Cake Doctoring: Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Jam


I'm a sweets addict.  I love cakes, cookies, candies, donuts, ice cream.  You get the idea.  I have a lot of talent with cooking but not so much with baking.  Yes, I have a number of good recipes, ones that are tried and true, worthy of the blog.  I'm not the best baker.  There, I've admitted two things upfront!  More often than not, I will make a box cake mix over a homemade cake because they never fail.  Don't get me wrong, I love homemade cakes, but we've yet to master making a lower-fat version that's not like a rubber mat.  Box mixes are so full-proof you can literally use just a box mix and either soda or pumpkin puree and bake it and still have a good cake.
Our friends Astrid and Roger, made me a homemade, chocolate and raspberry cake for my birthday.  It was moist, rich and oh-so-good!  I have the recipe and one day, I'll make it.  But...I'll save it for a special occasion when I can devote some time to truly following the directions carefully.  I'll post the home-made version at the end, if anyone cares to make it.  You should, it's so worth making. My recipe is more of a "anytime" version.  It's sweet, moist, super tasty and EASY.  I cut the oil out, reduced the 3 full eggs to 2 and 1 egg white.  You could reduce it down a bit more if you wanted.  I substituted the water for coffee - heightens the chocolate flavors.  Added in applesauce and raspberry jam.  The end result was almost as good as Astrid's cake - not as good mind you, hers was unbelievably wonderful.  And the dish she served it on became my gift too - you can't beat that kind of cake gift!

Dark Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Jam Ingredients:

  • Dark Chocolate Cake Mix (I used a Duncan Hines version, which I like very much)
  • 2 Whole Eggs and 1 Egg White
  • 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce (or an individual potion container)
  • 1/3 Cup Seedless Raspberry Jam
  • 3/4 Cup Black Coffee (cooled)

For Frosting:

  • 1/3 Cup Seedless Raspberry Jam - heated until the jam is liquefied
  • Chocolate Frosting of Choice - homemade or store bought

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Grease and flour a cake pan (a 9 x 13; 2 9-inch rounds, or even a 9 x 9 square pan) - I used flour and cocoa powder. Shake out excess and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs/egg white, unsweetened applesauce, raspberry jam and coffee.  Use a hand mixer and beat for 3 minutes on medium speed, or whisk by hand for 2 minutes until the cake batter is smooth.  
  4. Pour the batter into the prepped cake pan, put the cake pan into the oven and bake, 25 to 35 minutes, depending on the size of the pan(s) you are using.  My 9x9 cake took closer to 40 minutes to bake.  Test the cake after 20 minutes to see if a knife or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when you touch it in the center.
  5. When the cake is done (you'll smell it, test it and touch it!) cool it in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove it from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
  6. When the cake cooled and is ready to be frosted, cut the cake in half, if using a 9x9 cake or 9 x 13.  Spread one half of the cake with warmed/melted raspberry jam.  Frost the other half of the cake and sandwich both halves together, frosting and jam sides inward/touching.  When the cake is put together, frost the entire cake with the frosting.  
  7. Refrigerate uneaten portion.  Will hold for up to 5 days.  Serves 8 generously.
And now for the Super, Home-Made Version from my dear friend, Astrid:

Warm Chocolate Raspberry Pudding Cake
For frosting:
  • 3 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam (about 5 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

For cake batter:
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tsps. unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam (about 3 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened (okay, I cheat here and use
  • salted)
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar (I also cheat here and use dark)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Garnish: raspberries

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and generously butter a 9"x2" round cake pan.
  2. Make frosting: Chop chocolate. In a small heavy saucepan bring jam, cream, and chocolate to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Pour frosting into cake pan.
  3. Make cake batter: In a bowl whisk together boiling water and cocoa powder until smooth and whisk in milk, vanilla, and jam. In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy and add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Into another bowl sift together flour, baking soda and salt and add to egg mixture in batches alternately with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating well after each addition.
  4. Pour batter evenly over frosting mixture and bake in middle of oven
  5. 30-35 minutes, or until a tester inserted into cake comes out clean (frosting on bottom will still be liquid). Cool cake slightly in pan on a rack, 10 minutes. 
  6. Cake may be made a day ahead, cooled completely in pan and left in pan, covered, at room temperature. Reheat cake, uncovered, at 350 10-15 minutes. I've never tried this, so can't vouch for it. Run a thin knife around edge of pan and twist pan gently back and forth on a flat surface to loosen cake. Invert a cake plate with a slight lip over cake pan and, holding pan and plate together with both hands, invert cake onto plate. 
  7. Frosting will cover cake and run onto plate. If all the frosting doesn't come out, or it comes out unevenly, be brazen and go ahead and repair it. It'll look great as it cools. Serve warm, garnished with raspberries (this is *really* gilding the lily!).
  8. The original recipe says serves 6 generously. I suspect that's only if they haven't eaten in about 3 days and are confirmed chocoholics! It's rich.

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