Friday, February 27, 2009

New-Fashioned Blackberry Chocolate Spice Cake

Prep: 35 min.; Cook: 32 min.; Other: 1 hr., 10 min.

Chocolate and spices mingle with sweet blackberries under a robe of chocolate fudge icing drizzled with blackberry sauce. Even grandmothers would be pleased with this updated classic.

Makes 12 servings

* Unsweetened cocoa
* 1 (18.25-oz.) package devil's food cake mix (we tested with Betty Crocker)
* 1 (3.4-oz.) package chocolate instant pudding mix
* 3 large eggs
* 1 1/4 cups milk
* 1 cup canola oil
* 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
* 1 teaspoon chocolate extract
* 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
* 2 (3.5-oz.) bittersweet dark chocolate with orange and spices candy bars, chopped (we tested with Green and Black's Organic)
* 1 (21-oz.) can blackberry pie filling
* 2 (16-oz.) cans chocolate fudge frosting
* Garnish: fresh blackberries

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans, and dust with cocoa. Set aside.

2. Beat cake mix and next 11 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute; beat at medium speed 2 minutes. Fold in chopped chocolate. Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake at 350° for 30 to 32 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely. Wrap and chill cake layers at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

4. Using a serrated knife, slice cake layers in half horizontally to make 4 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on cake plate. Spread one-third of blackberry filling over cake. Repeat procedure twice. Place final cake layer on top of cake, cut side down. Spread chocolate fudge frosting on top and sides of cake. Drizzle remaining filling over top of cake, letting it drip down sides of cake. Cover and chill in refrigerator until ready to serve. Just before serving, garnish, if desired.

Test Kitchen Tip: As a general rule in cake baking, grease cake pans with shortening unless the recipe states otherwise.

Photo: Oxmoor House


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