For a special celebration, this Winter Celebration Cake starts with an amazingly rich, tender and moist Chocolate Raspberry Cake, layered with luscious Raspberry Jam Filling, silky Chocolate Mascarpone and covered with Dark Chocolate Ganache. Rich dark chocolate cake and fresh raspberries are even more indulgent when topped with wintery Chocolate Pinecones and Sugared Cranberries and Sugared Rosemary. The fragrance from the Sugared Rosemary gives this an outdoor fresh smell and seasonal flavor as well! A truly special cake!
My daughter and I spent a relaxing afternoon creating the Chocolate Almond Pinecones - almost arts & crafts for grown-ups! We took our time, enjoying a snowy afternoon and a glass of wine.
The Chocolate Almond Pinecones can be made any size that you like, and easily made ahead of time. And they taste as wonderful as they look! A fudgy center, almond slices, dusted with dark cocoa powder and a final dusting of powdered sugar gives these a wintery look.
Although there are a lot of steps in this recipe, you can easily create the garnishes and Raspberry Jam Filling days ahead of time.
The batter for the Chocolate Cake is luscious and comes together fast. Buttermilk and vegetable oil guarantee a moist cake with nice crumb. For cake layer conformity, I usually weigh my cake pans and batter on a digital scale before baking to keep them as much the same as I can. Baking is easier and foolproof as well when you follow this method.
Four layers of luscious chocolate cake, glorious with Fresh Raspberry Filling and a dreamy Chocolate Mascarpone Filling. Silky Chocolate Ganache is a dream to work with, and a delicious secret ingredient in the Chocolate Mascarpone Filling.
Garnish right before serving. This wonderful Winter Celebration Cake also makes a wonderful centerpiece for special celebrations - truly a masterpiece!
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup dark unsweetened baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk (room temperature)
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs (room temperature)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¾ cup boiling water
Fresh Raspberry Filling (or substitute 12 oz. seedless raspberry jam)
12 oz. fresh or frozen raspberries (thawed)
1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup granulated sugar
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate (high quality - I recommend Ghirardelli)
1 2/3 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon corn syrup
Chocolate Mascarpone Filling
6 oz. (3/4 cup) mascarpone
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup chocolate ganache
Chocolate & Almond Pinecones
Sugared Cranberries & Sugared Rosemary
HOW I MAKE THIS:
YIELD: 12 servings
CHOCOLATE CAKE NOTES
RASPBERRY FILLING NOTES
CHOCOLATE GANACHE NOTES
CHOCOLATE MASCARPONE NOTES
Originally posted January 2020.
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