Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Raspberry Chocolate Cake


I grew up in a house where the only cake we baked from scratch was my mom's carrot cake. Anything else was either from a box mix or the frozen aisle. As I've gotten older it's occurred to me that their are plenty of wonderful cake recipes out there and surely some of them must be better than the too fluffy cake mixes.

So when my hubby requested a chocolate cake for his birthday I was on a mission to find the best chocolate cake recipe I could. And then I stumbled across something even better. The idea to use jam in the batter to make a fruit flavored caked. You see, fruit + chocolate is pretty much my hubby's favorite sweet combination ever. Ever ever.

Birthday Boy with Birthday Cake

Pioneer Woman's chocolate sheet cake recipe came highly recommended so I printed the recipe, hit up the store, and proceeded to dirty more dishes than I had ever realized could be necessary for cake baking.

Ree's blog gives you a very comprehensive run down on her recipe, so here are just the changes I made:

*Substitute 1 cup of raspberry jam (an entire 10 oz jar) for one cup of the sugar
*Ignore the pecans (my hubby does not like nuts in his desserts)
*Discover you don't really have the right kind of pan and opt for a bunt pan
*Bake for 30 min instead of 20 to compensate for the thicker cake.

And here are my lessons learned:
*The jam thing worked like a charm, but (perhaps because of issues with the oven) the cake was still a bit gooey in places (cooked just not quite firmed enough). The jam made for a very dense cake (good for me, bad for you angel food lovers out there) with a nice light but detectable raspberry flavor.

*I would sift the powered sugar next time before making the frosting, there were still lumps and the final product, once the leftovers were put in the fridge, was bit gritty.

*The cake recipe does not fill a bundt pan and I did not grease and flour the pan (not wanting to make it oily). These two things combined to give me this:

Not Quite As Pictured Staying PUt

Yup, cake fail. I did manage to piece it back together, but it wasn't quite what I had had in mind when I began.

Pieced together

Also, being a bunt cake, there was way, way, too much frosting. So halve the frosting recipe, double the cake.

*Chill the cake before serving, you get much nicer slices. See?

Ooey Gooey Delicious A Prettier Picture

When all is said and done though, my husband loved this cake. He is eating it up at a much faster rate than he usually eats baked goods (I've got more of a sweet tooth than he does). This is definitely worth trying again.

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