Berry Nice to Meet You: Chocolate Cake with Raspberries
With the news that we have to lower the fat intake in our house I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to continue with the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop. As a relative newbie to baking I’m not particularly confident when it comes to inventing or adapting dessert recipes. Instead of being defeated though, I went out and bought a new cook book (I don’t need much persuasion to buy new cook books!). I don’t really want it written in print forever, but I guess I’m going to have to confess that I purchased The Biggest Loser Best Recipes book. I know, I know, I promise I never watched a single episode of the show, but as I was flicking through the pages in the shop there were lots of recipes that I liked the look of, so it fulfilled the criteria to justify the purchase.
Anyway, back to this months blog hop, hosted by Christina at the Hungry Australian. The theme for this month is berries. Unfortunately it is not really the season for berries and I refuse to pay the astronomical prices for berries that have been imported from overseas or grown artificially in a poly tunnel. Thankfully, berries freeze well and as I don’t have access to my Grandma’s freezer, as I did for the June hop, I opted for the freezer cabinet of the supermarket, where you can buy pretty good quality frozen berries. I love the combination of chocolate and raspberries, and with a delicious looking chocolate cake recipe in my new cook book the chocolate cake with raspberries was born.
As far as cakes go, this is actually pretty healthy. If you can divide the cake into 12 there is 4g of fat per serve. If you follow the recipe in the book you can halve that and reduce it further according to the quality of the dark chocolate and the percentage of cocoa. I’m still new to the healthy eating lark and I couldn’t quite bring myself to use cocoa powder and water instead of chocolate, so I’m breaking myself in gently and at 5.5g per serve, that is a lot less than most chocolate cakes that usually contain butter and egg yolks, and around 16g of fat.
The basis of this cake is egg whites so I was expecting the finished result to be much more like a meringue. It’s amazing how the addition of such a tiny amount of flour and almond meal transforms it into a cake. I wasn’t brave enough to substitute all of the flour for almond meal, but having done a bit of research around the web I think you could turn this quite easily into a gluten free cake by using all almond meal.
The end result is a light and tasty cake, which was a touch dry, so the addition of the raspberry sauce was definitely needed. I also found the batter was quite stiff, as the base is like meringue, so make sure you smooth the top when you put it into the cake tin. I didn’t do this, thinking it would smooth out in the oven like other cake mixture do, so my resulting cake had a very uneven top. To rectify this I cut the crispy top off and turned it upside down.
375g frozen raspberries
Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius and line a 20cm loose bottom or springform cake tine with baking paper.
Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a heatproof bowl over a pan of water. Ensure the water does not touch the bowl so that the chocolate does not burn.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites in a stand mixer, ensuring the bowl is clean and there is not egg yolk or shell in the whites, otherwise they won’t whisk. Whisk until the whites form stiff peaks and the bowl can be tipped upside down without the white come out of the bowl.
Gradually add the sugar to the egg whites and spoonful at a time, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture becomes white and glossy this should take 5-6 minutes on a high speed setting.
Seive the flour and almond meal into a bowl ensuring there are no lumps and set aside.
Continue to whisk and add in the melted chocolate until it is fully combined, then fold through the almond and flour mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and bake in the pre-heated oven for 45 minutes, or until firm. After this time switch the oven off and allow the cake to cool in the the oven with the door open.
To make the raspberry sauce choose 16-20 of the best looking raspberries and allow to defrost. This should leave about 300g to make the sauce. Put the frozen raspberries, water and sugar into a small pan and heat gently until the sugar is dissolved and the raspberries are turning to a mush. Simmer for two minutes to thicken slightly. If you prefer, you can now pass the sauce through a sieve to remove the seeds, otherwise allow to cool before serving with the cake.
To serve, arrange the whole, defrosted raspberries around the edge of the cake. Sprinkle with the crushed, freeze dried raspberries if you have them. Serve with the raspberry sauce. At about 150 Calories per slice you can definitely enjoy it without feeling too guilty.