Raspberry Chocolate Cake

    Vegetable-oil cooking spray
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
    1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder 
    3/4 teaspoon baking soda 
    1 teaspoon coarse salt 
    1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature 
    1 1/4 cups sugar 
    3 large eggs, room temperature 
    1 tablespoon raspberry liqueur, such as Chambord or framboise
    1 cup buttermilk, room temperature 
    4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (61 percent cacao), melted and cooled 
4 packages (6 ounces each) fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons sugar 
Pinch of coarse salt 
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 

2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted 
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder 
Pinch of coarse salt 6
 ounces cream cheese, room temperature 
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature 
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate (61 percent cacao), melted and cooled 
3/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat three 8-by-2-inch round cake panswith cooking spray. (I did two). In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In another large bowl, beat butter with sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in liqueur. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk in two batches. Beat to combine, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in melted chocolate. 
2. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans, smoothing tops with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating pans halfway through front to back and top to bottom, until a tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Run a small sharp knife around edges, then invert onto rack. Remove parchment and let cool completely, about 25 minutes. With a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes so they're level. 
3. Filling: While cakes are baking, stir together 3 cups raspberries, sugar, salt, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Cook over high, stirring frequently and mashing with the back of a spoon, until mixture comes to a boil, 2 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring, until mixture thickens and clings to spoon, 7 to 8 minutes more. (You should have 1 1/3 cups.) Let cool 30 minutes. Stir in 2 cups raspberries, reserving remainder. 
4. Spread half of filling over one cake. Top with second layer; spread remaining filling over top. Top with final layer (if you did three), cut-side down. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour and up to overnight. 
5. Sift together sugar, cocoa, and salt. Beat cream cheese with butter on medium-high speed until smooth. Reduce speed to medium-low; gradually add cocoa mixture and beat until combined. Pour in chocolate in a slow, steady stream. Add creme fraiche; beat until combined. Frosting can be stored in refrigerator up to 5 days; bring to room temperature and beat before using. Spread frosting over top and sides of cake. Garnish with remaining raspberries. 

Recipe from Martha Stewart Living, February 2016

Happy Valentines Day!


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