First time making this cake. For the actual cake layers, I think they would be best as rounds instead of rectangles. Even though the look didn’t quite turn out right, the taste was amazing. I tired the Swiss Meringue Buttercream as called for in the recipe, but it did not turn out at all. I ended up just using my own specialty buttercream and that worked like a charm. I don’t normally work with other kinds of buttercream so that could be why it didn’t work out. I am definitely going to try this recipe again in the future, the cake itself could be eaten just as is with no frosting whatsoever.
Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Buttercream Cake with Ganache Drizzle
Dark Chocolate Sheet Cake
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 2/3 cups sugar
2 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup Cocoa Powder
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
150 ml vegetable oil
280 ml buttermilk (1 cup milk & 1 Tbs lemon juice)
260 ml hot coffee
2 tablespoons of vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat the bottom & edges of a commercial baking sheet (bakers half sheet 11 x 18 x 1) with butter then add a layer of parchment paper to the bottom. Dust it all with flour, tapping out the excess. In bowl of electric mixer, sift all dry ingredients. Add all remaining ingredients to bowl with the dry ingredients and with paddle attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splash guard that comes with mixer) and pour into prepared pan. Batter will be liquidy.
Bake for about 25 minutes, rotating once. Cake is done when toothpick or skewer comes barely clean. Try not to over bake. I tend to under bake a few moments, so the skewer is a little bit gummy. This works well for a moist chocolate cake (not vanilla). Cool on a wire rack in the pan.
*This cake is sturdy enough to be used under fondant, stacked, etc. but also moist and tasty enough to go on its own with almost any type of frosting, glaze, etc.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
5 large egg whites (30g each—total 150g)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine granulated sugar
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
½ pint diced & dried fruit or puree
Food coloring (optional)
Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with vinegar on paper towel, to remove any trace of grease. Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly, until temperature reaches 140 degrees F, or if you don’t have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
With whisk attachment of mixer, begin to whip until the mixture is thick, glossy, and cool. Switch over to paddle attachment and, while mixing on medium speed continuously, add softened butter in chunks until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth). Add vanilla and salt, mix well. Can also add fruit purees, extracts, or other flavorings. Can even add a drop or two of gel food coloring to get a brighter color of the fruit.
Keep in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week, leaving out at room temperature when needed, rewhipping in mixer for 5 minutes.
Can freeze for up to 6-8 weeks.
Add about a 1/2 pint of fresh washed & dried raspberries if you like the textured effect, or raspberry puree for a smooth finish. *Be sure to add the raspberries right before you are to frost the cake, otherwise, if you store in refrigerator overnight, the moisture of the berries will turn your buttercream into an icky mess.
Makes approximately 5 cups of buttercream.
9 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over a cake. Start at the center of the cake and work outward. For a fluffy frosting or chocolate filling, allow it to cool until thick, and then whip with a whisk until light and fluffy.
Cut the cake into four equal rectangles making sure to cut off the outer edges so there is no crust.
Place one rectangle on a cake board or a platter of your choice then top with some buttercream to start off your first layer. Spread the buttercream evenly then put another layer of cake. Do this two more times and when you are on your last layer, turn the last cake layer upside down so that the underside, smooth part of the cake is facing up.
At this point, add a little more buttercream and spread creating a thin crumb coat all over the cake. * If the cake is really soft by now, put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes for easier spreading of the buttercream.
After the crumb coat is applied, place again in freezer for another 15 - 30 minutes (depending on how long it takes for the buttercream to set and become a little hard).
Once the buttercream is set, the final coating can be applied. Start off with a large amount on the top, working your way down the sides of the cake. *It is easier to use an off-set spatula on the top, and a straight-set spatula on the sides. You can even use a bench scraper to define the boxiness and smooth things out a little better.
After the final coat of buttercream is applied, place in freezer for another 15-30 minutes until buttercream is set (this helps harden the ganache quickly so it doesn’t completely drip and cover the cake).
When pouring the ganache, make sure to start off very slowly in the middle of the cake and move sideways along the cake, making sure to have some drip down the sides but not too much as to drench the cake.
Here, you can add some sprinkles on top, or it can just be left plain. I used chocolate sprinkles. You can also add some raspberries on top as a nice little garnish. Be creative.
To completely set the ganache, put cake in either the fridge or freezer until it has hardened.
This cake is amazingly delicious and VERY rich in flavor, so it is quite easy to over indulge. Other than that… ENJOY!-