The best birthday present I could give myself is a day of baking. My cousin and I were celebrating our birthdays together and I wanted to make passionfruit chocolate cake, except I actually couldn’t find any passionfruit pulp. There I was, standing in Safeway, wondering what I was going to do, when I spotted them – delicious and delectable raspberries! Earlier in the day, I’d picked up some melt-in-your-mouth truffles from Whole Foods. I knew then, I had to try a chocolate raspberry cake!
But since this was my birthday cake, I had to try something fancy – like chocolate shavings and a three layer cake – my first and something that was definitely not easy to do!
This is what I cut today:
And this is what it looked like when I cut it:
All in all, it was delicious and it looked pretty. It was a messy first attempt though and took a lot of time cleaning up – but, the end result was worth it. A sweet way to start 28!
Following the many requests I’ve received, here’s the recipe:Ingredients Chocolate Cake 1.5 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1.5 cups sugar
1.5 cups milk
1+1/8 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup water Raspberry Filling
10.5 oz raspberries
2 oz water
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornflour + 1/4 cup water
1 tsp agar agar
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch of salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 – 5 tbsp raspberry preserve
9 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup chocolate shavings for garnish
1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
Make the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
- Grease and dust a 9″ baking pan
- Mix the vinegar with the milk and leave aside for a few minutes. Then add the vanilla, oil, water and sugar. Beat the liquid mix.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking soda. Mix in the liquid ingredients. Be careful not to overbeat.
- Pour into greased pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 300 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes or until a knife through the cake comes out clean. Cool in the oven for 5 minutes and then set aside.
Make the Raspberry Filling
This can be made the day before
- On medium heat, cook the raspberries, sugar and water. Stir occasionally to ensure it doesn’t burn.
- Once the raspberries melt into the mix, add the agar agar. As soon as the mix boils, cook it at low heat.
- Mix the cornflour in water to make a smooth mix. Gradually add it to the raspberry sauce. The mixture should begin to thicken. Keep stirring at low temperature for about 5 -7 minutes. Add the lemon juice and salt. Take off the gas and cool. Your sauce should have the consistency of beaten fruit preserve.
- Whip the cream till soft peaks form. Then add the strawberry syrup and beat again.
- Cool for at least an hour in the fridge. Best cooled overnight.
Whip up some chocolate ganache
This too can be made ahead of time
- Mix the sugar in the whipping cream and bring to a simmer on the gas.
- Pour over the chocolate and set aside for a few minutes
- Mix the chocolate into the whipping cream and cool. Then refrigerate.
Put it all together
- Before assembling the cake, leave the ganache out till it reaches the right spreadable consistency.
- Cut your cake into three layers.
- Beat the strawberry preserve and spread on the layers you’ll be filling with a pastry brush.
- Pipe the layers with some chocolate ganache along the edges. Fill in with raspberry filling.
- Set the layers atop of one another
- Spread the chocolate ganache on top and along the sides.
- Press the chocolate shavings along the sides and use a seive to spread cocoa over the top.
- Decorate with raspberries and chocolate truffles
- Refrigerate the cake for at least 8 hours before serving.
Note: You’ll have filling and ganache left over – these can be frozen for future use. The hardest part of putting this cake together, was sticking the chocolate shavings and then lifting the cake onto the cake plate. When assembling the cake, best to do so on a flat plate with parchment paper. Use a heavy duty and big cake lifter to transfer the cake. Another option is to cool the cake for a bit before transfering it. A simple variation of this cake would be to make a 2 layer cake instead of a 3 layer one.