I expected this cake to be pink and verrry Valentiney inside, but instead, it came out purple. Quite purple. If I’d planned this better, I would have pretended to have made this in honor of Prince’s birthday, or slapped some gold and green on there and called it a Mardi Gras dessert.
But, you know me. I keep it real here… And also REAL FOXY. Exhibit A:
Are we looking good, or are we looking good? Note that carnations are, uh, a tad poisonous, so don’t eat those… Unless you’re scheming to make some hot ER nurse your Valentine, in which case, shine on, you unbalanced little diamond (but you should know that you’d have to eat MANY carnations to get yourself poisoned–instead, try faking being on bath salts maybe?).
As I was saying (let’s pretend I was saying something worthwhile)… Don’t eat carnations–eat cake. I think you will like this one. It’s just a luscious beast–not in a decadent way, although the raspberry-liqueur-spiked dark chocolate ganache nudges it in that direction. It’s absolutely packed with fruity berry flavor. It’s dense, soft, not overly sweet, and equally appropriate for breakfast or dessert (if you’re the kind of person who abides by all that, anyhow).
My very favorite thing about it is that it’s just bursting with raspberries–naturally. Elizabeth at SugarHero (whose blog you should absolutely be reading, because she is hilarious, delightful, and knows everything there is to know about everything sweet EVER) gave me this idea. I’d never thought of those sad little crunchy red things in Special K as a viable ingredient option, because that sort of thing immediately makes me think of preservatives, chemicals, and related shenanigans. But it’s only science shenanigans, my lovenuggets, and astronauts eat this kind of thing, so it must be legit. Anyway, the ingredients in a bag of freeze-dried fruit (the Trader Joe’s brand, anyway) are just that–freeze-dried fruit. When ground to a powder in a food processor, it becomes super-concentrated MAGIC FRUIT DUST.
My other favorite thing about this cake is its texture. It’s dense, but with yogurt and fruit, not butter (no disrespect to butter–love you always, Boo).
Funny story about the stick of butter: it’s in this photo despite there being no butter in the cake. I’d somehow convinced myself that I needed to soften a stick of butter for this, and took it out of the fridge “just in case,” forgetting to verify before shooting.
This is why bakers much smarter than I do mise en place. I know, I know. It’s important, but I can’t get into the practice. I try, but it simply doesn’t happen when I cook purely for pleasure (which is almost always). Just ain’t natural for me. #deepdarksecrets.
Frozen berries are your friend in the winter, and they add juicy, bright pockets of tang to an already raspberry-flavored cake batter here. This might be a good time to share a curmudgeonly thought with you: We need to cool it with the out-of-season strawberries. Why candied and/or chocolate-coated citrus isn’t the official Valentine’s Day dessert, I will never understand.
Anyway. As I was saying earlier: purple. It’s like a smurf wandered into a raspberry cake! Not that I mind (although I am worried about any missing smurfs).
Cool it, flip it out of the pan, cool it some mo’. Then do this to it (keeping it foxy, Exhibit B):
Lastly, I could never wrap up a post on the second most romantic day of the year* without a little Al Green. Oh man. The song. The FASHION. Enjoy, and happy Valentine’s Day!
(*No. 1 is free Slurpee day at 7-11, and you can bet Imma get all lovey dovey on you.)
- Nonstick baking spray
- 1.2-ounce bag of freeze-dried raspberries (Trader Joe's is your friend!)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt (I used a 7-oz container of Fage 2%)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- 3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Chambord raspberry liqueur
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a bundt pan by spraying well with nonstick spray.
- Process the freeze-dried raspberries in a food processor until ground to a fine powder.
- Sift together the raspberry powder with the flour, baking powder, and kosher salt in a medium bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar with the yogurt, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined, then fold in frozen raspberries.
- Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top. Bake until the top of cake is browned and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 40-45 minutes (oven times vary, so start checking earlier).
- Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert onto rack; let cool completely.
- To make the ganache, heat up the chocolate and cream in a double boiler (or microwave, in spurts) until chocolate is melted. Whisk until smooth, then whisk in the Chambord.
- Let the ganache sit until it's about the consistency of corn syrup, then drizzle over cake.