I was feeling the foggy effects of the previous night’s gin and tonic(s) on Sunday when my sister, Claire, casually mentioned that she was going to bake a birthday cake for our friend Vincent. This one? I asked, looking at a cookbook photo of an intimidating confection that Julia Child calls her “Chocolate Ruffle Cake.” Never in a million years would I have les oeufs to tackle something like that, and I’ve repeatedly documented that I haven’t the patience nor precision for baking anything let alone hand-crafting chocolate freaking ruffles. And so I watched in awe as Claire melted chocolate, spread it on jellyroll pans, chilled and then went to work on her avant-gard frills, and the creme fraiche and cocoa filling dotted with raspberries between layers. She riffed on Julia’s cake by replacing the hard chocolate icing that wraps around the cake with a chocolate whipped cream frosting, which she topped with the afore-mentioned ruffles and fresh raspberries. That night, the birthday boy declared it “a true fashion cake.” It was, he said, the poustiest cake he’d ever seen. And it tasted just fabulous.
Meanwhile, back stage, here she is folding the cocoa powder into whipped eggs to make the genoise (pronounced jen-wahz) cake, which is so light.
Once the cake is baked, she sliced it into three layers. Each layer got topped with a framboise syrup, cocoa crème fraîche and fresh raspberries, which you chill in a cake pan w/ a removable bottom for several hours:
Here’s a close-up of those chic ruffles that she tucked into the top of the cake. It looked like something straight off the Marchesa runway!
And here’s a peek inside. Look at those luscious layers. I can tell you this cake is every bit as good for breakfast the next morning…