Chocolate, Raspberry and Buttermilk Tier Cake from Baked by Jane.
The syrup and the compote can all be made a day in advance and can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.
Prepare your ingredients..
200g softened, unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
100g dark 70% chocolate, melted
4 medium eggs, room temperature
200g self raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
100g buttermilk, at room temperature
For the raspberry compote
350g bag frozen raspberries
95g caster sugar
1 lemon, squeezed
For the sugar syrup
And for the buttercream, all at room temperature
115g egg whites (about 4 medium egg whites)
230g caster sugar
345g unsalted butter,
3 tbsp raspberry compote
Get your work station ready..
Pre heat the oven to 175c, fan oven. Butter and base line 3 x 6” cake tins.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, once fully melted set aside to cool slightly.
Add the butter and caster sugar to a mixing bowl and beat for around 3-5 minutes until pale and fluffy.
Add in the melted chocolate and beat again to incorporate, scrape the bowl down in between if needed so everything is evenly mixed.
Add the eggs in one at a time, beat until each egg incorporates into the mixture.
Sift the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into a separate bowl. In two additions, add to the cake mixture, making sure everything is mixed together.
Finally add the buttermilk and mix until just combined.
Divide the cake mixture between your three cake tins. You can weigh it out, at around 340g per tin - this makes sure your layers are nice and even. Smooth the cake mixture out evenly in the tins.
Place the tins in the centre of the oven and bake for around 25-28 mins depending on your oven. Test with a skewer in the centre of the cake. It should come out clean when the cake is baked. Leave to cool on a wire cake cooling wrack.
If you are going to assemble your cake the following day I’d wrap them up so they don’t dry out.
To make the dressings..
While the cakes are baking, make the syrup and the compote. These also can be done the day ahead and stored in the fridge.
To make the syrup put the caster sugar and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer until all the sugar has dissolved.
Leave to cool, pour into a clean jar and store in the fridge until needed. It can be kept up to two weeks.
To make the compote, put the frozen berries, caster and lemon juice into a pan on a medium heat. Once it has started to bubble, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for around 10-15 minutes. Make sure the compote doesn't catch and burn by giving it an occasional stir.
After around 15 minutes it will thicken up. Pass the fruity compote through a sieve, into a clean bowl. Once cool, cover the compote and keep in the fridge for up to a week.
I’d usually do all the above steps the day before. I make my buttercream and assemble on the day of the bake as the cake will be easier to work with, but of course you can do it all in one day too if you wanted.
To make the buttercream..
Bring your compote from the fridge to reach room temperature. The compote needs to be the same temperature as the buttercream to incorporate properly.
Place the egg whites in a clean, grease free mixing bowl. I use the bowl from my freestanding mixer to make things easier.
Add the sugar to the egg whites and place over a saucepan of simmering water, make sure the mixing bowl isn’t touching the water.
Whisk the egg whites and cater sugar over the heat until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature of the mixture reaches 65 ℃. If you don’t have a thermometer, rub the mixture between your fingers. The sugar should be dissolved and the mixture will be warm to touch.
Place the bowl onto the freestanding mixer and whisk on a high speed until you have a glossy stiff meringue.
The meringue should have cooled down at this point so add the butter a piece at a time, still whisking at a high speed to make a lovely rich buttercream.
Next add the raspberry compote to your buttercream. Whisk the raspberry and buttercream together on a high speed, it does take a while to all come together. It may look curdled at one point but trust me, keep whipping and it’ll come together.
Scrape the mixing bowl down in between whisking so it’s evenly mixed through and a lovely silky pink.
Slice the top off each cake to ensure they are level, (I use a wire cake leveller for this job) and brush each layer with sugar syrup.
Place the first cake cut-side-up on a cake board or plate. Generously cover with the raspberry buttercream. Using a plain nozzle and piping bag, pipe a circle of buttercream around the outside edge of the cake, to act like a border. Fill in the centre with two tablespoons of compote. The buttercream border prevents the compote from leaking out when layering the cake.
Place the next cake layer on top, again cut-side-up and repeat the process.
Place the final cake on top of that but this time, cut-side-down.
Crumb coat the whole cake in a thin layer of buttercream. Transfer the cake to the fridge for about half an hour, to chill and firm up.
Now you are ready to do your final neat layer of buttercream. I like to use a turntable and an offset spatular with a straight sided plastic or metal scraper to get a good finish.
Put a pile of buttercream on top of your cake and start smoothing it out as you rotate it. Tease the buttercream down the sides of the cake, you can always add more buttercream if you need to fill any gaps. I keep filling and smoothing until I’m happy and this is what I love about buttercream covered cakes – you can keep adding and smoothing as much as you want. It does take a bit of practise to get it super smooth but I find it quite a therapeutic process.
Once you are happy with the finish, decorate how you please. I love using small meringues, fresh berries, macarons, and chocolate shards. There is a quick tutorial on how I make my shards in my Instagram highlights if you’d like to have a go at them. https://www.instagram.com/s/aGlnaGxpZ2h0OjE4MDQwNjUyNzQ5MjExMDAy?igshid=2wjp2j4xxsx3&story_media_id=2176977640685320473
Get creative and make your cake pretty however you please. If you are new to decorating, keep it simple and pile some berries or edible flowers on top. There are no wrong or right ways to do it, just have a bit of fun, it’s only cake after all
Cake is best served at room temperature but I do store it in the fridge because of the meringue buttercream. Be sure to bring the cake back up to room temperature to enjoy at it's best. The cake is always best to eat on the day of making but will keep up to 3 days if covered and chilled.