Raspberry + dark chocolate layer cake
I’m pretty sure it’s universally acknowledged that chocolate and raspberry is the best flavour combination. Ever. Yeah that’s right – step aside apple and cinnamon, chocolate and mint, and salt and caramel, you’ve got nothing on chocolate and raspberry. Now, before you click away in disgust, allow me to make my submissions.
Chocolate and raspberry (or to use its shipping name raspolate) has been here for me through some of the most trying times of my life – annual performance reviews, contract law exams, extended family gatherings, Monday mornings… For me, the flavour combination surpasses even my most favourite things, including but not limited to:
- slobby Friday night take away dinners featuring Better Homes and Gardens;
- M*A*S*H episodes pre-Henry Blake’s death (spoiler alert);
- Daryl Braithwaite’s video clip for ‘Horses’;
- Marcs 25% off sales; and
- giant African snails (google it).
If the jury is still out on raspolate being the premier flavour combination, I have created the ultimate raspolate layer cake. I guarantee that after you try this cake, no other flavour combination will reach the heights of raspolate for you. I speak to the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
I rest my case.
Makes 3 x 6 inch cakes. Serves 8 to 10 people.
450 grams of frozen raspberries
1 tablespoon of caster sugar
Juice of half a lemon
Dark chocolate and raspberry cake
250 grams of plain flour
50 grams of dutch cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
115 grams of unsalted butter (softened)
300 grams of caster sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
2 large eggs
180 millilitres of raspberry compote
180 millilitres of buttermilk
115 grams of dark chocolate (melted and cooled)
Raspberry swiss meringue buttercream
250 grams of caster sugar
125 grams of egg whites
325 grams of unsalted butter (softened)
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
Freeze dried raspberry powder to taste (don’t be shy)
Make the raspberry compote
- Combine the frozen raspberry, sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and cook them over a medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, ensuring to stir occasionally. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
Make the dark chocolate and raspberry cake
- Preheat your oven to 180◦C.
- Grease three 6 inch cake tins and line with baking paper.
- In a medium bowl, sift the flour, dutch cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth.
- Add the caster sugar to the butter and cream for 3 to 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Slowly add the vanilla bean paste and eggs to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix until combined.
- Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk, raspberry compote and dark chocolate until combined.
- Evenly divide the cake batter between the three prepared cake tins.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out of the centre of the cakes clean. Set aside to cool.
Make the raspberry swiss meringue buttercream
- Combine the sugar and egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Place the stand mixer bowl over a saucepan of water to create a double boiler. Ensure that the water does not touch the bottom of the stand mixer bowl.
- Heat the sugar and egg whites to 70◦C, stirring occasionally with a whisk.
- Once at temperature, transfer the stand mixture bowl to the stand mixer. With a whisk attachments, beat the eggs and sugar on a high speed until stiff peaks are formed.
- Change the whisk attachment to a paddle attachment. Add the butter slowly on a low speed.
- Once all the butter is combined and the mixture is smooth, add the vanilla bean paste and freeze dried raspberry powder.
Assemble the dark chocolate + raspberry cake
- Once the cakes are completely cooled, level them to ensure that the tops of the cakes are flat.
- Using a small amount of buttercream, affix one cake to a cake board or plate.
- Spread a small amount of buttercream on the first cake and follow with half of the remaining raspberry compote. Repeat with the second layer of the cake.
- Use the remaining buttercream, frost the top and sides of the cake, smoothing with a scraper.
- If desired, finish with fresh raspberries and gold lustre powder.