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Chocolate and Raspberry…I am in Love

Lately my whole family has been trying to watch what they eat in hopes of taking off a few pounds. Nowadays who isn’t, right? A few weeks ago I came across this recipe on cookinglight.com and was hoping to find a reason to try it. This past weekend we celebrated my mom’s birthday and of course I volunteered to make a cake. I am always looking for a valid excuse to bake but not have to keep it in my house. :o) I remembered this cake and of course it took me forever to find the recipe again. Finally I found it and went to work on creating my masterpiece. It was fairly easy to make and it was oh so good. My mom later told me that my step-dad raved over it, she had to send a second piece home with my sister’s boyfriend and she herself snuck back out to the kitchen in the middle of the night to have a second piece. I guess it was a hit! The plus side is that it was a tad bit healthier than your typical cake. The recipe was originally for a Raspberry-Almond Torte but when I saw the price for the almond paste I quickly decided to make it Raspberry-Vanilla instead, lol. I was planning on taking a picture of a cut piece but I completely forgot once we got to my parent’s house. Sorry, but this is the only crummy picture that I have. If you click on the link for the cooking light recipe you can see the pretty picture that they have.

choc-rasp-cake

Raspberry-Vanilla Torte with Chocolate Ganache

adapted from cookinglight.com
Cake:
Cooking spray
6 tbs. butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
3 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
4 large egg whites

Filling:
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 (10-ounce) jar seedless raspberry jam
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Ganache:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1 (4-ounce) bar semisweet chocolate, chopped
Preheat oven to 350°.

Coat a 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan with cooking spray (it took me a little while to realize that this was basically a cookie sheet); grease the pan and then line bottom with parchment paper. Coat parchment paper with cooking spray.

To prepare cake, place butter and vanilla extract in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until blended. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, beating until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and salt, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined.
Place the egg whites in a large bowl. Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Gradually add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter; pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly. Cool. Invert cake onto a wire rack. Remove parchment paper. Cut cake into 4 (10 x 3 3/4-inch) rectangles.

To prepare filling, combine juice and raspberry preserves, stirring with a whisk. Add powdered sugar, stirring until smooth. Reserve 3/4 cup raspberry mixture. Place 1 cake rectangle on a cake platter; spread with 1/4 cup raspberry mixture, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Repeat procedure with remaining cake and 1/2 cup raspberry mixture, ending with cake.

To prepare ganache, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar, cocoa, and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and add chocolate, stirring until smooth. Spread ganache evenly over top and sides of cake; let stand 20 minutes or until set. Serve reserved raspberry mixture with torte.

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What to do with the buttermilk..

I decided to make a red velvet cake for Father’s Day this year (I’ll blog about it as soon as I get the pictures from my mom). The recipe called for buttermilk and as I went shopping for the ingredients I found out that I couldn’t buy just a small container of buttermilk, I had to buy a whole liter. Now what do I do with the 3 cups of buttermilk I have left in my refrigerator?? I went to the ladies on the What’s Cooking board to see if they had any tried and true recipes that call for buttermilk. I received four or five recipes that all sounded great so I then had to figure out which to make. Since I would be making this on a weeknight after work (which means I will be exhausted) I decided to go with one that would be the least messiest and the least amount of work. I went with a pound cake. Thanks to thatgirlang I ended up with a great cake that was a crowd pleaser at work. Thanks Angie! This also gave me the opportunity to use a pretty bundt pan that I received as a bridal shower gift and completely forgot I had.

I have been trying to experiment and be more creative in the kitchen rather than always following recipes word for word, so I took her base recipe for the cake and modified it a tiny bit. Since the cake had lemon extract in it I decided to add some lemon zest as well. I also seem to find that pound/bundt cakes can be a bit bland for my taste so I chose to add a cream cheese glaze to it. I crossed my fingers that it would all turn out okay in the end and luckily it did. I was also so excited that my cake came out of the pan perfectly! I was a little worried because of the design aspects of the pan but I guess all of the greasing and flouring paid off, whew!

It was a delicious cake; very moist and tasty. It is a perfect cake to serve during breakfast or brunch because it isn’t terribly sweet. Everyone kept complimenting on how beautiful it was. I couldn’t take much credit on that though…the pan did all of that work, lol. ; )

cake1

Buttermilk Pound Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

adapted from Angie’s recipe at Angie’s Simple Cooking
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter
3 cups white sugar
6 eggs
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
zest of 1 lemon
cream cheese glaze (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour one 9 or 10 inch tube pan. Mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar. Mix in the eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the lemon and the vanilla extracts. Gently mix in flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Stir in the lemon zest. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 90 minutes. Keep an eye on it though because mine was done in 75 minutes. Do not open oven door until after one hour. When cake begins to pull away from the side of the pan it is done. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Note: I ended up moving the oven rack to the notch just under the center because as the cake started to rise it got a little too close to the top of the oven and I was afraid it would burn.

cake-glaze

Cream Cheese Glaze

adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
1 tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice (I added an additional 1/4 tsp.)
3 tbs. milk
1 tsp. lemon zest (about 1/2 of a lemon)

Beat together the cream cheese, sugar and salt until all is incorporated. Add the lemon juice and milk, mix well. Stir in the lemon zest. Pour over the cooled cake.

Note: If the glaze is too think, add milk 1 tsp. at a time.

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