My two favorite ingredients to pair in a dessert are raspberry and chocolate. What are your favorite pairings of ingredients for dessert?
I went back and looked at different pairings I previously made in some of my desserts and I am surprised to find how much I love some other pairings as well – Chocolate and butterscotch; peanut butter and chocolate; chocolate and vanilla.
I have really learned to enjoy making cakes, especially layer cakes. The beauty of a layer cake is twofold: one)the filling adds some great flavor and texture and two)they look so cool. I really love baking. Baking is such an art. I know most people will say it is a science. It is a science because the way in which ingredients react together is so particular. Learning the nuances of ingredients is very important. I just think that desserts play so much to the left side of the brain. Desserts are great because they are so often filled with sugar. But that is too simple. How you present the dessert is the ultimate differentiation for a dessert.
A good recipe is dependent on each component of the dish. Just like an entree recipe, the key is that each ingredient is good; if there are layers to the dish, then each one needs to be done well. This is a dessert that each layer is so good. This cake was cooked just right. The chocolate frosting was delicious and decadent. The chips added some more chocolate and texture. The raspberries were a perfect compliment to the chocolate. The acid of the raspberries comes out and provides a needed contrast to the richness of the chocolate.
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 and ¾ cups (350g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 pint plus raspberries
- 3/4 semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 Tablespoons heavy cream (you can substitute half-and-half)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- chocolate chips and raspberries for decoration
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- Coat three 9x9x2 inch round baking pans with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, melt the butter in the microwave.
- Vigorously whisk in the granulated sugar, then the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract.
- Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until hardly any lumps remain. The batter will be very thick - try not to overmix.
- Gently fold in the raspberries and chocolate chips.
- Divide batter evenly (as possible) between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 22-24 minutes. Cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the pans on a wire rack.
- Cream the butter with stand mixer on medium speed for 3-4 minutes. This is a great base for a creamy frosting.
- Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and 3/4 cup of cocoa powder. Mix on low.
- Add 3 Tablespoons of heavy cream and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- Place 1 layer on your cake stand.
- Evenly cover the top with frosting.
- Top with 2nd layer, add more frosting, then the third layer.
- Top with frosting and spread around the sides. (Don't worry about the very bottom of the cake.Raspberries will go around the bottom and will hide the very bottom layer.
- Top with raspberries and/or chocolate chips for garnish if desired.
- If your frosting is too thin, add up to 1 more cup of powdered sugar. If your frosting is too thick, add up to 2 more Tablespoons of heavy cream.
The cake ingredients mixed together.
The cake with the chips and raspberries. Pre-baked and after baking.
The layering process with cakes and frosting.
The final delicious goodness of chocolate, raspberries and cake.