Sunday, October 28, 2012

Chocolate Genoise Cake with Raspberry Bavarian Cream and a Gluten-free Alternative

My oldest daughter turned 12 this week and it seems she's developed some highfalutin taste when it comes to dessert!  She saw this cake on Sprinklebakes and declared she's gotta have it for this year's birthday party. 

 Of course I'm lazier and less talented than Heather Baird, so I pared down the project a bit.  And I made up for it by creating a little gluten-free cutie for one of Penelope's party guests!

Bavarian Cream is gluten-free as is, along with fresh whipped cream and the dark chocolate I used for decoration.  Our Whole Foods market sells delicious gluten-free brownies, which seem to be nothing but  flourless chocolate cake.  So I picked one up, shaped it with a biscuit cutter, and decorated it along with the larger Genoise cake.

Both cakes were delicious!  Flourless chocolate cake is not a difficult thing to make.  I can't wait to play around with from-scratch flourless cakes and Bavarian creams!   It's always nice to discover really good recipes that just happen to be gluten-free.

I really enjoy the texture of this raspberry cream.  It's much like a mousse...Actually, it's exactly like the texture of the middle layer in Jello 1-2-3!  Remember that stuff?!  I never would have guessed Jello 1-2-3 would come and go so quickly....I will always have a place in my heart for it.

Chocolate Genoise Cake with Raspberry Bavarian Cream 
Adapted slightly from Sprinklebakes.  You'll need one 8-inch cake pan and one 9-inch spring form pan.

Chocolate Genoise:
3 eggs plus 3 egg yolks, room temp
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.

In a large heat-proof bowl beat together eggs, egg yolks, sugar and salt, using an electric hand mixer at high speed. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and continue beating until the mixture is warm. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue beating until the mixture is cool and greatly increased in volume (about 5 minutes).

Sift together flour, cornstarch and cocoa. Sprinkle the dry mix over the fluffy egg mix, and gently fold together. Spread the batter evenly into the cake pan.  It should be just below the top of the pan and you may have extra batter.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes.  Gently slice the top of the cake which has risen above the cake pan level with the top of the pan using a large serrated knife. Remove the cake from the pan, peel off paper and cool completely on a wire rack.

Raspberry Bavarian:
24 ounces frozen raspberries
1/8 cup raspberry vodka (or other fruity liquid)
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup fruit juice
1/2 ounce unflavored gelatin powder (2 packets)
2 cups heavy cream

Combine frozen raspberries, sugar and 1/8 cup liquid in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer 15 minutes, uncovered, stirring often. Strain mixture through a wire mesh strainer into a bowl. Cool to room temperature. *Reserve 1/4 cup of the raspberry juice and set aside.

Combine 1/3 cup fruit juice and gelatin in a small saucepan and let stand 5 minutes.  Melt on medium-low heat just until liquid.  Whisk into remaining raspberry juice/purée.
Beat heavy cream in a bowl until stiff peaks form, using electric mixer at high speed. Fold your raspberry mixture into the whipped cream.

Chocolate Curls:
1 cup Hershey's Special Dark chocolate chips

Melt the chips in a bowl set over simmering water.  Spread the melted chocolate thinly onto a clean sheet pan.  Cool completely in the fridge.   Remove from fridge and bring back to room temp.  Using the corner of a metal spatula, scrape a thin strip of chocolate up off the sheet pan in one long scrape.  The chocolate will curl naturally and also come off in some smaller shavings.  Start on one long side of your chocolate smear and scrape your way from one side to the other in thin lines.  If the chocolate curls are getting melty, place them in the freezer while assembling your cake. 

Genoise cake
Bavarian cream
1/4 cup raspberry juice
1 1/2 cups whipped cream
Dark chocolate curls and shavings
Fresh berries (1 or 2 pints)

Place your cake, centered, in the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Brush with raspberry juice.

Pour half of the raspberry Bavarian cream over and around the sides of the cake. Tap the cake on the counter top to help the cream settle into the empty ring around the cake.  Cover smoothly with remaining raspberry Bavarian cream.  Tap on the counter top again to bring up any bubbles. The cream should completely fill the 9-inch pan with a little left over.  Cover and refrigerate until the cream sets, several hours. 

Run a small knife around the pan. Remove the spring form collar.  Pipe a decorative border of whipped cream around the edge of the cake using a small star decorator tip. Press chocolate curls or shavings into sides of the cake. Arrange fruit on the top of your cake in your desired pattern. Place one piece of fruit in the center and sprinkle the center with chocolate curls. 

Gluten-free Cake:
Reserve 3/4 cup of Bavarian cream from your larger cake.  Cut a gluten-free brownie into a round shape using a biscuit cutter.

Create a collar using tin foil that is folded in a long straight-edged strip abut 3 inches high.  Measure it around your little cake, leaving a 1/4 to 1/2 inch gap on all sides.  Tape the foil on the outer edge to create your ring.

Place the little cake on its serving plate and place the foil ring around it.  Fill the ring as before, tapping lightly and carefully so as not to shift your foil or cause the cream to spill out the bottom.  Chill for a couple hours.

Slide a knife around the edge and remove the foil ring.  Decorate the little cake as you did the larger cake.

Enjoy!  Happy Birthday Penelope!!


  1. Beautiful cake Hannah! And I hope that your daughter had a wonderful birthday!

  2. Beautiful cake! Your daughter has excellent taste! For my husbands birthday he wanted a storebought cookie cake. I don't know whats wrong with him. LOL.


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