By Sandy McCall
3⁄4 C plus 2 T flour
3⁄4 C sugar
6 T (good quality) cocoa powder 1 t baking soda
1⁄2 t baking powder
1⁄2 t salt
1⁄2 C strong black coffee, cooled
1⁄2 C buttermilk
1⁄2 t vanilla
1⁄4 C olive oil
Grease 2-10”x15” cookie sheets and line with parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the sheets and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in mixer. Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. BATTER WILL BE THIN. Pour 1⁄2 of the batter into each cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 until toothpick comes out clean. About 5-7 minutes. Cool cake completely in the pans set onto cooling racks. While waiting for the cakes to cool, make the Ganache.
When the cakes are cooked completely, carefully cut each cake across the short side of the pan into 4 measured even pieces and loosen carefully from the pan and paper.
9 ounces (good quality) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring cream just to a boil, watching very carefully so that it does not boil out of the pot.
Pour cream over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. While Ganache is cooling slightly start assembly. (For a fluffy frosting or chocolate filling, allow it to cool until thick, then whip with a whisk until light and fluffy.)
Place the first of eight cake layers on the serving plate. Carefully spread a thin layer of fruit-only preserves or sliced fresh berries on first layer, and drizzle and spread a thin layer of Ganache on top of fruit. Continue by adding Ganache to every layer except the top layer and fruit on every other layer beginning with the first layer.
NOTE: only add preserves or fruit to every other layer so that the cake will stand without sliding. If the layers start to slide, stop and put cake in refrigerator long enough to set chocolate and fruit or secure layers with wood skewers before continuing with final layer of Ganache.
Pour remaining, slightly cooled, Ganache down the center of the cake and carefully tilt the cake back and forth until the Ganache drips down the sides of the cake. Put cake in refrigerator for an hour or more.
1⁄2 package of fresh cranberries
2 T water
Agave nectar or sugar to taste
Cook cranberries in water until berries pop open, add agave nectar or sugar to taste. Cool completely.
Add a single row of cranberries to the top of the cake, sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar. Store finished cake in the refrigerator or cool place.