June 22, 2012

Dark Chocolate & Blackberry Cake

It was a lovely, still cool saturday morning when I baked a dark chocolate cake to bring to a potluck at a friend's place. I paired it with blackberries -both preserved and fresh. It turned out to be a moist chocolate cake with a hint of blackberry. Everyone at the potluck loved it - even those who dont dig chocolate cakes. I was delighted, to say the least. Here it goes.

Serves: 10-12
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Bake time -35 minutes

3/4 cup dark cocoa (I used dutch processed)
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
3 large cage-free eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus more for greasing pans
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp instant coffee
1 cup blackberry preserve or jam
1 cup fresh blackberries for topping/ decoration

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper. Avoid using pans with removable bottoms, since the batter is very thin - it might leak into the oven. Set aside. 
  • Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the buttermilk, eggs, oil, and vanilla and whisk to combine. If you dont have buttermilk, you can substitute it with 1 tsp vinegar added to a cup of skimmed milk and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then proceed with the recipe. 
  • Stir instant coffee into the boiling water and whisk this into the batter until incorporated. The batter will be thin, so gently pour the batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the middle rack of the oven or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Remove the parchment. Cool completely. Leave the cake at room temperature for an hour if you wish to frost it with ganache immediately.
Blackberry preserve spread
NOTE: You can make this cake the day before serving, sandwich it with blackberry preserve, and keep it covered in the fridge.

Chocolate Ganache
1 cup heavy cream
10 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped fine or chocolate chips.
Blackberry preserve sandwiched between two layers
  • Set a heat proof bowl over a pot of boiling water (It works like a double boiler). Add chocolate chunks/chips to the bowl. 
  • As the chocolate begins to melt, whisk in the cream until well incorporated. Stir gently - avoid beating the mixture for a bubble free glossy finish. Set aside for 20 to 30 minutes to thicken to a spreadable consistency. Alternatively, refrigerate it for 10-15 minutes to hasten the thickening process.
  • Place one cake layer on plate/ cake stand. My cakes had risen a lot, and I had to trim off the top so  I could stack them evenly. In hind sight - I think I should have trimmed them further.
  • Spread 1 cup blackberry preserve. Sandwich the other cake layer on top. 
  • Ice the cake using a metal spatula. If the ganache is still thin, you can gently drizzle it to cover the cake. If you have baked ahead - allow the cake to come to room temperature before icing with the ganache.
  • Ready to go
  • Garnish with blackberries and serve. I garnished it once we reached our friend's place, and were ready to eat dessert.
Note- This cake can be made using any jam or preserve of your choice. Garnish with the same fruit. Raspberries or strawberries would add a splash of color as well. :)

This recipe is based on Serena Bass' Cheating Chocolate Cake

Dark Chocolate Blackberry Cake
Bon Apetit!
Hetal from Houston


  1. A chocolate cake can never go wrong !! And one that has been done so beautifully must have been finished in a jiffy!

    1. Oh yes - chocolate makes everyone smile! :) Thanks for linking our blog to yours :)

  2. Thanks for putting this up Hetal !! Jus loved the yummy chocolate cake even though I am not a chocolate lover but cudn't resist myself from eating it.. I wud love to have it again sumtym soon...


    1. Thanks, Isha! Im glad you enjoyed it. Next time, I'll bake you a non-chocolate cake :)