Sean’s Dark Chocolate & Berry Birthday Cake
Last week was Sean’s birthday, so he needed a cake. He introduced me to a social life in Georgia, thanks sir! I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe found here. 3 layers, with raspberry preserves followed by raspberry swiss buttercream and another layer of blueberry preserves and blueberry swiss buttercream. Here’s what I found with experimenting with flavoring swiss buttercream: Many websites suggest extract, but I’m the kind of girl who likes to keep it real. I know I make vanilla, but it has no place in my berry icing. So I added about a handful of fresh berries and about 2 tablespoons of preserve to each batch of icing. My mistake was that I should have pureed the berries first (too chunky), I assumed it would do that on it’s own when mixing.
Also, the buttercream wasn’t AS berry-flavored as I would have liked. I should have added more preserves. I hesitated since as phenomenal as swiss buttercream is, it’s very finicky to make and can fold easily. Often when adding the butter, it disintegrates before it comes together. Also, the most important part of icing a cake is a crumb layer, those are not pretty. A thin layer of icing outside in the fridge for a minimum of 15 minutes will seal any icing/crumbs from making an unsightly crumby icing job.
The icing was dark chocolate ganache that I poured on. You have to make sure that the cake is nice and chilled before you do that. Also, don’t have the icing be right off the stove, maybe let it cool 2 minutes. Some websites say chill the cake 15 minutes, I would do it a minimum of a half hour.
Happy Birthday Sean!
- 12 ounces chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- 1 cup heavy cream
Melt chocolate pieces in a large metal bowl over a pot of simmering water on stove (double boiler). Add heavy cream and mix until smooth. Cool a minute or so before pouring over cake.
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 large egg whites
- 26 tablespoons butter, softened (3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons)
- Either 1 ts of extract or 4 tbsp of fruit preserves
Whisk egg whites and sugar together in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until you can’t feel the sugar granules between your fingers. Transfer mixture into the mixer and whip until it turns white and about doubles in size. Wipe condensation off the bowl so that no water gets into the egg whites. Add the vanilla, butter and preserves and whip.