Jim Fobel's Big Flavors
8 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 T unsalted butter
4 large eggs, separated
¼ t salt
½ c sugar divided
1 t vanilla extract
2 T all-purpose flour
1 ½ c heavy cream
2 T sugar
⅛ t salt
12 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 T unsalted butter, sliced
2 egg yolks
2 t vanilla extract
½ c seedless raspberry preserves
2 t brandy or rum
Milk Chocolate Ganache
¼ c milk, scalded
8 oz milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
Dark Chocolate Decor (optional)
2 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 T hot water
Fresh raspberries and whipped cream
Make the cake layers. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with rounds of parchment or waxed paper; grease the paper.
Combine the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler over (not touching) barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove the top of the pan and let cool slightly, until just slightly warm, 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large, deep bowl, combine the 4 egg whites with the salt. Beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks begin to form. Gradually beat in ¼ c of the sugar and beat until almost stiff. Reserve; do not rinse beaters.
In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks with the remaining ¼ c sugar. Beat with the same beaters at high speed until thickened and light in color, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla; beat in the melted chocolate mixture. Quickly stir in about 1/3 of the beaten egg whites to lighten. Sift the 2 T flour over the top and fold in gently. Fold in the remaining beaten egg whites.
Divide the batter between the 2 pans, spreading it quickly but evenly. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean; when the surface is touched lightly it will spring back when done. Cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.
Run a knife around the edges of each cake layer to loosen from the pans. Invert a plate or cardboard round over each and turn out the layers, tapping firmly, if necessary, to free. Peel off the paper and set aside to cool completely. If a layer should break, do not worry, the pieces can be put together and the filling will hold them in place. (The layers can be made well in advance; wrap tightly and freeze.)
Make the filling. In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, sugar, and salt over low heat. Bring to a simmer and keep warm.
Put the chocolate in a food processor and finely grind. Add the butter, egg yolks, and vanilla and pulse to blend. Add the hot cream mixture and blend until smooth. Turn out into a medium bowl and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Chill the filling, stirring occasionally, until firmed up and thickened but not set, about 1 hour.
Beat the filling with an electric mixer at high speed until fluffy, 20 to 30 seconds.
Assemble the cake. In a small bowl, stir together the raspberry preserves and brandy or rum. Place 1 cake layer upside down on a serving plate. Spread the top with half of the raspberry glaze. Turn all of the chocolate filling onto the cake and spread into an even layer. Spread the remaining raspberry glaze over the bottom of the second layer. Invert the layer over the chocolate filling. Hold a spatula vertically, even the filling all around the edge. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and chill until set, 1-2 hours, or as long as over night.
Make the milk chocolate glaze. Combine the milk and milk chocolate in the top of a double boiler and place over barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove the plastic wrap from the cake. Spread all of the warm milk chocolate glaze over the top and let it run down the sides, smoothing with a spatula to coat and chill until set.
Make the dark chocolate glaze. Combine the semisweet chocolate with 2 T hot water in the top of a double boiler. Let stand until the chocolate melts and then stir until smooth. Turn the chocolate into a small plastic zip-lock bag or make a small, parchment paper cone and fill with the chocolate. Snip a 1/16–inch hole at one corner of the plastic bag or at the tip of the cone. Beginning in the center of the cake, decorate the top with a tight spiral design. Make small chocolate dots all around the outer edge and one in the center. Chill until set. Note: I did not add water and used only 1 oz dark chocolate for my decor. I usually do not add water to chocolate as this can ruin it really easily - Instead, I use shortening. I didn't this time since it was such a small quantity, but usually I add about a 1/4 tsp to 2-3 oz chocolate.
To serve, cut into 12 wedges and lift off slices with a spatula. If desired, decorate each with fresh raspberries and a dollop of whipped cream.