Chocolate Cake and Vanilla Bean Frosting with Blackberry Ganache

Layers of decadence! I wanted to try a different chocolate cake that was dark & delicious. The blackberry ganache is so darn good — just grab a spoon and forget the cake kind of good πŸ˜‰

Vanilla bean frosting is delicious plus I love the little specks.  If you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out. The blackberry ganache adds an extra special flavor to this amazing cake! I baked this for a friend’s birthday. He loved it…everyone loved it! The next time you’re in the mood to bake — it’s definitely worth the time + plenty of cake deliciousness to share. πŸ€˜πŸ«β€οΈπŸ˜ƒ #getyourbakeon

Recipe by Wood and Spoon, Kate

Ingredients for the cake: 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour – 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar – 3/4 cup dark cocoa powder – 2 TSP baking soda- 2 1/4 TSP corn starch – 1 1/2 TSP salt – 3 eggs, room temperature – 1 1/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature – 3/4 cup black coffee, hot – 1/2 cup vegetable oil – 1 1/2 TBSP pure vanilla extract 

For the Vanilla bean frosting: 6 TBSP all purpose flour – 1 1/2 cup whole milk – 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature – 1 1/2 cups sugar – 1/4 TSP salt – 1 TBSP vanilla bean paste – 1 cup mixed berries, for garnish 

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 3 (8 or 9 inch) round cake pans with baking spray and line the bottoms with parchment rounds. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all of the dry ingredients and stir until combined. In a separate bowl, loosely combine all of the wet ingredients and add to the bowl of the dry ingredients. Mix on medium speed for just shy of 2 minutes, scraping the bowl, twice throughout. Pour equal amounts of batter in to all 3 pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until center is just barely set and toothpick comes out of the cake almost clean. Allow to cool in the pans and on a cooling rack for 20 minutes and remove from pans to continue cooling process. Cake will stay fresh for 2 days if covered or for one month if wrapped well in saran wrap and frozen in the freezer. 

To prepare the ganache: Heat the cream over low heat until barely simmer. Remove from heat and add the chocolate, jam and the butter. Briefly stir the contents of the pan and allow to rest for about 2 minutes. Stir to combine until smooth. If some of the chocolate has not yet melted, put the pan back on very low heat and stir until smooth. Be careful not to scorch the mixture. When smooth, pour ganache into a bowl and set aside to cool to a thick, peanut butter consistency. To prepare the vanilla bean frosting: Place the flour into a small saucepan and slowly drizzle in 1/3 cup of the milk. Whisking all of the while. Be sure to whisk out any clumps. Once smooth, slowly whisk in remaining milk and place the pan over medium heat. Continue whisking until the mixture comes to a simmer, cooking for an additional minute until thickened to a paste. Remove the paste to a small bowl and place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top. Allow to cool to room temperature. Once the paste has cooled, beat the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla bean paste in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the milk paste and beat on medium speed for an additional 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl. Store in an air tight container until to frost the cake. 

To Assemble the cake: Use a large serrated knife to level your cake layers. Spread 1/3 of the ganache mixture on top of each cake layer, leaning 1/2 border around the perimeter of the cake. Place in the fridge on a cooling rack briefly to set the ganache. Spread a bit of the frosting on an 8 inch cake board or cake plate. Spread about 1 1/4 cups of the frosting on top and the add an additional cake layer. Repeat this process and then frost the cake with the remaining frosting. Garnish with fresh berries and store in fridge if not eating the same day. 

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