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A single slice of Raspberry-Chocolate Ganache Torte with the rest of the cake in the background
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Raspberry-Chocolate Ganache Torte

Begin baking the cake one day ahead for a well-structured cake. 
Course Sweets
Cuisine North American
Keyword cake, chocolate, ganache, raspberry
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
resting and decorating 2 hours
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 10 servings

Ingredients

Buttermilk

  • 1 cup 2% milk, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

Chocolate Cake

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup brewed coffee, hot

Raspberry American Buttercream

  • 1 pound unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup raspberry preserves or jam

Chocolate Ganache

  • 12 oz dark, semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon cognac, optional

To Garnish

  • sprinkles or chocolate shavings optional

Instructions

  • Pre-heat your oven to 350°F. Grease two 8"x3" cake pans with baking spray, or with a thin layer of shortening and a light dusting of cocoa powder.  For added measure, line the pans with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the cake pan. 

Make the Buttermilk

  • In a jar or bowl, stir the milk and vinegar. Let this mixture sit for 15 minutes, or until curdled.

Make the Cake Batter

  • Mix the flour, both sugars, cocoa powder, baking soda and powder, and the salt together in a large mixing bowl until well-blended.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the oil, eggs, vanilla extract, and the buttermilk. Use a hand mixer to blend everything together, on low speed, for 2 minutes.
  • Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and blend on low speed until the flour is moistened. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Blend for 30 seconds on low speed.  
  • Add the coffee, then blend on low speed for 1 minute. 
  • Divide the batter equally between the two pans. Use your rubber spatula to rapidly tap the sides of the cake pans to release any air bubbles within in the batter. 
  • Bake the cakes for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, and the sides of the cake pull away from the pans.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 5 minutes before turning them out onto a cooling rack and letting them cool completely. 
  • Wrap the cakes in plastic wrap once they've cooled, and let them rest overnight to develop their structure. 

Make the Raspberry Buttercream

  • Using a stand mixer fitted the paddle attachment, beat the butter and the shortening together on medium-high for 4-5 minutes, or until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl down a couple of time while you're mixing.
  • Reduce the speed to low, and add the lemon juice, vanilla, and salt, followed by the sugar, one cup at a time. 
  • Once all of the sugar has been added, increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 5 minutes, or until light and airy and ivory in color. 
  • Lower the speed and slowly mix in the raspberry preserves. Scrape down the buttercream again and mix until well blended on low. 
  • Cover until ready to use. 

Prepare the Chocolate Ganache

  • Pour a couple of inches of water into the bottom pan of a double boiler and bring the water to a simmer over low heat.
  • Add heavy cream and chocolate chips to the top bowl, along with the cognac (optional- you can use vanilla extract, instead).
  • Allow the simmering cream to begin melting the chocolate- it will begin to look glossy and will swirl in the cream.
  • Whisk together the cream and the chocolate until you have a thick, glossy sauce. Remove it from the heat and let it set up for 10-15 minutes.

Decorate the Cake

  • Cut each cake into two layers. Reserve the bottom portion of one of the cakes to use as the top of the decorated cake.
  • Fill a piping bag with the raspberry buttercream. Cut 1" off of the tip of the piping bag (or use a 1" round tip). Using your non-dominant hand as the guide, squeeze the top of the bag with your dominant hand and outline the cake with a line of buttercream. End the buttercream where you began to create an unbroken ring.
  • Scoop 1 1/2 cups of the buttercream into the center of your raspberry buttercream ring.
  • Use large offset spatula to spread the buttercream into an even layer about 3/4"- 1" thick. Place your next layer of cake on top of the layer of icing and use any icing that has seeped out from in between the layers to seal the new layer to the one you've just iced.
  • Repeat these steps again until you've iced three layers of cake. For the fourth, and final layer, place the bottom of the cake layer face up.
  • Spread a very thin, even layer of icing all around and on the top of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for 1 hour to allow the icing to become firm.
  • Once the icing is firm, ice the cake in a thick layer of buttercream. Use a bench scraper or icing spatula that has been dipped in hot water to smooth out the final coat of buttercream.

Add Embellishments

  • Press a 1 1/2"-2" border of sprinkles against the bottom of the cake, be sure to have a dish or pan underneath your turntable to catch fall out. 
  • Leave a 2" gap in the sprinkle border to allow for space to transfer the cake from the turntable to your cake display dish with your spatula. This will prevent ruining the sprinkles. Once you've transferred the cake, just press the sprinkles into cover the gap.
  • Place the cake in the freezer after transferring it to the cake stand. Allow the icing to harden for thirty minutes. 
  • Heat the ganache for 30 seconds-1 minute to get it runny, but not too hot.
  • Remove the cake from the freezer and pour the ganache on top of the cake, right in the center. Use a small offset spatula to spread it over the surface and coax it over the sides in little drips. 
  • Allow the ganache to set up for 5 minutes before slicing with a thin, clean knife. Enjoy!

Notes

If you're making the buttercream ahead, cover the bowl after the final whipping time and put it in the refrigerator. If you do refrigerate it, you'll need to pull it from the fridge an hour, or two, ahead to allow it to warm up and become soft enough to re-whip.
Leftovers can be kept at room temperature for 48 hours. You can also store it in the fridge for up to 72 hours. 
Press a piece of wax paper (or plastic wrap) against any exposed cake to prevent drying out.