Red Velvet And Chocolate Make Valentine's Day Special

Wayne creates a special valentine cake covered in chocolate ganache, fresh raspberries and edible gold leaf.

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Chocolate is always a big hit for the holiday.  So, here’s a special dessert that combines a red velvet cake with chocolate ganache, fresh raspberries, and edible gold leaf.  It takes a little time to prepare but the results are spectacular.  Also, because edible gold leaf has become more expensive in recent years, it is an optional element in this recipe.  Gold leaf makes a beautiful addition to the cake, but it’s certainly not critical to enjoying this decadent dessert with someone special.

Red Velvet Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Fresh Raspberries


1 cu Granulated Sugar
1/2 cu Unsalted Butter, softened
1 1/4 cu All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tbl Cocoa
3/4 cu Buttermilk, room temperature
1 lg Egg, room temperature
2 tbl Red Food Coloring
1/2 tbl Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
8 oz Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 cu Heavy Cream
Edible Gold Leaf Sheet*


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together sugar and butter in a mixing bowl with mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.  Separately, mix together flour, baking soda, salt and salt in a bowl.  In another bowl, mix together buttermilk, egg, food coloring , vinegar and vanilla.  With mixer at medium speed add alternating batches of the wet and dry ingredients, scraping down sides occasionally, until fully combined.  Mix at high speed for an additional minute.

Grease and flour a 6” cake pan and a 4” ramekin with sides at least 2” tall.  Pour batter into the two pans, to about 2/3 full.  Put pans on a single baking sheet and place into the oven.  Remove the ramekin from the oven after 25-30 minutes or when surface springs back from a gentle touch or when a wooded skewer or toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.  Remove the 6” pan after 45-50 minutes using the same method to check for doneness.

Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes.  If cakes are higher in the middle than on the sides, slice the top off at the rim of the pan to create an even surface.  Invert cakes onto a wire rack that has been placed over a clean baking sheet.  Allow cakes to cool completely.

Place chocolate pieces in a large bowl.  Heat cream just to boiling in a saucepan over medium heat.  Be sure to remove from heat before cream starts a rolling boil or it will boil out of the pan. Pour cream over chocolate and stir constantly until chocolate is fully melted and smooth.  Pour ganache over the center of each cake and allow it to cascade over side.  Be sure all sides are coated.  Excess will go into pan below.  Place cakes in refrigerator for 2 hours.  Scrape all excess ganache into a pan and let rest at room temperature for 2 hours.

Wash raspberries and let them dry completely.  To assemble, carefully place larger cake in the center for a platter.  Carefully center the smaller cake on top of the larger one.  Place raspberries around the bottom edge of each cake.  Whip the remaining ganache with a mixer at high speed until light and fluffy.  Using a pastry bag and a large star tip, pipe a cluster of stars on the top of the cake.  As a final (optional) step, tear pieces of edible gold leaf and place randomly on the surface of cake.

*Edible gold leaf is available online.  I was also able to find it at Sur La Table in Chicago.  It is rather expensive, so it is definitely an optional ingredient.

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