Friday, February 5, 2016

Easy Decadent Raspberry Dark Chocolate Lovers' Cake

Hello, friends and lovebirds!

Valentine's Day is a short time away, and if your are pressed for time, this simple and lovely cake is a sweet option.

I have noticed a trend that naked cakes are all the rage; I think they are simply gorgeous, so I wanted to try my hand at one.  The chocolate cake I am sharing today comes from the pages of Miette, a cookbook I recently picked up from a charming little bakery in Solvang.

 If you would like to read more about the trip, you may click here.

I am using their cake as a foundation, with my own variation, as stated below.  If you would like to save even more time, you may opt to use a boxed cake and add my variation afterward.

Miette Double Chocolate Cake:
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups (4 1/2 ounces) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 ounces 70 percent cacao chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup boiling water
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups (15 ounces) sugar

Liberally butter two 6-by-3 inch regular or contour cake pans and dust with sifted cocoa powder.  Tap out the excess cocoa.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside.
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pout the boiling water over it.  Whisk until the chocolate is melted.  Let the mixture cool for 15 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and vanilla.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs on high speed until foamy, about 2 minutes.  Reduce the speed to low and slowly pour in the oil, whisking until combined, about 30 seconds.  Raise the speed to medium and whisk until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds longer.

Reduce the speed to low and slowly pour the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.  Slowly pour in the buttermilk and vanilla mixture.  Add the sugar and whisk until the batter is smooth and liquid, about 2 minutes.

Stop the mixer.  Remove the bowl and add the sifted dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated, preferably by hand, lifting and folding in from the bottom center.  Using a rubber spatula, scape down the sides of the bowl and mix again just briefly by hand.  The batter may still look a little lumpy, but stop mixing.

Pour the batter through a medium-mesh sieve into a large measuring cup or bowl to remove any lumps.  Press against the solids in the sieve with a rubber spatula to push through as much batter as possible, then discard the lumps.  Divide the batter between the prepared pans.  Bake until the tops spring back when lightly pressed and a tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Transfer to wire racks and let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes.  When the cakes are cooled enough to handle the pans but still a tad warm to the touch, carefully run an offset spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen them, then invert the cakes onto the racks and remove the pans.  Let cool for about 20 minutes longer.  Wrap the cakes tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate to ensure the interiors are completely cooled before decorating, at least 1 hour or for up to 3 days.  To freeze, wrap tightly in a second layer of plastic and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.

My Variation:
You will need:
1 pint fresh raspberries, rinsed
Raspberry whip
Torani Dark Chocolate Sauce
Red roses for garnish

For my cake, I used this easy layer cake pan form from Wilton.

Allow your cake to cool completely before decorating.  While the cake is cooling, prepare your raspberry whip.

Raspberry Whip
You will need:
2 cups Cool Whip or other whipped cream
2 tablespoons Torani raspberry flavoring syrup
2-3 tablespoons fresh raspberries from your pint (about 15)
1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar

In a food processor, process the freshly rinsed raspberries until puréed, and push through a sieve with a rubber spatula to remove any seeds. Do this until you have approximately 2 tablespoons fresh seedless raspberry purée.

Mix together with the Cool Whip and syrup, plus powdered sugar, and cool until firm.

I recommend cutting a small layer off of each cake so that they are level when stacked.

Between each layer of cake, begin by drizzling the complete layer with the dark chocolate.


Next, using a rubber spatula, add a layer of raspberry whip.  Smooth with the back of a spoon.  Repeat until you are at your top and final layer.

Add fresh roses and more raspberries.....viola!

Rustic, lovely....

rich, and completely decadent.  The mellow flavor of the raspberry pairs perfectly with the rich chocolate, and it was truly delicious!

****Note:  All roses are edible, just be sure to remove the white portion of the petal, as it is bitter in taste.  It is important that you not eat roses that come from florists, as fertilizers and pesticides may be used in the process of their growth.  To err on the side of safety, eat roses from your own garden. 

Have a Happy and Lovely Valentine's Day!

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