Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Dessert Dilemma.

We all want to serve cake to our loved ones on their birthday. But we love them after all, and don't want to do them a disservice by offering unethical amounts of sugar. Fortunately, it's possible to serve cake and balance the sweetness.
Years ago, (March 2004 in fact), I came across this article in Bon Appetit magazine. It was titled, "The Chocolate Wars". Cooks submitted their recipes of long time food battles. This one involved two sisters who each claimed their chocolate cake trumped the other's. I have tried both. Beverly's wins in my book. I cut the amount of sugar by a half cup, bringing out the wonderful dark chocolate! This recent batch I topped with whipped organic cream and turned our frozen garden raspberries into a lovely sauce. It was spot on. Not to sweet yet ultra satisfying. In fact I prefer a cake like this to the usual sugary options. I may even have a nibble in the morning with coffee. Shhhh.

Beverly's Dark Chocolate Cake:
*1 cup raw cane sugar
*3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
*3/4 tsp salt
*1/3 cup olive oil or melted butter
*1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
*1 1/2 cups hot water
*1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
*2 eggs
*1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour two layer pans. Place sugar, cocoa, and salt in a large bowl. Pour in oil (do not mix). Place baking soda in a separate bowl; stir in the hot water and add to cocoa mixture. Mix with an electric mixer until cool, about 1 minute. Beat in flour, then eggs and vanilla. Pour equal amounts into both prepared pans. Bake just until done, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.

Whipped Cream Frosting:
*1 cup organic heavy cream
*1 tsp vanilla
*2 Tbsp powdered sugar

Using an electric mixer, beat cream in a large bowl until it just begins to thicken. Add vanilla and sugar. Continue beating until thick and fluffy. Spoon onto 1st layer of cake. Smooth over surface. Add second layer on top and repeat. Make raspberry sauce.

Raspberry Sauce:
*1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
*1/3 cup water
*2 Tbsp sugar

Bring all ingredients to a simmer in a small saucepan. Continue simmering stirring often until most liquid is gone and raspberries become slightly thick, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool. Spoon sauce into a Ziploc bag. Cut off a tiny corner of bag and pipe onto a plate. Slice cake and serve over top.


  1. I love the crumpled article included! Thank you so much for this blog. It keeps inspiring me.

  2. Just so everyone knows, I got to eat some of this cake today at lunch, and it was fantastic. It was moist and flavorful, and at the same time not on the heavy side, you know, the side where you are inclined to lay down afterwards. This cake not only didn't knock me down, it left me with a little extra bounce in my step. I will be using the recipe for the next lucky birthday person in my gang.