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Insane Chocolate Raspberry Cake

My chocolate raspberry cake is one of my biggest secrets--but I'm sharing the recipe with you today.
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chocolate raspberry cake decorated

My insane Chocolate Raspberry Cake has a dense, moist crumb with deep chocolate flavor.

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The raspberry filling is the perfect acidic foil to the richness of the cake and frosting. This chocolate raspberry cake is one of my biggest secrets. I invented the recipe for a friend's wedding cake about ten years ago. I knew I had something special when I found my mom, who has the kind iron willpower the rest of us would kill for, hunched over the counter with a fork, eating it directly from the pan. "I can't stop," she said.

The chocolate raspberry cake is best if you make it a day ahead of when you want to serve it and let it hang out in the fridge getting all awesome. You can frost it with a chocolate buttercream, or go all crazy with a whipped chocolate ganache. You can easily make this recipe vegan by leaving out the butter in the filling (the cake has no eggs or butter.)

Chocolate Midnight Cake (based on my mother-in-law's recipe)

3 c. flour
2 c. sugar
2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
2/3 c. cocoa
2/3 c. oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp vinegar
2 c. cold water

Add all dry ingredients to a bowl. Whisk to combine. Add in oil, vanilla, cold water, and beat for one minute. Add the vinegar and beat for another minute or so. Grease and flour two 9X2" round cake pans. You can divide into 9" cake pans, one 9X13, or three 8" layers. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 35-45 minutes, sometimes even 50 (depending on your pans and oven.) After 30 minutes, check with a toothpick in the center. Toothpick should come out clean, or with only a few crumbs. If it's wet, add another 5 minutes to baking time and check again. When done, let cool in pans for 5-10 minutes, then turn out to finish cooling*. The cake should be thoroughly cooled before you try to frost it.

*If you want to be positive that the layers come out, trace the cake pans on wax paper and cut out circles, grease bottoms of pans to hold wax paper, put in wax paper, grease and flour the whole pan. When it comes out of the oven you will just need to run a knife along the outside of the pan and then turn out, the wax paper will make sure the cakes release.

Raspberry Filling

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1 bag of frozen raspberries, thawed

Juice of half a lemon divided

1/2 tsp salt,

1 cup sugar

1/3 c. cornstarch

1 TBL unsalted butter

2 tsp framboise (raspberry liqueur; totally optional)

In a medium sauce pan with high sides, bring the thawed raspberries, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and half of the lemon juice to boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Boil one minute (the filling will be thick, so be careful) and remove from heat. Taste the filling and make sure it's tart but sweet. Add the butter, framboise, and the rest of the lemon juice. Press through a sieve to remove seeds. Cover filling with a layer of plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and cool for about 20-30 minutes before assembling the cake. This recipe doubles easily. You can even throw in some fresh berries into the finished filling.

To Assemble:

Slice each cake round in half. Place one layer on a plate or cake stand. Add about 1/3 of raspberry filling and spread to the edges, top with the other half. Add another 1/3 of filling to this layer, and then repeat with the next layer. You could also fill just the layers and use chocolate frosting in the middle. Frost the cake with a crumb layer of chocolate buttercream or ganache, and allow to chill until set (about 20 minutes.) Frost the cake with the remainder of the frosting and let chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

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