DIY Star for your Wedding Dessert Buffet

As promised – here comes the next installment of my DIY series!

This time it’s a super-delicious chocolate cake that’s not too hard to make and that can easily be the superstar of your dessert buffet! It’s incredibly rich and moist, and you can dress it up for your wedding with edible gold powder (from amazon.com) and a cake topper – done! One cake yields 16 slices – best with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream.

Make ahead: up to 2 weeks (wrap and freeze); fresh fruit decorations must go on shortly before serving; edible gold can be applied before freezing.

Here is the recipe:

Cake/Filling:

8 oz top-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (e.g. Ghirardelli, Valrhona)

12 tbsp unsalted butter in 1/2 inch pieces

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp instant espresso powder

7 oz sliced almonds, lightly toasted (or, if using gold decor instead of chopped almonds for the sides, only 4 oz)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

5 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup fresh raspberries (plus 16 berries for decoration if using)

1/4 cup seedless best-quality raspberry jam

Glaze:

5 oz top-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. heavy whipping cream

 

Heat oven to 325 F; rack in middle position. Line two 9-inch round cake pans (at least 2 inch high) with parchment paper. Melt chocolate and butter in double boiler until smooth, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, let cool to room temperature, add vanilla and espresso powder. If using chopped almonds for garnish of cake sides, process 3/4 cups almonds in food processor until coarsely chopped; set aside. (Skip this step if using something else for garnish of cake sides). Grind 1 cup almonds finely, add flour and salt and continue processing until combined; transfer to medium bowl. Process eggs in food processor until light and doubled in volume, adding sugar. With whisk, fold egg mix into chocolate mix until only few streaks remain; sprinkle almond mix over by and by, gently whisking, until just combined. Divide batter between prepared pans, smooth top, bake until center is firm and toothpick comes out with few crumbs attached, ca. 14-16 min. Let cool in pans; loosen sides and invert cakes on cardboard rounds, then re-invert ONE cake so that its top is facing up again. For filling, coarsely mash 1/2 cup raspberries and stir in jam until just combined. Spread onto cake layer with the top side up; top with second cake, bottom side up. Transfer whole cake to wire rack set over baking sheet or big sheet of aluminum foil. For glaze, melt chocolate and cream in double boiler and whisk until very smooth. Pour glaze onto center of assembled cake, spreading evenly with offset spatula on top and sides. Decorate as desired (for look as photo shows: chopped almonds on the sides, 16 individual raspberries on top; for wedding-themed look: edible gold powder or flakes and cake topper). Refrigerate until glaze is set, at least one hour.