Melissa Forti’s Chocolate And Raspberry Cake

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Lusciously creamy, this decadent cake makes a marvellous afternoon tea centrepiece.

Ingredients
For the cake:
• 245g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
• 3 eggs
• 240ml buttermilk
• 240ml warm water
• 120ml vegetable oil
• 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
• 400g caster sugar
• 80g good-quality cocoa powder
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
• pinch salt

For the raspberry coulis:
• 100g caster sugar
• 3 tablespoons water
• 340g frozen raspberries, thawed
• 1 teaspoon raspberry eau de vie, or other raspberry liqueur

For the chocolate frosting:
• 
170g softened butter, plus extra for greasing
• 105g good-quality cocoa powder
• 80ml milk
• 560g icing sugar, sifted

Method
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly butter the bases and sides of two 20 cm cake tins and dust with flour.
2 Place the eggs, buttermilk, warm water, oil and vanilla in a large bowl. Sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and add to the liquid mixture.
3 Divide batter between the prepared tins and bake for 35 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before inverting on to a wire rack.
4 For the coulis, heat the sugar and water together in a small saucepan over a medium heat, until the sugar has completely dissolved, about 10 minutes.
5 Let the syrup cool a little then pour it into a blender and add the raspberries. Pulse to a purée then strain through a sieve to remove the seeds. Stir in the eau de vie and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
6 Make the chocolate frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the softened butter. Add the cocoa powder and beat for 10 seconds.
7 Add a little of the milk, then a little of the icing sugar and continue adding these alternately, beating until creamy. If the mixture is too runny, add more icing sugar; if it is too stiff add more milk. You are looking for a good, spreadable consistency.
8 To assemble the cake, place one cake on a plate. Brush the entire surface with the raspberry coulis, letting it penetrate into the cake to make it soft and full of flavour.
9 Spread on some of the chocolate frosting and stack the other cake on top. Using an off-set spatula, spread the rest of the frosting over the top and sides of the cakes.

Recipe courtesy of Melissa Forti. See here for more. 

Looking for more recipe inspiration? Find it in the latest issue of Good Things

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