For our first granddaughter’s first birthday, my daughter-in-law and I made this cake. Everything went fairly well except that the cocoa powder was especially stiff; it did not want to break up, so the cake had teeny little cocoa balls in it! Not what we were going for, but it was still delicious.
This dessert uses the “Chocolate Sponge Cake” (recipe here). The frosting is made with “Crème Fraiche”, which is a fancy name for cream that’s been allowed to “mellow”. This adds a touch more flavor—delicious!
So, the cake and flavored layers are pretty fancy, but decorating the cake can go fast if you use something like real roses (or other edible flowers). Beautiful and easy.
- 1 qt. whipping cream
- 1/4 c. buttermilk
- Chocolate Génoise Cake (see recipe)
- 1/3 c. seedless raspberry jam
- 1/3 c. Frozen Raspberry/White Grape Juice Concentrate
- 1/2 lb. blanched almonds*
- 2 egg whites
- 1 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 TBS. almond extract
- 6 1/3 c. chilled Crème Fraiche (or substitute straight whipping cream)
- 1 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 c. water
- 1 1/2 c. Confectioner’s sugar
- 1 1/2 TBS. vanilla
Make the Crème Fraiche a few days ahead. Two or so days earlier, heat to lukewarm: > 1 qt. whipping cream (4 c.)
Remove from heat and mix in: > 1/4 c. buttermilk
Cover and let stand in warm, draft-free area until slightly thickened, 24-48 hours. Cover, refrigerate.
Prepare Chocolate Sponge Cake (see recipe under “Chocolate Sponge Cake”)
Prepare Raspberry Filling; microwave jam in a small bowl, using: > 1/3 c. seedless raspberry jam
Add to the bowl: > 1/3 c. Frozen Raspberry/White Grape Juice Concentrate
Prepare Almond Paste Layer, using: > .50 lb. blanched almonds*
Process dry, blanched almonds until smooth. To processor, add: > 2 egg whites
Process until fairly smooth. Add: > 1 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar > 1/2 TBS. almond extract
Set almond paste aside.
Prepare chocolate mousse filling, and frosting for cake. For that, microwave 30 seconds or so, and stir until melted: > 1 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips > 1/4 c. water
Set the melted chocolate mixture aside and let cool off some. Meanwhile, whip just until soft peaks form: > 6 1/3 c. chilled Crème Fraiche (or substitute straight whipping cream)
To prepare the Chocolate Mousse, fold into the cooled chocolate mixture: > Approx. 1-2 c. of the above whipped Crème Fraiche.
Meanwhile, to the rest of the whipped Crème Fraiche add: > 11/2 c. Confectioner’s sugar > 1 1/2 TBS. vanilla
Set the frosting aside.
Split the sponge cake into three layers using serrated knife, setting the first layer (cut-side up) on a cardboard cake square (or flat, square plate). Set the other two layers on wax paper, cut side up. Drizzle the raspberry mixture over the cut side of all three layers.
For the first layer, after adding the raspberry mixture, add about half of the chocolate mousse mixture. Next, add half the Almond Paste, rolled out into a 9″ square (or whatever shape the cake is). Roll it between two layers of plastic wrap, then lift onto the cake, pulling the top half of the plastic wrap off afterwards.
For the next layer, carefully set the middle layer of cake drizzled with raspberry syrup, on top of first layer of cake, raspberry, and almond paste. Add the other half of the chocolate mousse mixture. Also, add the second half of the almond paste, again rolled into a 9″ square.
Finally, lift the top layer of cake (raspberry side down) onto the other two layers.
Frost the cake with the Whipped Crème Fraiche/Confectioner’s sugar mixture. Decorate accordingly. Can make a day ahead.
*For home-blanched almonds, dry them thouroughly before processing, for a smoother almond paste.