Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Raspberry Red Velvet Cake with Chocolate Raspberry Glaze

Recently, Driscoll's asked me to create a recipe using their fresh raspberries and to talk about their Made with Love Holiday Sweepstakes (more about that below).  But it's the phrase 'made with love' that stuck with me because love is why I cook and bake special treats for Brian.  And I know how very much he loves my red velvet cake.  But when I first made it for him, he asked me why it needs to be red.  I didn't have an answer for him other than that it was traditional but he really dislikes the idea of the red food coloring that's commonly used.  Suddenly I had an idea.

I know raspberries and chocolate go well together but I also wondered if they would work to "dye" the cake.  Several containers of berries later, I had a new, natural and even tastier version of red velvet.  True, not quite as red as what you'd get with food color but a hell of a lot more flavorful.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

Cake:
2 Cups sugar
2 Eggs
1 Cup vegetable or canola oil
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1 Cup buttermilk
2 oz. (approximately) raspberry syrup (recipe below)
2 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon baking soda
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Cup Driscoll's raspberries

Red Raspberry Syrup:
1 Cup Driscoll's raspberries
1/2 Cup water

Chocolate Raspberry Glaze:
1 Cup Driscoll's raspberries
1/2 Cup water
1 Tablespoon sugar, or more to taste
1/2 Cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-2 Tablespoons milk or cream
Dash of salt

To make the red raspberry syrup, add the Driscoll's raspberries and water to a pan and simmer on low heat for 10 - 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer and return the liquid to the pot.  Simmer for an additional 10 minutes or so until the liquid is reduced by about half.  Allow to cool while you make the cake batter.

Using either a stand mixer or hand mixer, add the sugar and eggs to a large bowl and cream together for a couple of minutes until the eggs are a light golden color.  Beat in the oil until smooth.  Add the vanilla, vinegar and buttermilk and mix thoroughly.  Stir in the raspberry syrup.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder.  In a small bowl, toss the raspberries with 1 tablespoon of the flour/cocoa mixture.  This will help prevent the raspberries from sinking to the bottom of the cake.  Add the flour mixture into the wet batter and mix.  Fold in the raspberries.

You can bake this cake in a variety of different ways - a 10-12 cup bundt pan, a tube pan, a 9" spring-form or four 4 1/2" mini spring-forms, which is what I did.  By dividing the batter, I can store some of the cakes in the fridge or freezer for unexpected holiday season company.  Whichever you choose, butter and flour your pans and pour in the batter.  If you're using the smaller spring-forms, fill them with about 2" of spare room at the top.  Bake in a pre-heated 325 degree oven for 50 - 55 minutes for a large cake or 30 - 40 minutes for the smaller ones or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Allow to cool thoroughly before removing from the pan.

To make the glaze, add the berries and water to a pan along with the sugar.  Simmer on low heat for 10 - 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer and set aside.  Add the chocolate chips to a bowl and microwave for about 30 seconds.  Stir and continue to microwave (30 seconds at a time) until melted.  Add the raspberry syrup and salt.  Slowly stir in the milk, one tablespoon at a time until you have a good pourable consistency.  Pour the glaze over the cooled cake and top with some fresh raspberries if desired.  Makes approximately 12 servings.

Want to make something with love as well?  Enter the sweepstakes here for a chance to win a Kitchenaid stand mixer and a year's worth of berries.  And check out the Driscoll's web site for more ideas, recipes and inspiration.

6 comments:

  1. I'm 100 percent in agreement with your Brian.I can't stand food coloring in deserts. Using real flavors is so much better. This looks phenomenal!

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  2. I've been looking for a food coloring alternative, hope my red velvet loving family will go for it. Thank you.

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  3. This is an absolutely gorgeous, decadent cake! Love the chocolate/raspberry combo in that incredible glaze.

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  4. Fresh raspberries are the best. On a yummy cake even better. This looks like a winning recipe!

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  5. I am not a chocolate lover, but these look delicious. I pinned because I think these would be perfect for Valentine's Day. Now I need some pans.

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