Raspberry Chocolate Cake With Caramelized Almonds
Technically this is not a Christmas Cake…obviously, we did not have this for Christmas… Fujiya (不二家) the huge bakery chain in Japan had a genius idea in 1922. Let’s sell Christmas cakes to a non-Christian nation!
Sounds fishy but it worked! Just having a beautifully decorated cake on Christmas day brings happiness to all of the children of Japan (?)…our home included. Anticipation of waiting for the cake to arrive, lighting up the candles, taking pictures with cheap camera (in the dark ) - none of them turned out good naturally, rock, paper and scissors with siblings to see who gets the sugar Santa…all good memories. To see this year’s selection click here…hurry, today is the last day to order.
We were puzzled one year over our finally-arrived Christmas cake,
‘Is this what we ordered?”
“I dunno…. “
Back then the order was made by using the ‘pointing system’ from the poster hung in the store front, we’d like that one, no not that one, the one on the right… then the store clerk would write down on the piece of paper.
It was era of no cell-phones…who do you call? Ghost busters?..just kidding. The delivery boy was long gone ….we started worry that the fresh cream would melt and it was too big to fit in the tiny refrigerator. Examining the cake for 10, 15 minutes, hoping someone to say, let’s eat but initiating the first move felt wrong somehow.
We were saved by the bell finally… the door bell. ‘My bad” said delivery boy (not so much as the words of course). He gave us the right one and took the not–our–cake which I saw my brother licked the conspicuous area while examining it…. what a rascal.
Phew! I shouldn’t make the cake between errands and obligations. Rush to decorate, rush to take pictures… lost bit of joy of baking…just a tad.
Ingredients and Instruction for one 8 inch cake (Print Recipe Here)
Necessary equipment – 8 inch removable bottom round pan, food scale, parchment paper, food thermometer, pastry brush, electric mixer
For caramelized almond
- 50g sugar
- 20g water
- 60g sliced almond
- 4 egg whites
- 80g and 60g sugar
- 70g unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 egg yolks
- 70g of 60% cacao chocolate shaved Note: no shaving is necessary for chocolate tablets. Save your time by shave all your chocolate at once and label it.
- 80g low viscosity flour (薄力粉)
- 4g baking powder
- 280g cream
- 185g dark chocolate (I used 60% cacao chocolate) shaved
- 45g sugar
- 50g water
- 2-3 drops of rum flavoring or orange extract
For Chocolate coating
- 180g cream
- 60g dark chocolate, shaved
- 80g milk chocolate, shaved
Fruits – Any berries for filling and garnish (optional)
- Make almond caramel – Put water and sugar into small sauce pan, boil for few minutes to thicken at medium heat, turn off heat and add almonds and stir well until it gest dry, color gets white and crystalize. Back on the burner and stir frequently until the almonds turn deep brown at medium heat. Spread onto parchment paper to cool. Chop. Set aside
- Prepare and set aside following - cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan, and side (cut so that it is a little bit taller than the pan, mine showed that it’s unnecessary tall).
Sift flour and baking powder together.
Melt 70g of shaved chocolate in small microwave proof bowl and microwave for1-2 minutes with 50% power stir well.
- Beat the egg white and 80g sugar In large bowl on high till stiff peak but not dry Set aside.
- Pre-heat oven to 356F. In another bowl, cream butter with whisk or hand held mixer until light then add 60g of sugar and egg yolk, mix well with each addition. Check the temperature of melted chocolate, ideal temperature is 113F/45C, (if it’s too low then put back in the microwave for 5 to 10 second at 50% power to warm it up, cold chocolate will result in heavy batter) add chocolate to egg yolk mixture and stir well .
- Add half of meringue into the egg yolk mixture and whisk lightly together. Switch to spatula, fold it in the sifted flour and baking powder mixture until you no longer see the flour. Add rest of meringue and combine without over mixing. Bake for 30 minutes, turn the oven off after 30 minutes, perhaps the cake is still wet though, leave the pan in the oven will cook through. Leave there until it’s cool.
- Make syrup – Boil water and sugar until the sugar resolve, add rum flavoring or orange extract after it cools down..
- Make ganache and coating – Put shaved chocolate in the bowl. Cook cream at medium heat in a small sauce pan until the bubbles start appearing, turn off heat. Add 1/3 of cream into bowl, gently stir first then beat with wooden spatula, add rest of cream in two steps. stir well until smooth. chill in the refrigerator to thicken ( in assembly process, use room temperature ganache). *Make coating chocolate same way but no need to chill. Set aside.
- Assembly - Slice cake in three. Brush syrup on top side of one sliced cake. Spread ganache (mix well before so that it is easy to spread) on top, raspberries is next, spread more ganache. Brush the one side of another sliced cake, place onto the first layer syrup side down, brush syrup on top and repeat ganache-raspberries ganache process. Brush the syrup on the last piece of cake and place on top of 2nd layer syrup side down. Brush syrup on very top then spread ganache. Sprinkle some chopped caramelized almond (no need to use all).
- Coating – make sure that coating chocolate is loose- may need to warm in the microwave for 10 second or so (50% power). Pour over the cake at once and spread with pallet knife to smooth out top and side. Decorate with fruits if you like.
Variation – Skip caramelized almonds and fruits for sleek look and short cut…then call it simply ‘Chocolate Cake’.
Spreading joy! (and calories) - I sent my husband to deliver pieces of this cake to neighbors.
The nativity display at Portland Oregon Temple
I’m sincerely grateful for your visit to my blog.
May your world be filled with peace and happiness this holiday season.