Chocolate and raspberry celebration cake
- Cooking Time: 20 mins
- Cuisine: Irish
- This is the best cake you will ever eat – light chocolate sponge with the sharp flavour of raspberry mousse. Thank you to Garrett Byrne of Kilkenny’s Campagne restaurant for sharing this mousse recipe with me.
- For the sponge:
- 4 large eggs – at room temperature (they whisk up better)
- 120g caster sugar
- 20g cocoa powder
- 100g plain flour
- For the raspberry mousse:
- 100ml water
- 150g sugar
- 400g frozen raspberries – leave to defrost for about an hour
- Finely grated zest and juice of one lemon
- 3 leaves of gelatine
- 150ml cream
- 150g crème fraîche
- 2 egg whites
- 35g icing sugar
- For the chocolate ganache:
- 210g dark chocolate
- 120g butter
- Raspberries to decorate
Grease and line a 20cm/8inch tin with baking parchment. If you grease the tin first it’s easier to get the paper to stick to the tin.
Begin by making the sponge. In the bowl of an electric mixer add the eggs and sugar, whisk on a medium speed for 8/10 minutes until the mixture has trebled in size and has a light mousse-like appearance.
Sieve the cocoa powder and flour together. Using a metal spoon fold the sieved flour and cocoa powder into the whisked egg and sugar. Do this a little at a time folding gently as each addition is incorporated. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Smooth the top and bake in a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees/gas 3 for 20 minutes or so, until springy and coming away from the side of the tin.
Allow to cool in the tin for five minutes then carefully turn out on a wire rack, leaving the smooth bottom of the cake facing up to avoid being indented by the wire rack – this helps when it comes to decorating.
For the mousse, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 10 minutes.
Put the sugar and water in a heavy-based saucepan and simmer until the sugar is dissolved, then let it cook to a dark caramel. This will take just a few minutes, so keep a watchful eye on it.
Reduce the heat and add the raspberries, lemon juice and zest, cook for five to seven minutes, then purée in a food processor.
Place a fine nylon sieve over a heatproof bowl and pass the puréed mixture through the sieve. You should be left with just seeds in the sieve. Add the soaked gelatine to the raspberry purée and place bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir the purée, into which the gelatine should now dissolve. This should take just a minute or two.
Whip the cream and crème fraîche to soft peaks. Be careful not to over-whip, if you do the cream will be lumpy and hard to incorporate with the egg whites and purée. Now whisk the egg whites. As they stiffen, add the icing sugar, bit by bit. Fold the egg whites into the cream and then fold in the cooled raspberry purée.
For the ganache, melt the butter and chocolate together in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
The butter content will give the ganache its silky, glossy finish. Allow it to cool down for 15 to 20 minutes. As it cools, it will set slightly and become more manageable to work with.
To assemble: first, line the tin in which you baked the cake with cling film. If you oil the tin lightly it will give the cling film more purchase. Then line the sides of the tin with baking parchment. The parchment should come up at least an inch over the top of the tin.
When the cake is completely cooled, slice horizontally into three equal layers. Place the bottom layer (this will be the top of the cake when the cake is turned out) into the base of the tin. Pour half the mousse into the tin and spread evenly over the cake. Now place the middle layer of cake on top of the mousse and pour in the remaining mousse. Place the remaining layer on top. Leave in the fridge for a few hours or, better still, overnight to set.
When the mousse is fully set, turn the cake out onto a serving plate. Pour the ganache on top of the cake then, using a palette knife, gently coax the ganache down onto the sides of the cake until it is covered evenly.
Decorate with raspberries and some pretty leaves, dusted liberally with icing sugar. If you are putting candles in the cake it’s probably a good idea to pop these in before the icing sets properly.
Ideally the cake should stay in a cool place until needed but don’t put it in the fridge if you can avoid doing so, as the chocolate ganache will lose its beautiful lustre.
Photography: Shane O’Neill
Food styling: Leona Humphreys