Yesterday was my son's 21st birthday. It was an eventful day. I started out in the ceramics studio glazing my sculptures and getting the kiln loaded and firing. It took longer than I thought and I never got around to making the recycle clay so that will have to happen today. After that business I headed home to work on the cake. The day made for a good time to reflect on life and remember what I was doing when I turned 21. I was a young single mom and my son was almost three months old so not too much partying for me. I lived in Santa Barbara, CA at the time and I was a real beach girl go. So hanging out at the beach for a barbaque with family and friends was just right for me. It was also a day of much gratefulness as my son was hit by a car just over a year ago while he was walking across the street to go to a ballroom dance class. It has been a year of many challenges and we are glad to have made it to this point.
I was planning on making a cake and I asked what kind of cake he would like. I thought it would be pineapple upside down cake or cheesecake. He was thinking of a chocolate beer cake and we eventually settled on a Chocolate Sour Cream Cake with Raspberry Filling. I found a couple of recipes and combined the batter from one with the frosting from another. It's kind of funny how things repeat. The one thing I really wanted for my birthday party was this incredible chocolate cake that seemed to be frosted with fudge and covered with chocolate leaves that a local bakery made. Now, we're having chocolate again. I can't remember if I have ever made a layer cake before but I did have to go buy some round cake pans. Unfortunately, I found out after eating some of my birthday cake that my nursing baby boy didn't really like chocolate milk. But I'm making up for it now!
I ran to the store in the morning to get some ingredients for the cake but the store I went to charged way more than what I am used to so I had to run to another store in the afternoon. That was almost a fiasco as the store was packed which makes me kind of freak out. I ditched the shopping cart just to get through the throng and picked up another shopping cart down the way. Then I got to the check out and forgot that they don't take credit cards and I didn't have cash or a check with me. Luckily they held my purchase while I dashed home for some money. Finally I got started with the batter and realized I was probably making the world's most fattening chocolate cake. Yum! Butter, chocolate, sour cream, heavy whipping cream and a pound of chocolate. What could be better. Oh yeah, raspberries! The cake ended up being a two day affair. Both the cake layers and the chocolate ganache filling/frosting needed to cool before I assembled the cake. My son was heading off to a party with his friends so we decided we would have it today. This is a picture of the first cake layer with a smear of ganache and a spread of fresh raspberries mashed up with some raspberry jam.
This cake probably has about half an inch of ganache covering it, probably overkill but that's what the recipe called for and I wasn't sure what else I was going to do with the leftovers. I know, your thinking just eat it. Yeah, I thought of that but was having too much fun frosting the cake. I had lots of extra raspberries so naturally the needed to adorn the top of the cake. Now my son is sleeping in from his party last night and I'm not sure when we will slice into this baby but it is calling to me. The question is, should we add some vanilla bean ice cream to the mix. I mean, after all, we might as well go completely overboard. Right?
Chocolate Sour Cream Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Raspberry Filling
For cake layers:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
Make cake layers:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans, knocking out excess flour.
Into a bowl sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl whisk together sour cream, water, and vanilla.(Note: I accidentally picked up 8" pans and wish I had divided the batter among the three pans per the frosting recipe. I probably would have used more in the filling and less on the frosting that way)
In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in batches alternately with sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating until batter is blended well.
Divide batter between prepared pans and smooth tops. Bake layers in middle of oven 25 to 30 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans on racks 10 minutes before turning out onto racks to cool completely. Cake layers may be made 1 week ahead and frozen, wrapped well in plastic wrap. Thaw layers before proceeding with recipe.