Raspberry Rhapsody Cake


Raspberry RhapsodyThis Raspberry Rhapsody had an interesting start. This is actually based on the Hungarian cake, Rigo Janci. I introduced it as that and I couldn’t get anyone to buy it. I finally tracked down the reason. It seems the chefs didn’t know how to pronounce it. Not wanting to look bad, they just skipped over it.

So, I just changed the name to Raspberry Rhapsody and it took off and became a good seller.

This Raspberry Rhapsody employs one of the moistest sponge cakes to be found. There is one little trick I found at the bakery that ensures this moisture. Immediately upon coming from the oven, the top of the layers are covered directly with foil until cool. This has the effect of steaming the sponge keeping it flexible and moist.

The important thing with any cake in the foam category is to beat the egg whites to the stage in which they will fold into the egg mixture without losing their air.  The air in the whites and the yolk mixture is essentially what makes the cake rise.  If the whites are too stiff, they won’t fold in properly and you will have what I  refer to as “clouds” in your cake where it bakes up with pockets of unincorporated whites. Worse yet, the cake will be dry. Also, the whites become deflated because it takes so much folding they lose their air. If in doubt, it is better to under beat a bit than overbeat as the under beaten whites will fold in smoothly without trouble.

To ensure that the cake layers fits tightly into a 9″ pan for assembly, the sponge must be baked in 10″ pans. However, if you don’t have 10″ pans, use 9″ pans and the ganache can be trimmed even with the cake after assembly. I am using 10″ layers for this cake.

I changed the chocolate raspberry ganache for this Raspberry Rhapsody because at the bakery I had access to specialty ingredients that are not available to the consumer. But however you make it, it is a smooth and creamy combination of chocolate and some kind of seedless raspberry product. In this case, I use seedless red raspberry jam. The ganache must be made at least a day ahead but can be made a week ahead and kept refrigerated.

The Raspberry Rhapsody gets a further infusion of raspberry with the soaking syrup combining brandy with the same raspberry jam with which to brush the layers.  Whenever using a soaking syrup, the layers are turned upside down for the best absorption of the syrup.  The tops of layers of a cake often have a slight skin on them which prevents the syrup from penetrating completely.

At the bakery, I did not add the edging shown in this version of the Raspberry Rhapsody. But the glaze for the top makes enough to finish it and you won’t have any left over. We originally just finished the sides of the cake with the sprinkles after releasing.

There is also a method of filling a cake with a soft layer like ganache or mousse that will slide if not contained. We used 9×3″ cheesecake pans to assemble the cake until it sets as you will see below.

This Raspberry Rhapsody Cake can be frozen entirely made as long as it is defrosted in the refrigerator a day or two prior to serving.

Chocolate Raspberry Ganache – this has to be made at least one day in advance or can be made up to a week ahead.Ganache ingredients for the Raspberry Rhapsody2 1/ 4 cups heavy or 40% cream
1/2 cup seedless red raspberry jam or preserves
12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (340 grams)

Whisk together the cream and jam in a heavy saucepan. Cream and raspberry in pan for the Raspberry RhapsodyHeat until very hot and steaming but not boiling. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Make sure the chocolate is submerged in the hot liquid.Adding chocolate to the ganache for the Raspberry Rhapsody Let sit for several minutes then whisk gently to mix.Whisking ganache for the Raspberry RhapsodyUse a rubber spatula to get into the edges of the pan to make sure all the chocolate is incorporated and the ganache has no lumps.Stirring the edges of the pan for the Raspberry Rhapsody

Ganache for the Raspberry RhapsodyPour into a container, cool and refrigerate until needed. Yield:  4 cups

Chocolate Spongecake – go here for how to photo
3/4 cup sifted cake flour (75 grams, 2 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup sifted cocoa (25 grams, 1 scant ounce)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
6 eggs separated
2/3 cup sugar, divided (140 grams, 5 ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare the pans by spraying two 10″ round cake pans* with cooking spray. Spray the center only of the pan, lining with parchment paper and spray only the center of the paper. Do not spray sides of the pan. This ensures a flat layer.  Set aside.

Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder, mixing well. Set aside.

Combine the egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar (70 grams or 2 1/3 ounces) and vanilla in a mixing bowl fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until very thick and very pale yellow. It is important in the beginning to scrape the bottom of the bowl several times to make sure all of the eggs are being incorporated. Set aside.

In a clean mixing bowl with a clean whisk, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar (70 grams or 2 1/3 ounces) and beat until fairly stiff.

Place the egg whites over the egg yolks and add half the flour/cocoa mixture. Fold together. Fold in the remaining flour/cocoa. Gently pour half the batter into each pan (250 grams or 9 ounces each) and spread out evenly.Oven ready layer for the Raspberry RhapsodyBake 10 to 12 minutes. The top will spring back when lightly touched.Baked sponge layers for the Raspberry RhapsodyImmediately cover directly by placing foil on top of the cake layer and putting it on a rack to cool completely.Foil covered sponge for Raspberry Rhapsody

*9″ round cake pans can be used if necessary.

Raspberry Soaking Syrup
1/4 cup seedless red raspberry jam
1 tablespoon brandy or water

Whisk together until smooth. Set aside.

Assembly of the Raspberry Rhapsody
Chocolate Raspberry Ganache
2 10″ chocolate spongecake layers
Raspberry Soaking syrup
Dark Satin Ganache, below
9×3 inch Cheesecake or springform pan

Place the ganache in a mixing bowl. Beat on medium until it will stand up and is no longer runny. Set aside.Ganache beaten for the Raspberry RhapsodyTurn one layer of cake out of the pan and remove the paper. Place the cake into the pan, bottom side up, by forcing the 10″ layer into the 9×3″ cheesecake or springform pan. Because of its flexibility, it will fit tightly into the pan.  Flatten it into the pan.Fitting layer into pan for the Raspberry RhapsodyIf using a 9″ cake layer it will not fit as tightly into the pan.9" layer in pan for Raspberry RhapsodyBrush the layer with half of the raspberry soaking syrup. As you can see the 10″ cake fits very well and tightly into the 9″ pan.Brushing the layer with raspberry syrup for Raspberry RhapsodySpread all of the ganache evenly over the layer.

Place the second layer of chocolate spongecake, upside down, on top of the ganache. Brush with the remainder of the raspberry soaking syrup. Let sit for a few minutes while the Dark Satin Ganache is made.Brushing top with raspberry syrup for the Raspberry RhapsodyDark Satin Ganache – for how to photos go to Lamington Torte
1/2 cup 40% cream
1/4 cup corn syrup (70 grams or 2 1/2 ounces)
10 ounces semisweet chocolate (285 grams)
5 tablespoons butter (75 grams 2 1/2 ounces)

In a small saucepan, bring the cream and corn syrup to a boil. Submerge the chocolate and butter and let sit for several minutes until the chocolate and butter melt. Whisk gently to mix completely. Chill while preparing the remaining recipes.

Yields: 2 cups or 510 grams or 18 ounces.

Finishing the Raspberry Rhapsody
Pour half of the Dark Satin Ganache over the top layer of cake. Pouring ganache on Raspberry RhapsodyRotate the pan so the ganache will cover the top evenly.Rotating cake to cover with ganache for the Raspberry RhapsodyTilting ganache to cover cake for the Raspberry RhapsodyRefrigerate 8 hours or preferably overnight to set up.Ganache covered cake for Raspberry RhapsodyAfter setting up, release the cake by heating the edges with a hair blower. Do not overheat it or you will melt the ganache.Releasing cake for Raspberry RhapsodyPlace the cake on a large round can and drop the sides of the pan.Releasing cake for the Raspberry Rhapsody

Releasing cake for the Raspberry RhapsodyWith the aid of pancake turners, transfer the cake to a cake board or plate.

Transferring cake to cake boardFinish the edge with the ganache.Ganache around the edges for the Raspberry RhapsodyCover the sides with sprinkles.  Place the sprinkles in a pan with deep sides.  I used a 9×13 inch pan here.  Holding the cake in your left hand and over the pan of sprinkles, scoop up a handful of sprinkles in your right hand and pat them onto the cake, letting the excess sprinkles fall back into the pan.  Repeat around the edges of the cake.Applying sprinkles around the edges of the Raspberry RhapsodyOptionally, finish the edges with a number 4 open tip.Edging the Raspberry Rhapsody

Cake edged for theRaspberry RhapsodyRefrigerate to set up.

To serve, let the Raspberry Rhapsody sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Cut with a hot knife for the best looking cut.

Note:  This cake can be frozen completely made as long as it is thawed in the refrigerator a day or two before serving.

Serves 12 to 14.













Pastry has not only been my profession, but my passion. If there is anything in particular you would like to see or any questions about baking or pastry, please let me know. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a post!
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23 thoughts on “Raspberry Rhapsody Cake

  1. John Malcon

    Hello, Helen!
    Thank you for the perfect recipe! I sent to my wife a link on your blog!
    I want such a cake for my birthday!

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Fillip – My husband, now retired, was a professional photographer in his career, although he did no food photography. He takes most of the photos. My work area is lit for the photos. I do all the after work on the photos and I do not do any retouching. I don’t believe in it as I want my readers to have the same view and experience I have. If I retouched anything, their outcome might be different than mine. I took a quick peek at the link, but honestly, I just don’t have the time to read it as it is quite long and this is my busiest time of the year.

  2. Sharan Weir

    My daughter and I were just going over our Christmas dinner menu and both agree that this will definitely be our star dessert. I can’t wait to try this! Thank you so much for sharing great recipes and your vast knowledge. You are very appreciated by so many!

  3. Lynette Pruett

    Helen, this looks and sounds marvelous! We will be leaving for our winter in Texas soon, so I will need to make it at my son’s house for our Christmas dessert. I hope I remember to pack all of my specialty baking equipment! Can’t wait to have the fun of making it with my son, quite a good baker himself, even if I do say so! Thanks so much for the delightful recipe.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Dear Lynette – what a special and wonderful time you will have. You’re lucky to have a son that enjoys baking. I have two wonderful sons, neither bake. However, my youngest grandson is an avid baker He wants a donut pan for Christmas. Don’t even know what that is, but I’ll find out.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      You can make and freeze the entire cake if you thaw it, covered in the refrigerator the day or two before. It should not be thawed at room temperature. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I will add it to the blog.

  4. Joaquin

    Thank you so much for this recipe. You are indeed a true teacher of pastries.Your explanations are indeed extremely good and thorough. I have been studying pastries for about 15 years and still learn from your instructions.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hello Joaquin – Thank you so much for letting me know you find my work helpful. I love writing about pastries and hopefully taking some of the intimidation and fear out of them.

  5. Nikki

    The cake in this recipe sounds exactly like a cake base I make for a Chocolate Tiramisu. I place a towel over the cake as it cools to keep it moist.
    As for this..I could forego the cake and just eat the Raspberry Mousse! This sounds heavenly.
    Best of all I now know what my dessert for Christmas dinner will be.

    I do have a question about the pan with the removable bottom you have. If the pan is used for a cheesecake that is baked in a water bath does the pan still need to be wrapped in foil?

    And once again thank you for a great recipe, wonderful details and fantastic photos.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Nikki – Your guests are going to love you on Christmas! You do not need to wrap the pan in foil to assemble the cake. If using a springform pan or my cheesecake pan, I would always wrap it if it is going into a water bath.

  6. sallybr

    Helen, another very tempting recipe! I am absolutely mesmerized by it – I wonder if I have the skill to pull it off?

    I have a square “ring” cake pan – bought on impulse, quite anxious to put it to use – it is 23.8cm which I think would be pretty close to adequate for this cake – or in inches it is 9 3/8 in square – I guess the volume would be a bit over 10 cups of batter

    what do you think? Could I try to use it?

  7. rockyrd

    wow. beautiful Helen. i was just thinking of a good chocolate cake last nite. i need a special occasion one in a few weeks and this fits the bill. thank you.

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