Somebody has a birthday today… and it’s not me!
M: What kind of birthday treat would you like this year? I’ve been thinking about it and have some ideas.
J: Oh, nothing fancy, maybe some scones like we had in Leavenworth (with the raspberries and white chocolate)… Well, maybe a cake would be nice… Maybe a sponge or a pound cake? … Chocolate might be nice… Maybe some fruit or something? … But really, anything is just fine…
Now you’re talking! In the words of Tom and Donna, Treat Yo Self! 🙂
The Birthday Cake? A chocolate layered cake with mascarpone cream and raspberries!
I was looking around for a new chocolate cake recipe (because one can never have too many cake recipes…) and many of them called for a cup of freshly brewed coffee, to bring out the flavour of the chocolate. I’ve never tried this before, so figured now was as good a time as any! The cake turned out very chocolate-y, and you cannot taste the coffee at all (if you’re wondering).
The cake recipe I used said the batter would be very thin… and it was. And as I began pouring the batter into the spring-form pans, I started to second-guess my choice of pan. Yup, the batter started leaking out the bottom. QUICK, QUICK, INTO THE OVEN!!! A little bit leaked out, but not as much as I was expecting, cake-crisis deftly averted 🙂
To boost the raspberry flavour, I reduced some raspberries down to a thick purée. While this was cooling, the mascaropone was whipped with icing sugar and a touch of vanilla.
The result was exactly what I pictured in my mind! The tart berries, rich chocolate and slightly sweet mascarpone meld together in the most fantastic way.
The look on Jonty’s face when he saw the cake confirmed that my birthday-cake-vision was a good one.
And the taste? Pretty darned good, if I do say so myself! The cake is really moist and has held up well in the fridge for the past few days, as we nibble away on it. This cake recipe is definitely a keeper!
Happy Birthday, Jonty!
- 1¾ cups flour
- 1½ cups sugar
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot coffee (or boiling water)
- 250 g mascarpone cheese
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups fresh raspberries, for the top of the cake
- 1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen), to reduce into a purée
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F and prepare two 8 or 9-inch cake pans (line the bottoms with parchment paper and grease the bottoms and sides). I used spring-form pans, which leaked slightly. If you do the same, make sure you place your cake pans on a cookie sheet to catch the leaks.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make sure any clumps of sugar and cocoa powder are completely broken down.
- Add the milk, coconut oil, eggs and vanilla and whisk to combine.
- Add the coffee (or water) and stir until just combined. The batter will be very runny. Pour into the prepared cake pans and bake for 35 - 40 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes our clean.
- Let the pans cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan, and invert the cakes onto the wire rack to cool completely.
- Place 1 cup of raspberries (fresh or frozen) into a small saucepan over medium-low heat and reduce them down until they thicken
- Whip the mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until the icing is nice and fluffy. Taste the icing at this point. We don't like super-sweet icing, so this was good for us. If you prefer a sweeter icing, feel free to add more icing sugar to taste.
- Spread half the icing on the bottom cake. Cover with the cooled raspberry purée.
- Place the second cake on top and cover this with the remaining icing. Top with whole raspberries.