The most popular dessert on my catering menu is a dense homemade chocolate cake, soaked in chocolate syrup, filled with chocolate pudding, and topped with creamy chocolate ganache. There are several variations of this cake, and the following Raspberry Chocolate Decadence Cake is a showstopper dessert that is perfect for serving on Valentine’s Day and other special occasions. While it may look and sound complicated, each component is simple to make; I once made 100 of these cakes for a large wedding reception. The actual baking and assembling of those 100 cakes took less than a week, and I found that not only can the cakes be assembled and frozen weeks ahead, but once thawed, the cakes are actually moister and better than those assembled and served on the same day. I assume most of you won’t be making 100 of these cakes, but you can certainly make yours ahead, which will free you up on the day you plan to serve it, and leave only a little simple decorating (whipped cream and fresh raspberries) at the last minute.
Don’t be tempted to substitute a cake mix for the basic chocolate cake. Cake mix cakes are very convenient and even quite good, but the finished cakes are too light and aren’t dense enough to stand up to the liqueur, pudding, and ganache; you’ll end up with a soggy mess that won’t be a showstopper, but will be a complete disaster. The homemade cake is worth it. You can vary the flavors of this cake: Use Grand Marnier or Triple sec instead of raspberry liqueur, and orange marmalade, or use strawberry liqueur and strawberry jam. Cherry liqueur and cherry jam is also good (especially for President's Day). For plain chocolate, use chocolate liqueur or chocolate syrup and omit the jam. Any way you decide to make it, you will receive not only raves, but requests for the recipe.
1 Basic Chocolate Cake, baked in a 10" springform pan and cooled thoroughly
1/3 cup raspberry liqueur or raspberry flavored coffee syrup
3/4 cup raspberry jam
1 1/2 cups chocolate pudding (instant is fine)
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (or use chocolate chips)
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 cups sweetened whipped cream, for garnish
16 raspberries, for garnish
- Split the cooled cake lengthwise, making two layers.
- Drizzle the raspberry liqueur or syrup on the cut side of each layer and using a spoon, spread evenly.
- Place the bottom of the cake on a serving platter and spread with the jam, then with the chocolate pudding.
- Top with the remaining layer of cake, cut side down.
- With the flat side of a butter knife, go around the cake and remove any pudding that has oozed out.
- Pour the ganache (which has been cooled to room temperature) slowly over the top of the cake, carefully spreading to the edges and down the sides.
- Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, preferably 8 hours.
- Pipe whipped cream around the sides of the cake and on top before serving.
- Arrange raspberries decoratively on the whipped cream swirls.
- Add a few mint leaves for color.
- Ganache: Place the chocolate and whipping cream in microwave safe bowl; microwave 3 minutes and let sit 5 minutes.
- Add the corn syrup and whisk until smooth and thick.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 503 Calories from Fat 177
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 35% Protein 4% Carb. 61%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 20 g
Saturated Fat 12 g
Cholesterol 63 mg
Sodium 304 mg
Total Carbohydrate 76 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 4 g
Protein 5 g
Vitamin A 10% Vitamin C 1% Calcium 0% Iron 10%