Chocolate Raspberry Brownies

Choc raspberry brownies_1240 copy

Chocolate and raspberries together make brownie perfection!

Choc raspberry brownies_1186 copy

I love the ways these turned out – so creamy and rich! And the slight tartness of the raspberries complement the sweetness so well. The raspberries can be replaced by your favourite add-ins. I’d recommend cherries, walnuts, white chocolate pieces or macadamia nuts – get creative!

Choc raspberry brownies_1201 copy

The important thing to remember is not to overbake brownies. I have done it on one too many occasions and the result is a disappointing, dry cake. You also don’t want a mouthful of sticky dough, so try to get the balance right. The aim is a soft, moist interior and a deliciously crunchy top.

Choc raspberry brownies_1242 copy

Chocolate Raspberry Brownies (makes 9 squares)

Ingredients

  • 185g unsalted butter
  • 185g dark chocolate
  • 85g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 3 large egg
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • handful of raspberries (can be frozen)

Method

  1. Line a 20cm square tin and preheat the oven to 180c
  2. Melt the butter and dark chocolate in the microwave and set it aside to cool slightly
  3. Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and light
  4. Add the cooled chocolate mixture to the eggs and fold together
  5. Sieve the flour and cocoa powder into the mixture and fold gently
  6. Add the raspberries and fold
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 mins. If the middle is still wobbly, keep baking for another 5 mins and keep checking – make sure not to overbake!
Advertisements

Chocolate Meringue Cake

When I suggested this Chocolate Meringue Cake to a friend for a recent dinner get-together, the response was an emphatic “woahh…let’s do that!” – absolutely no doubt. Just look at the chocolate-y, sugary goodness!

2014-07-29 20.41.45The meringue was not too sweet, but it added a nice crunchy texture to the cake, and the berries cannot be forgone, since it goes well with the chocolate and cuts through the sweetness.2014-07-29 20.41.26

Notes:

  • I overbaked the cake base, since I used a larger pan. I would reduce the cooking time to 15 minutes, since I found that the meringue took at least 30 minutes to harden.
  • I would suggest serving this warm, and place berries on the cake just before serving otherwise the meringue will soften.

Chocolate Meringue Cake

Adapted from The Artful Desperado

For the cake:

  • 225g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 170g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 65g brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 43g all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
  • 43g almond meal

For the meringue:

  • 4 eggs whites
  • 95g super fine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 40g dark chocolate, melted

Berries to serve (I used strawberries, blueberries, red grapes)

Cake
1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Lightly grease a springform 8 inch pan (I used 9 inch, but smaller is better for height and texture of cake), place some parchment paper on the bottom and set aside.
2. Place butter and chocolate in a small pot over low heat and warm enough to melt them. Turn off the heat let it stand for a bit.
3. In a large bowl place the eggs, egg yolks, brown sugar, and vanilla and mix or whisk for about 5 minutes until the mixture is pale and has doubled in size (it should look really frothy and thicker). Add the chocolate/butter melted mixture, flour, baking powder, and almond meal and gently fold until combined. Place batter in the cake tin and bake for about 30 min JUST until set – DO NOT COOK FULLY! We need to add the meringue so it should 3/4 done (it’s ok if it’s looks a bit “raw” still). Remove from the oven, set aside.

Meringue
Start the meringue as soon as you take the cake out of the oven. Not before, as meringue can’t sit.

1. Increase temperature in the oven to 350F
2. Place egg whites in a CLEAN bowl (no grease, no water) and beat them to soft peaks. Slowly add the sugar (about 1 tablespoon at at time). When you’re done with the sugar, add the vinegar and beat until meringue is nice and glossy. Add the cornstarch and cocoa and gently fold. Finally, slowly drizzle the melted chocolate and place the whole thing on top of the cake. Don’t mix the chocolate as you want natural swirls to happen!
3. Place the cake with the meringue back in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the meringue feels dry. Remove from the oven when done and let is stand outside for a bit.

Despicable Me Rainbow Birthday Cake

Rainbow cakes are still such a popular choice for birthday cakes – they are ALL OVER the internet! I mean, who doesn’t like multi-coloured food?! So here’s another addition to the millions already out there 🙂

This cake was for my brother’s girlfriend, and as a Despicable Me fan, the marzipan models were a must. This was the first time I’ve made any type of model using marzipan (or fondant-like material) and I have to say, it is so much fun! You can make just about anything with the stuff! I’ve always steered away from them since I didn’t want to put a lump of sugar on a cake that no-one would eat. But for a fun birthday cake, it adds so much joy!

Despicable me, Rainbow cake

 

Rainbow cake interior3

Rainbow cake slice

Many recipes I came across used pre-made cake mix, but that is something that I never buy, so here is my made-from-scratch rainbow recipe:

Vanilla Rainbow Cake

Makes one 6 layer, 8 inch cake. Adapted from Hummingbird Cakes

  • 250g all-purpose flour
  • 250g sugar
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 pinch salt
  • 84g butter
  • 240ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Food colouring: purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red
  1. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a mixing bowl and beat on slow speed until everything is combined and you have a crumb mixture with a sandy consistency. Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until the milk is incorporated.
  2. Whisk together the remaining milk, egg and vanilla. Pour into the flour mixture and beat until all ingredients are just incorporated. Beat for another 30 seconds until batter is smooth. Do not overmix.
  3. Divide batter into 6 (I weighed them because I’m paranoid), and put your desired food colouring in each bowl.
  4. Divide batter amongst 8 inch baking pans (if you don’t have multiple pans, you can do this in batches) and bake at 170C for about 15 to 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out mostly clean. Cool before frosting.

Swiss Meringue buttercream

This was not enough to cover the top (hence the cheeky chocolate ganache 😉 ) so I would use 1.5 times this recipe to allow for added decorations. For the piped decorations, I used a peppermint and chocolate chip buttercream by replacing the vanilla extract with peppermint extract.

  • 110g egg whites
  • 183g sugar
  • 250g butter
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Whisk egg whites and sugar over a bain marie until 64C or sugar has dissolved.
  2. Take off heat and whisk until thick and glossy and bowl feels neutral.
  3. Add butter one at a time until all is incorporated. Minions