 cup cocoa (80 ml)

Raspberry Filling

1 cup raspberry jam (250 ml)

4 cups fresh raspberries (1 L)

Chocolate Mousse

2 cups 35% cream (500 ml)

1 1/2 cups dark chocolate, chopped (375 ml)

1/4 cup soft butter (60 ml)

5 egg whites

1/4 cup sugar (60 ml)


Chocolate Cake

1.For the chocolate cake batter, preheat oven at 350F (180C). Butter a 9-inch round cake pan (about 2 inches deep) and line bottom with a round of parchment paper.

2.Beat the egg yolks with sugar until thick and pale, about 3 minutes using a hand or stand mixer. Sift and fold in the cocoa using a spatula.

3.Beat the egg whites until firm peaks form. Slowly add the egg whites to the chocolate mixture in three times.

4.Divide the batter in the pans lined with parchment paper and bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes, or until it spring back with the touch of your fingers. Let cool slightly and unmold. Cool off completely.

Raspberry Filling

1.Melt the raspberry jam in a small saucepan. Transfer jam to a bowl and add the fresh raspberries. Stir delicately to coat the raspberries with the jam. Keep aside.

Chocolate Mousse

1.In a saucepan, bring the cream to a boil and remove from heat. Pour on chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes. Whisk ganache until smooth. Add butter and let cool at room temperature for about half an hour.

2.Beat the egg whites to soft peak. Add the sugar and continue beating until firm peaks form. Slowly add the meringue in three times to the chocolate ganache. Keep in the refrigerator for 1 hour.


1.Remove parchment paper from cake and invert one layer onto a plate. Spread half of the chocolate mousse and garnish with the raspberry mixture. Place the second layer of cake on top. Spread the remaining mousse and garnish with fresh raspberries. Top with chocolate shavings and sprinkle with powder sugar.

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