Friday, July 21, 2006

Ganache-Topped Chocolate Raspberry Sheet Cake

At work, we have a monthly birthday lunch with cake and stuff. They always chip in to buy a crappy cake from Safeway; one of those super-processed bakery cakes that has frosting made of pure lard. I am not a fan of those cakes, and everyone can benefit from eating healthier, so I offered to make the cake this month.

The cake I chose to make was the Ganache-Topped Chocolate Raspberry Sheet Cake from the May 2005 issue of Cooking Light. It was a lot of fun to make. It was not particularly pretty, but it was very yummy. I was very proud of myself. However! For some reason it was not well-received by the people in my office. They were kind of like, "Ew it's low-fat? I don't want to eat that." Or "ew I guess I'll shovel it down but I won't enjoy it." That's too bad because it was a good cake, and I am super-picky about cakes. I probably won't make it again but I would recommend it to others!

Ganache-Topped Chocolate-Raspberry Sheet Cake
The raspberry and dark chocolate flavors give this cake a stylish flair, making it suitable for special occasions. We made it a sheet cake, but you can bake the batter in two eight-inch cake pans for a more sophisticated look; reduce the baking time to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cooking spray
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/3 cups sugar
10 tablespoon butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) carton egg substitute
2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (8-ounce) carton fat-free sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup evaporated fat-free milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
Fresh raspberries (optional)
Fresh mint leaves (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare cake, coat a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray; line bottom of pan with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray; set aside.

Pour boiling water over 1/2 cup cocoa in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve cocoa; cool mixture.

Place 1 1/3 cups sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 5 minutes or until well blended. Add cocoa mixture and egg substitute, beating well.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture and sour cream alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sharply tap pan once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Carefully peel off wax paper; cool completely on wire rack. Spread jam over top of cake.

To prepare ganache, combine 1/2 cup sugar, milk, and 1/4 cup cocoa in a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth. Spread ganache evenly over top of cake, allowing ganache to run down the sides. Let cake stand for 20 minutes or until set. Garnish with raspberries and mint leaves, if desired.

Yield: 16 servings

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