Easy Raspberry Chocolate Cake to Ring in the New Year

This year, more than ever, we are all ready to say goodbye to 2020! A moist chocolate cake topped with raspberries and meringue is a perfect dessert to celebrate the sense of hope we all feel as we look to 2021. If any of you made my cranberry Louise Cake, this is very similar but with a rich chocolate cake, topped with meringue and raspberries. This cake can easily be made gluten free using you favorite gluten-free flour blend.

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter (or vegan butter), room temp.

1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips (melted and slightly cooled)

1/2 cup cane sugar

zest of 1 orange

3 large egg yolks

1 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour blend)

2 tbs. cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tbs. shredded unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup whole milk (or non-dairy milk)

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries

1/4 cup raspberry jam

meringue:

5 oz. egg whites (140 g.) from 3 1/2 large eggs

3/4 cup plus 3 tbs. sugar (185 g.)

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup sliced, toasted almonds

1/4 cup freeze dried raspberries (optional)

Method of Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly brown and fragrant. Set aside to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 375 F. 

Line the bottom of a 9″ springform pan with parchment paper and grease the sides of the pan and the parchment paper. 

Place the butter and orange zest in the bowl of a standing mixture or use a hand mixer. Beat on medium high until light and creamy. Add the melted chocolate (see note on melting chocolate). Add the egg yolks, one at time, scraping the sides of the bowl in between additions. Beat until fully combined. Sift the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a medium sized bowl, add the shredded coconut. Alternately, you can whisk the dry ingredients if you don’t have a sifter or sieve. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture alternately with the milk. Add the vanilla extract. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Set aside to cool slightly. Lower the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the raspberries in a medium sized bowl. Slightly heat the jam in a small saucepan over low heat. It should thin out a bit. Mix the jam in with the fresh raspberries.

For the meringue:

Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of a mixer and beat with a whisk until foamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Add the vanilla and cornstarch and whisk again until combine. Fold in the almonds and freeze dried raspberries if you are using them. 

Evenly, spread the raspberry jam mixture over the cake. Top the raspberries with the meringue, spreading it with a spatula to create small peaks and waves. Bake for 15-20 minutes or the meringue has formed a crust and is lightly brown. 

Melting Chocolate:

Place the chopped chocolate in a small microwave safe bowl and heat at half power for 1 minute, stir and heat again in 30 second intervals until the chocolate is melted. You can also melt the chocolate in a bowl placed over a saucepan of water. Warm the water over low heat, being sure to not boil the water.

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