Blackberry Chocolate Layer Cake
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour*
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 cups Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 10 oz chocolate, best quality (55-60% cocoa)
- 16 oz blackberries, fresh or defrosted if frozen
- 2 tablespoons Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 1-2 pints fresh blackberries
*Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- Preheat oven to 310°F.
- Butter and flour three 8-inch baking pans and set aside. (For easy removal, fit a round piece of parchment paper on bottom of baking pans.)
- Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and 2 cups sugar. Set aside.
- In a bowl large enough to hold all ingredients, whisk eggs and buttermilk until well combined. Add oil, vanilla, and salt and whisk smooth.
- Meanwhile heat water until hot.
- Add dry ingredients to buttermilk-egg mixture and whisk smooth. Add hot water in 3 increments, while whisking batter smooth in between additions.
- Divide batter evenly into pans and place in oven; bake for 40-45 minutes until center of cake bounces back when lightly pressed with a finger or an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- After 5 minutes turn cakes upside down on plastic food-lined surface and allow to cool completely before filling or frosting, about 1 hour.
- Prepare filling: If using chocolate in chip form - place in a bowl; if in bar shape - cut in pieces about the size of chocolate chips and set aside.
- Puree blackberries until smooth. Press mixture through a sieve to remove seeds.
- Pour blackberry puree into a measuring cup and fill to 1 1/4 cup. Use any remaining amount to flavor sparkling water or as a topping for pancakes or toast.
- In a small saucepan, bring blackberry puree and 2 tablespoons sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and pour onto chocolate. Whisk smooth and set ganache aside in the refrigerator.
- Place a cake round onto a serving platter. Check consistency of blackberry chocolate ganache; it should be as firm as peanut butter. If too soft, place bowl in an ice bath while stirring.
- Spread 1/3 of ganache onto cake layer and top with another cake layer.
- Spread another 1/3 of ganache on the cake and top with remaining cake layer. Spread only 1/2 of remaining ganache on the surface.
- Whip heavy cream and 1 tablespoon sugar to medium firm peaks and spread onto surface of top layer of cake. Top with fresh blackberries and if desired sprinkle with powdered sugar.
- Right before serving, heat remaining ganache until liquid and pour onto each cake slice. This cake is most delicious when served at room temperature.