Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dark Chocolate Buttermilk Cake with Blueberry Ginger Filling and Whipped Cream Frosting

A gathering of good friends helped Mr CC celebrate his birthday yesterday. We feasted on typical North Coast potluck-style Beach Night fare followed by a dense chocolate cake with such long candles on top I couldn't fit them into the photo.
Two tries to blow them all out - not bad for so many candles!

This cake is a breeze to make. Use really good chocolate and cocoa powder or you will be doing the birthday star and your company a disservice. The whipped cream filling and topping is a snap to make and can be kept chilled until ready to use.
I used organic, dried blueberries in the filling because I was afraid that fresh ones would turn the cream purple, but as Mr CC says, "Purple isn't a bad color", so go ahead and use fresh if you prefer.

Dark Chocolate Buttermilk Cake with Blueberry Ginger Filling and Whipped Cream Frosting
Christine's original recipe
2 cups unbleached AP flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dark organic cocoa powder (Green & Black's)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup Splenda-Brown Sugar blend
1/2 cup Splenda-Sugar blend
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces good dark chocolate (Scharffen Berger 70%) melted

Heat oven to 350-degrees with rack in middle.
Butter and flour 2 9-inch round cake pans, tapping out excess flour. Set aside.
Combine flour, cocoa, soda, baking powder and salt, whisk well to combine. Set aside.
Using the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together in mixer on med-high setting.
Add eggs one at a time until incorporated. Add the vanilla.
Beginning with the flour mixture, add 1/3 of it to the butter mixture using medium power.
Add 1/2 of the buttermilk and beat until combined. Repeat with 1/3 flour and 1/2 buttermilk, ending with the last 1/3 of the flour mixture. Mix well.
Blend in the melted chocolate until well incorporated.
Divide batter evenly between cake pans and bake for 30 minutes or until a pick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Remove pans from oven, set on racks to cool 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cake pans to loosen the cake and flip them out to finish cooling on the racks.

1 pint whipping cream
2 tablespoons clear corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup blueberries - dried or fresh
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, finely chopped

Whip the cream until soft peaks form. With mixer running, add the corn syrup and vanilla and continue beating until the cream is almost stiff. Careful to not turn it into butter.
Divide the whipped cream evenly between two bowls. Add 1/4 cup of the ginger and all the blueberries to one of the bowls and fold into the whipped cream. Put the other bowl of whipped cream in the fridge to keep cold.
Place one cake layer flat side down on a cake plate. Spoon the ginger-blueberry whipped cream over the top and spread evenly to within 1/2-inch of the edge. It will be thick.
Place the second cake layer, flat side up (you may have to cut the rounded side to flatten it) atop the first. Use the plain whipped cream to frost the top and sides of the cake.
Sprinkle the top with the remaining tablespoon of chopped ginger. Avoid putting blueberries on the outside of the cake as they will stain the whipped cream.
Keep the finished cake in the fridge until time to put on the candles and serve.

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