Chocolate and raspberries go together so well, it’s hard to imagine the combination will ever go out of fashion; The deep richness and bright sweetness balance each other beautifully.
This cake uses freeze dried raspberries in an Italian meringue buttercream to add both powerful sharpness and smooth creaminess, and everything is finished off with a brittle dark chocolate collar. Truly a celebration of contrasts, this cake will excite your palate with every bite!
- CHOCOLATE CAKE:
- 255g plain flour
- 450g castor sugar
- 90g cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- RASPBERRY ITALIAN MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM:
- 5 egg whites
- 1/4 cup / 50g caster sugar
- 1 cup / 200g caster sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 450g unsalted butter, room temperature
- CHOCOLATE COLLAR:
- 200g dark chocolate, chopped
Preheat oven to 180°c /160°c fan. Spray two 6-inch cake pans with oil, then line with baking parchment.
Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk thoroughly to combine and 'sift', using your paddle attachment.Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for 1 minute to add air to the batter.
Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for about 50 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.
RASPBERRY ITALIAN MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM:
Separate 5 eggs whites into the bowl of a stand mixer, and whisk slowly until they become foamy. Add the 1/4 cup of sugar gradually, continuing to whisk until stiff peaks.
Boil 200g of sugar and 1/4 cup water over medium-high heat, without stirring, brushing down the sides of the pan occasionally, until it reaches 118°c.
Beat the meringue on high, as you pour the hot syrup down the side of the bowl in a steady stream. Continue to beat for about 10 minutes, until the outside of the bowl is at room temperature.
Gradually add the butter in small pieces. Once smooth and creamy, add your desired flavourings and beat through.
Place 2/3 of the chocolate into a microwave safe bowl, and heat it short bursts , stirring regularly, until just melted. Add the remaining 1/3 of the chocolate and stir until completely melted. Cool to 32c before using.
Spread/splatter/pipe the chocolate onto a long strip of baking parchment or greaseproof paper. When the chocolate starts to harden, wrap around the cake and leave to set up completely before attempting to remove the paper.