Chocolate Cake with Raspberries

This is a lovely harmony of two classic flavours that combine wonderfully well to give a great cake. And it’s quite easy too – promise.

Serves: 12 – 15

Time: Prep 20 mins; Bake 35 mins + cooling time; decorating 20 mins

Level: Quite easy

Equipment: 2 x 20cm/8” round, loose-bottomed tins.  

Ingredients

Cake

  • 200g (7oz) self-raising flour
  • 25g (1oz) cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 225g (8oz) caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Around 125g (4oz) raspberries, lightly tossed in 1 tbsp flour*
  • 225g (8oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ tsp raspberry essence or flavouring (optional)
  • 2 tbsp warm water or milk

Filling

  • 60g (2oz) white chocolate
  • 180g (6oz) full fat cream cheese
  • 125g (4oz) icing sugar
  • a few drops of raspberry flavouring (optional)
  • 1 – 2 tsp freeze dried raspberries

Topping

  • 200g (7oz) dark or milk chocolate
  • 200ml (7fl oz) single cream
  • Fresh raspberries for decoration

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 180C/Fan 160C/350F/Gas 4. Grease the tins, line the bases with baking parchment and dust lightly with flour.

2. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl then add in the rest of the dry ingredients. Stir well to mix thoroughly.

3. Beat the eggs lightly and add in the vanilla extract and raspberry flavouring, if using.

4. Add the wet mixture and butter into the main mix.

5. Decide whether you want to put the raspberries in whole, later, or put them in now and let the mixer break them up into small pieces within the cake. (*When I first made this cake I put them in early, by mistake, and they were shredded by the electric mixer, but it turned out well and probably added to the raspberry flavour,  so give it a go if you want to.)

6. Add in 2 tbsp warm water or milk then use an electric mixer to mix for a few minutes until fully combined. (Stir in the raspberries if you haven’t already put them in.)

7. Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins, level the top surfaces and bake for 32 – 36 minutes, or until risen and pulling away from the sides of the tins. Cool in the tins for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool fully.

8. For the filling, melt the white chocolate in a bain marie. While it’s melting, beat the cream cheese to soften it.

9. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool a little then pour it onto the cream cheese. Beat well then stir in the freeze dried raspberries. Next, sift in the icing sugar. Mix it in carefully with a fork first, then beat more vigorously until it’s a nice thick mixture. Use this to combine the two cakes. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

10. After taking the cake from the fridge, set it up on a wire rack with a tray beneath – ready to have the topping poured over it. (Or you could use a cake decorating turntable.)

11. Break the dark or milk chocolate into small pieces and put in a heat proof bowl. In a saucepan, heat the cream almost to boiling. Pour it over the chocolate and leave for a few minutes, then stir to mix fully. Leave to cool – it needs to be liquid enough to pour, but cool enough to set reasonably soon afterwards.

12. When it’s cooled sufficiently, pour the topping onto the cake starting in the middle. Work it gently outwards and down the sides. Before it sets, decorate with raspberries.

I hope you enjoy this lovely cake. If you want to see more chocolate cake recipes click here.  Two of my personal favourites that I’m sure you’ll love as well are my Chocolate and Orange Marbled Ring Cake and my Chocolate Lime and Orange Cake.

Also, please have a look at my site for lots of other recipes, sweet and savoury. If you’d like to comment or ask a question please do, via the contact page.

HAPPY BAKING

IAN

A later version:

In our area of Derbyshire we have a large number of Ukrainian families who have fled from their war-torn country. Many are clients for our food bank. Recently we hosted our first coffee and cakes morning to bring these families together and get to know them better. One of the bakes that I took was this adapted chocolate cake. Most of the directions are as for the original, but here are the changes:

  1. I replaced the raspberries with pieces of white chocolate of varying size.
  2. For the filling I used a tub of supermarket (Sainsbury’s) own brand cream cheese frosting, to which I added about 100g of mascarpone and a little melted white chocolate. This was more than enough for the filling so I used some of it to crumb-coat the cake, thinking I’d ganache it fully afterwards. Actually, I later decided to mix a thin ganache and run it down the sides of the “semi-naked” cake in rivulets.
  3. As I said above, I made a slightly thinner ganache, using about 175g dark chocolate and 100ml double cream (well, I actually used Elmlea, which is a little lighter and I quite like it.)
  4. For the decorations I wanted something that spoke of Ukraine, so I used various sprinkles, smarties etc. (It was a bit of a pain picking out just the blue and yellow ones, but I think it was worth the trouble.)