Saturday, 25 May 2013

RECIPE: Chocolate and raspberry cake

What with it being exam period (*snooze*), up until today it had been an embarrassingly long time since I'd last baked. No, really. Shameful. It's just hard to justify when you know you've got loads of revision to do (which you'll know all about if you read this.) Plus, everyone's on their #summerbod quests at the mo, and I would hate to thwart anyone's healthy eating missions.

That is some moist cake right there
That said, when my darling friend Harriet (whom you'll know was my running buddy for Bristol 10K) called me yesterday and asked if I'd like to come over and bake a birthday cake with her (it's her 20th birthday today!), naturally I dropped my French books and jumped at the chance. After giving her various cakey options - she doesn't like jam so Victoria Sponge was out of the question (weirdo), she wanted something chocolatey, ideally a layer cake - Harriet chose a winner. I sent her off to Sainsbury's with a list of ingredients, popped over the road to her's with all my baking utensils (yay for living near your friends!), and we were in business. 

To be honest, we were probably a bit too excited. Harriet decided she liked my idea of a chocolate raspberry cake, so that, dear readers, is what we made. And no, I do not just mean a chocolate cake with raspberry icing. I find it somewhat sneaky when a cake is called, say "banoffee cake", but is in fact just banana cake with toffee icing. (Tell me I'm not the only one!?). This is a chocolate and raspberry sponge cake, with raspberries in the sponge and raspberry buttercream icing. I always think layer cakes are best for birthdays. They're more special somehow. 

Good crumb. Good crumb.
This fab cake is so simple to make, a monkey could do it (no offence, Haz) - you just chuck everything in a bowl and away you go. Quick, easy and just a little bit different. How often do you find chocolate cake with chocolate icing? Yeah, exactly. I personally really like chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream (I'm pretty edgy like that), and this raspberry one takes it to a whole new level. Not to mention its delightful pink colour! The slight tangy-ness of the raspberries in the cake and the icing just cuts through the sweetness of the chocolate (god, did I really just say that? Meh. You know what I mean. It was yummy.)

No-one wants a dry cake (god forbid!), and this one is deliciously moist, largely thanks to the cheeky little rasps hiding away in there. Being only small, the raspberries aren't overly noticeable, so the cake is still spongy and light. As the sponge is so moist, you don't need a lot of icing, so we only went for a thin layer. However, if you prefer you could double the quantity, make your layers thicker and cover the sides of the cake too. #yolo

I know what you must be thinking: These girls can run 10K, bake adorable cakes... Is there anything they can't do? Well, before we claim to be multi-talented superwomen we should probably wait to get our impending exam results. Eeeek!

Wow, this was a long introduction to a cake recipe. To sum up: Baking with friends is fun. We are very proud of our cake. And everyone else seemed to enjoy it just as much. Happy birthday Harriet!

Good friends + baking delicious cake = happiness

Ingredients - Cake

200g caster sugar
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp cocoa powder
4 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
About 30 raspberries (we used frozen as they're much cheaper, but if you happen to have fresh they work exactly the same)


60g unsalted butter, softened
120g icing sugar
A handful or so more frozen raspberries (depending on how deep a pink you'd like your icing)

Celebration time!


1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 170C/gas 5. Grease two round 20cm sandwich tins and line the bottoms with greaseproof paper. Sieve the dry ingredients into a large bowl, then add the beaten eggs, milk and vanilla and beat them all together with a handheld electric whisk until you have a smooth batter.

Into the oven we go!
2. Divide the mixture equally between the tins and smooth the surface as best you can with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Dot half the raspberries on to each cake - don't worry about pressing them down as the cake will rise up around them while in the oven. Bake for about 25-30 mins until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean and the cakes are springy to the touch. Go round the edge of each cake with a knife to make sure they don't stick to the tins, and after a few minutes of cooling, turn each cake out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely. Or as long as you can wait. We were impatient...

3. To make the icing, beat the butter with a hand-held electric mixer for two minutes until light and fluffy, then gradually add the icing sugar, beating more as you go. Beat on maximum speed for about five minutes. Add raspberries a few at a time until they're completely mixed in and the icing is your desired colour.

Before covering the top
4. Spread half the buttercream over the top of one of the sponges and sandwich the two cakes together, then spread the rest of the buttercream over the top of the cake. Decorate however you wish - we used pink sprinkles and chocolate buttons and it was adorable, not to mention deeeelish (if we do say so ourselves!)

Birthday girl nailing the first slice

If you like the look of this cake, you may also like my vanilla and raspberry cake!

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