Crème de cassis adds a welcome twist to this easy chocolate cake topped with fresh summer berries, and whipped cream frosting makes decorating it a cakewalk.
What to buy:Crème de cassis (black currant liqueur) is available at most grocery and liquor stores.
Game plan: You can make this cake ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until you serve it. Try to keep it away from anything that will give off strong odors, as the whipped cream will pick up odors easily.
Make sure that all the ingredients (except the heavy cream) are at room temperature before using them in the cake.
1Heat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour an 8 1/2-inch cake pan.
2In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt together the butter and unsweetened chocolate. Remove from heat.
3Add the hot water and 1 cup of the sugar. Mix together, then set aside to cool.
4Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder to break up any lumps and aerate the mixture.
5Whisk the egg and vanilla extract into the chocolate mixture until well incorporated.
6Add the vinegar to the milk and mix. Alternately whisk the milk and flour mixtures into the chocolate mixture until both are thoroughly incorporated.
7Pour the mixture into the cake pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
8Check the cake at 30 minutes. It’s done if a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and allow to cool in the pan.
9In a large bowl, whip together the heavy cream and remaining 2 teaspoons sugar until they form soft peaks. Grate the bittersweet chocolate and set aside. Rinse the raspberries.
10Run a knife around the perimeter of the cooled cake, and invert the cake onto a plate. Slice the cake in half, horizontally, to make a top half and a bottom half. Sprinkle each cut side generously with crème de cassis. Place the bottom half on a platter or an inverted cake pan, cut side up.
11With a spatula, spread 1/3 of the whipped cream over the cut side of the bottom half. Stack the top half, cut side up, on the bottom half. Spread the remaining whipped cream over the top and sides of the cake. To garnish, scatter some of the raspberries on the top, and press the grated bittersweet chocolate onto the sides. Put the cake in the refrigerator until it’s time for dessert.
Beverage pairing:Cornet & Cie Banyuls Rimage, France. This recipe is a wine pairer’s dream, as it brings the flavors of wine right into the chocolate. Banyuls is from the south of France and makes the world’s most chocolate-friendly wines. They’ve got some mineral integrity to take on the darkest of chocolates, but also the integrated fruit flavors of cassis and cherry to make a harmonious match.