chocolate raspberry and buttermilk cake

I waited with bated breath for my signed copy of the Flour and Stone cookbook to arrive and it's a lovely thing. The most recent item I baked from the book was this chocolate raspberry and buttermilk cake and you can find the original recipe here.

I've baked a few items from the book and I've found the temperature and baking times given in the book just don't work in my gas oven. The recipes were tested in a fan forced oven and even when I increase my oven temperature by 20°C, everything takes forever to bake. I've had to use my baking knowledge and my sense of smell with the recipes to work out the right time and temperatures. So far so good.

The suggested bake time for this chocolate raspberry and buttermilk cake is 1 hour 15 minutes but as I have to bake my cake at a higher temperature, it was ready after 45 minutes. Just to make sure it was cooked through I left the cake in the turned off oven for a further 15 minutes. When cut it was squidgy and delicious. I've made the cake a second time and this time the cake took about an hour to make.

Here's the recipe for you which makes a 17cm cake with my adjusted bake time. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Chocolate, raspberry and buttermilk cake - adapted from a Nadine Ingram recipe

110 g good-quality dark chocolate (minimum 60% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
55 g unsalted butter, cut into large cubes 
2 eggs 
45 g light brown sugar 
35 g almond meal 
15 ml buttermilk
100 g frozen raspberries
1-2 tbs warmed raspberry jam

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a 17 cm cm springform cake tin with baking paper and dust with cocoa.

Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water to melt, stirring occasionally with a spatula until melted and combined. Ensure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl and that the heat under the bowl is gentle so that the chocolate doesn't burn.

Meanwhile, place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed for about 5 minutes until it is thick and fluffy (this is called a sabayon).

Once the chocolate has melted, turn the mixer off and pour the chocolate straight into the bowl with the eggs, then add the almond meal and buttermilk. Return the bowl to the mixer but this time use the lowest speed to gently mix all the ingredients together (as if you were folding it by hand). You will notice the mixture is quite streaky at this point as the foam from the sabayon melds with the chocolate ribbons. After a few turns around the bowl the streaks will start to disappear and you want to stop the whisk just before the last streak disappears. This will ensure a light batter that has not been overworked. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a spatula to scrape all the way to the base of the bowl to ensure any chocolate that has fallen to the bottom is well combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 15 minutes or until the top of the cake has formed a crust. Remove from the oven and cover with the raspberries, gently pressing them into the surface of the cake. Don’t be tempted to scatter the raspberries over the batter before baking as they will just fall to the bottom.

Return the cake to the oven and bake for a further 30 - 45 minutes or until the centre is springy to touch. I left the cake in the switched off oven for a further 15 minutes.  Let the cake cool in the tin for at least 2 hours before you remove it. It can be difficult to cut because it is so sticky but if you heat the blade of the knife with hot water and wipe it dry before slicing you will achieve a nice neat cut. If you like you can glaze the raspberries with some warmed raspberry jam.

Nadine’s notes
It can be hard to judge the readiness of this cake but because it’s flourless the good news is it’s hard to over-bake it! The centre will always remain lovely and gooey, so if you have any doubts just leave it in there. If you do need extra cooking time and the raspberries start to burn you can easily cover the cake with foil for the rest of the baking time. 

I took the cake into work for a birthday morning tea and it proved to be pretty popular. I took my slice of cake home and it was absolutely delicious. Next time I try this recipe, I'll use hazelnut meal and blackberries and see how that works.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,



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