Monday, 11 February 2013

Valentine's cake

The week before Valentine's Day meant helping Mama bake pre-ordered raspberry cakes. Rich dark chocolate cakes with a white topping, raspberry filling and little homemade chocolate hearts as decoration. Her cakes were always in demand, and in between her marmalade business and chocolate fondant orders, her celebration cakes were a hot topic in the Borrowdale community.

On a large white painted kitchen table (the same one my Dad was born under during WW2), Mama would lay out a treasure trove of delicious ingredients like fresh eggs collected from the chicken huts that morning, fresh farm butter, chopped dark chocolate and a large bowl of home made raspberry jam-like sauce.

Squashed in between the white table and the kitchen sink, was a tall white bar stool.  And on this I would perch.  My bare feet swinging back and forwards as I waited my calling as the raspberry jam-like dispenser. Onto cooled rounds of dark chocolate cake, I'd spoon exactly two dessert spoons of the liquid ruby syrup. A second round of chocolate cake, sandwiched in the sweet, tart raspberry centre.

With a dramatic flourish, Mama would sprinkle silver dragees on the cloudy white lemon cream cheese topping, and gently place the home made chocolate hearts 'just so'.

Biting into a silver forkful of moist, rich and tangy lusciously chocolate raspberry cake...luxurious lemon flavoured cream cheese frosting squishing out the corners of my mouth - yum.

Mama's Valentine's Day cake

What you need

For the cake
  • 200 grams best quality dark chocolate, melted
  • 180 grams cake flour
  • 250 grams butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 300 grams dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100 mls buttermilk

x 2 round cake tins

Best quality raspberry jam

For the cream cheese frosting
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 200 grams icing sugar
  • 250 grams cream cheese

How to make
  • Heat oven to 180 degrees, grease the two baking tins.
  • Beat sugar and butter together until pale, add eggs one at a time.
  • Add in all other ingredients and mix lightly with a metal spoon and pour equal amounts into the 2 greased baking tins.
  • Bake for 40 minutes, or until  skewer comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool, then spread a generous amount of raspberry jam on the bottom layer, place top layer on top.
  • Mix the cream cheese, icing sugar and zest of the lemon until smooth, spread over the top of the cakes and decorate with chocolate hearts and fresh raspberries.


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