Friday, June 09, 2023


There is such unassuming beauty in a raspberry. A perfect little cluster of drupelets, incredibly delicate and soft, yet so full of flavour. Every little berry simply proclaims the close arrival of summer.
And I do love them; they are the perfect addition to any chocolate cake, purely because their natural tanginess pairs delightfully with rich cakes with robust chocolate fillings and frostings, such as this one. Soft cake layers, a luscious filling, and a tangy burst of flavour from the berries make for an amazing dessert combination, especially with fresh and ripe fruit.
And now that the days are getting longer and sunnier, this cake is simply calling for a picnic in nature or even a simple meal al fresco, especially with freshly made lemonade or espresso.

For the soft cake layers
125 grams plain flour
25 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
big pinch of salt
200 grams soy milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
200 grams granulated sugar
80 millilitres vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
For the white chocolate coconut filling
400 grams vegan white chocolate
200 grams plant-based double cream
50 grams desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
100 grams fresh raspberries

Start by making the white chocolate mousse, as it needs a bit of time to cool down. Chop the chocolate finely, and add it to a deep bowl. Heat up the plant cream over medium heat, until it almost starts to boil, and immediately pour it over the prepared chocolate. Let it stand for a minute, and then gently mix and fold, until completely melted and smooth. Once the chocolate has melted fully, cover the surface with cling film or a piece of baking parchment, let it cool down to room temperature, and then place it into the refrigerator for at least four hours.
While the filling is cooling, make the soft chocolate cake. Pour the vinegar into the soy milk, mix it very well, and set it aside for about 10 minutes.
Take a large bowl, sift in the plain flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and whisk everything together using a wire whisk, just to combine the dry ingredients a bit more. Add in the granulated sugar, and whisk again.
When the soy milk is ready, pour it over the dry ingredients, add in the oil and vanilla, and gently mix until everything is combined. Do make sure the batter is not mixed for too long, so the cake stays soft and moist.
Line a rectangular baking pan (20x30 cm) with baking parchment, bottom and sides, pour in the batter, and bake immediately in a preheated oven, at 180°C, for about 12-15 minutes. As every oven bakes differently, check the cake with a toothpick early, to make sure it is baked, but not dry. Take it out of the oven and let it cool completely in the pan.
Once everything is cool to the touch and ready, proceed to assemble the cake.
Take the filling out of the refrigerator, and start whipping it into a mousse, using an electric mixer on the highest speed. Whip until soft peaks form, add in the desiccated coconut and the vanilla, and continue beating until stiff peaks form. A bit of patience is required in this step, but the reward is a lovely, airy, and voluminous mousse filling.
Level the cake, if needed, and gently slice it in half crosswise and lengthwise, to create four thin rectangular layers. Reserve a few spoonfuls of the filling in a separate bowl, and divide the rest into three equal parts.
Place the first cake layer on the serving platter, close a cake frame around it, and add a third of the mousse filling. Top with another cake layer, another third of the filling, and all of the fresh raspberries. Add another cake layer, the last third of the filling, and the last cake layer. Cover the top of the cake with cling film or a piece of baking parchment, and place it into the refrigerator, along with the reserved filling, for at least 8 hours.
When the cake is nice and chilled, take it out of the refrigerator, run a thin spatula between the cake frame and the cake itself, and top the cake with the reserved filling. Serve in thin slices with freshly brewed espresso or dessert wine of choice. Yields 12 slices.

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