Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Real Deal

"Should I or should I not?"

That was what I was thinking at the liquor store in front of a wall of shelves with alcohol. I have been eyeing on this recipe for a few years and this is the time to do it! All I am missing is 5 ml of good raspberry liquor. And out of all the different types - from bacadi rum to vodka infused with gold, and even champagne sell in mini bottles - the only raspberry liquor available only comes in big bottles. The price is not cheap either. So should I, or should I not.

And as the photo has given you the answer.

I could not believe I just spent 40 dollars on a bottle of alcohol that I can make over 200 of the same cake of. You can buy some really good cake out of the 40 bucks already. I must be insane. This recipe has to be good.

So what did I make? A 3 layer chocolate sponge cake with raspberry butter cream and dark chocolate ganache. That was some intense flavour I put together. Besides the raspberry liquor, I have added pureed frozen raspberries that I have sieved by myself into a egg yolk based butter cream. That was some intense flavour and colour I've got there! If I didn't mix the concoction myself, I swear the mixture looked like the butter cream had been contaminated by artificial food colouring.

With the intense butter cream, I have paired it with a dense chocolate sponge cake. The initial batch was much thinner than I have anticipated and the colour wasn't as dark as hoped, so I scraped the first batch and edited the recipe on hand. Unlike regular chocolate sponge cake, or cacao sponge cake I should say, this recipe is darker, denser and much heavier thanks to the addition of melted chocolate. And this recipe only calls for egg whites, which in some way you feel less guilty eating it because of the absence of cholesterol intensified yolks. So should we move on to the recipe?

Intense Chocolate Sponge Cake
inspired by The Sweet Trick by Susumu Koyama
recipe doubled to make 8" round cake
320g egg whites
170g sugar
160g bittersweet chocolate, broken into small pieces (I have used 72% for this recipe)
90g whipping cream
5g butter
10g cacao powder ( I have used Ghirardelli)
80g cake flour with a pinch of salt

  1. Boil whipping cream and add to the bittersweet chocolate placed in a heat proof bowl. Let sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Slightly warm up in a double boiler if there is not enough heat to melt the chocolate. Add butter until completely dissolved.
  2. Whisk egg whites until soft peaks. Gradually add sugar while whisking until stiff peaks formed.
  3. Add half of egg whites to the chocolate ganache in step 1. Fold it in. Add sieved flour and cacao powder and fold until just incorporated. Add the remaining egg whites.
  4. Put the mixture in an 8" round cake pan and bake at 325F for 50 to 60 minutes. There should be a slightly crusty top and toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Invert cake pan on a wiring rack and let cool.
Creme au Beurre Framboise (Raspberry Butter Cream)
30g water
90g sugar
36g egg yolk
180g unsalted butter
120g raspberry puree
5g raspberry liquor (I have used Chambord)
5g lemon juice

  1. Boil sugar and water in a small pot to soft ball stage (118C).
  2. Slightly whisk egg yolks, the slowly drizzle in hot sugar syrup while whisking. Whisk until thick and ribbon stage. (The recipe calls for whisking the mixture over a double boiler until 82C, which mine refused to heat up after reaching 62C. I have done some research online and saw other similar recipes without this stage. Next time I would try to omit the double boiler step.)
  3. Beat softened butter until smooth. Add the egg yolk mixture to the butter and stir.
  4. Stir in puree, liquor and lemon juice. Refridgerate until use.
 Now I need to find more recipes that require raspberry liquor to use up my big bottle of Chambord.


  1. I experienced great pleasure to visit your blog.
    Good luck. Until new appointments

  2. It's alright... at least the wine bottle looks cool. Chocolate and raspberry is always a great combination. This cake is quite heavy, isn't it?

  3. Very heavy indeed. there's 1 giant bar of chocolate, about half a cup of cream and 1 pint fresh raspberries for decoration. You can add that up with the recipes. Sure 8" cake will feed 14 people!



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