Sunday, December 2, 2012

Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Cream and Chocolate Fluff Frosting - And Four Years of Blogging!

November 29th came and went, just like the rainstorms we've been experiencing for most of this past week.  My four year anniversary for "A Feast for the Eyes" is on this day, and I really wanted to write a special post.  But, mid-week blogging this time of year, is a rare occurrence.  I have become a weekend food blogger, so I am celebrating my anniversary with a new cake recipe.

In four years of blogging, I'm so thankful for the community of fellow food bloggers, and followers, who take the time to visit my virtual kitchen. I especially appreciate those of you who take the time to leave comments.  If you're following me on my Facebook Fan Page, I do appreciate it.  I use that Fan Page to interact, more personally, with you. I don't use Twitter as much, except to tweet new posts.  Instagram is fun for me to use, and I wish I had more time to check my feeds there.

Bottom line, I make my family and job a priority.  Food blogging is a creative hobby that I thoroughly enjoy.  I doubt I'll ever be able to quit my day job to make this food blog a full-time job.  I'm okay with that.  My greatest reward is when someone posts one of my recipes, or comes back to say that they loved it.  Thank you.

This weekend, we were invited for dinner at our friend's home.  That always presents a perfect excuse to bake a cake.  I don't consider myself to be an artistic cake baker, like "Sprinkle Bakes" or "Sweetapolita".   I just know that a homemade cake is always greeted with "ooohs" and "ahhhs, and I think they are one of my favorite baked goods to make.

I'll always be a bigger fan of white or lemon cake.  A spice cake is on my "yummy-licious radar", too. Chocolate... I do like it. But, it's not my #1 choice.   I have quite a few  cake recipes that I've pinned, and have been longing to make.  As usual,  I got distracted carried away with Saturday chores (and surfing the net).  Before I knew it, the time clock was winding down to just enough to time to whip up a cake without a whole lot of extra time to spare.  

I spied a box of Duncan Hines Chocolate Cake (I was sent a free coupon to try)...and then I hit the moment of decision. Do I use a box mix (gasp) or bake a cake from scratch? Did I have time to bake a scratch cake? Decisions, decisions.

OK, I confess.  I made the box mix, in 3 8-inch cake pans, baked for about 15 minutes.  (More on that, later.) My inspiration for the rest of the cake was found on Valerie's lovely blog, "Un Gamine Das La Cuisine".  Chocolate and Raspberry is a combination that I dearly love.  The frosting really grabbed my attention, as it has marshmallow creme in it. 

For the butter cream filling, softened butter was whipped and then seedless raspberry jam was added.  Confectioners sugar transformed the filling into a smooth, pink, filling. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (can be made a day before).

 Now, for the frosting....

You need 6 ounces of Bittersweet Chocolate

I melted the chocolate in the microwave for 1-1/2 minutes. Stir and allow to cool.  Softened unsalted butter is beaten until creamy.  The cooled chocolate is added and mixed.

I love marshmallow creme. Someday soon, I'm going to make it from scratch. (Pinkie promise.)

I had to double-check that I only need to add six tablespoons of confectioners sugar. Yes, that's right.  Add the marshmallow cream and beat until smooth. I loved this frosting!  It was that heavy sugary taste of a traditional buttercream. It was billowy, and just chocolatey enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.  Love.

The frosting is lovely to work with.  It's silky and easily spreadable.  By the way, my cake frosting dramatically improved when I invested in a few baking tools that I don't like to be without:

Off-Set spatula-- one of my favorite and most used baking tools to spread batter or frosting evenly.
Rotating Cake Stand -  By turning the cake, and holding an off-set spatula, I can achieve a smoother finish to the frosted cake.
Cake Lifter - This large spatula is what I use to safely lift cakes from a cooling rack to the cake stand.  No more broken cakes!

I had thirty minutes left to get dressed and ready to leave to our friends' home.  If I had more time, I would have added fancier finishing touches. In this case, simple is good.  The cake was set into the refrigerator until it was time to go.

Our friends know that I'm a food blogger, and they do read my blog. So, they are used to desserts being served with a slice missing.  Natural light was quickly disappearing, and I wanted to taste the cake-- purely for quality control.

TASTING NOTES:  The cake mix: it was good, and moist.  I have nothing against cake mixes, but my "go to" chocolate cake recipe is here.  If I'd had more time, I would have made my scratch cake recipe, that has coffee added to it. It's super moist, and so I will include incorporate that recipe with the printable card at the end of this post.  Overall, this cake did not disappoint. The raspberry filling was sweet, but not over-the-top sweet.  The chocolate frosting was excellent.  It's a rich cake, and should be sliced into small servings. Would I make it again?  Yes. But, I'll stick with my proven scratch cake recipe.

Here's the recipe card:

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Mary said...

Congratulations on you blogging anniversary, Deb. I love to visit here and hope you'll be with us for years to come. This cake is a perfect example of why I keep coming back. It sounds scrumptious. Have a good week. Blessings...Mary

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Happy anniversary Debbie. We started about the same time and I think I've been following since I first discovered you. I wish you many more happy years of blogging.

What a fabulous cake to celebrate your fourth anniversary. Wish through the power of the internet we could all have a slice.

Priya R said...

cake looks heavenly :) and what lovely combinations

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Congratulations on four years of blogging...that is a lot of delicious food recipes. I'm sure you cake was a big hit after dinner with your friends.

Suzana Sacchi Padovano said...

Congrats for your anniversary! Delicious recipies and lovely presentations.

This cake seems haven!

Have a good week!

Karen said...

Happy #4! The frosting on this cake sounds really interesting. I love chocolate and raspberry flavors together, too.

Anonymous said...

Happy 4th Debbie! You have created an amazing blog and your mentorship (is that a word?) has been invaluable to me!

Joanne said...

Happy fourth my love! Mine is coming up in January and I feel like I should start planning now what to do for it. :)

Layer cakes are my favorite WOW dessert also. Yours looks great!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

So happy to have your around these past four years! I wish you many more. I get the idea that you can't make your food blog my life. I know if I put more effort into social networking and such I would have more than 62 likes on my blog's FB page, but I've learned as much as I love my blog, I have too many other priorities in life to center too much time on marketing my blog.

I have been wanting to see this recipe since you first posted the photo on FB. I love chocolate and raspberries too. I would try this in a heartbeat. Looks nice and simple, but has great tastes all around.

Joan Nova said...

Congratulations Debby. I think you've got that life balance thing down pat!

Susan said...

Happy blogging anniversary, Debbie. As always, you never fail to amaze what you can get done in your kitchen along with holding a job. Always good smells out of your kitchen. Susan

Ally said...

Happy blog anniversary, Debby! That cake looks AMAZING!! YUM!

bellini said...

It seems like only yesterday that we met on-line and then in person in SF. Congratulations on 4 wonderful and tasty years Debby!

Kim said...

Congratulations on four years of blogging! Isn't it incredible to think of all the things we cooked, baked, shared, and learned along the way? So glad to have gotten to know you over the years!

This cake looks incredible. I know I'd be crazy for that raspberry frosting!

Velva said...

Happy 4th Blog Anniversary! So glad you blog.

The chocolate cake, it rocks.


Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

There is nothing better than a home made cake, and this is a beauty, Debby. Congratulations on four years of inspirational blogging. I'm looking forward to your next four.

Sippity Sup said...

I just rounded up 4 years blogging too, so save me a slice. GREG