Divine Chocolate and Raspberry Truffle Cake recipe

By Linda Collister

Very pretty and special – For Valentine’s Day

Makes one large cake

Ingredients

For the sponge:
200g Divine Dark Chocolate, broken up (available at supermarkets)
4 tbsps Amaretto Disaronno (amaretti liqueur)
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g caster sugar plus 3 tbsps extra
6 large free-range eggs, at room temperature, separated
A good pinch cream of tartar
A good pinch of salt
100g ground almonds
125g plain flour
25g flaked almonds
125g fresh raspberries
For the icing:
150g Divine Dark Chocolate, broken up (available at supermarkets)
1 tablespoon Amaretto Disaronno
125g unsalted butter, softened
1 heaped tbsp golden syrup

To decorate: fresh raspberries, icing sugar, chocolate shards or curls

Equipment
21cm springform tin, greased and base-lined

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas 4.

Put the chocolate and Amaretto into a heatproof bowl.
Set over a pan of steaming hot but not boiling water and leave to melt gently.
Remove the bowl from the pan, stir the chocolate gently until smooth then leave to cool until needed.

Beat the butter until creamy, using a wooden spoon or an electric whisk. Then beat in the 200g sugar (save the rest for later). When the mixture looks very light and fluffy beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a clean whisk until just frothy, then add the cream of tartar and the salt and continue whisking until the mixture is thick and stands in soft peaks when the whisk is lifted. Whisk in the reserved 3 tablespoons of sugar.
Using a large metal spoon gently fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture, followed by the ground almonds. Add a quarter of the egg whites and fold in. Sift half the flour on to the mixture and fold in, then half the remaining egg whites. Repeat with the remaining flour and whites. Gently fold in the flaked almonds and raspberries, using just a couple of movements so the mixture is not over-worked, then spoon the mixture into the tin and spread evenly.

Bake in the heated oven for 55-60 minutes until just firm to touch and a cocktail stick inserted into the centre (avoiding the fruit) comes out clean. Run a round-bladed knife around the inside of the tin then leave to cool and firm up on a wire rack for 15 minutes before unclipping the tin.

When completely cold set the cake on a serving platter.

To make the icing melt the chocolate with the Amaretto as before, remove the bowl from the pan and stir in the butter and syrup to make a smooth and glossy icing. Leave to cool, stirring form time to time, until thick enough to spread over the top and sides of the cake.

Leave to set and just before serving decorate with raspberries. Dust with icing sugar and chocolate shards or curls.

Cuddle Fairy

Healthy Truffles – is that even possible?

goats-cheese-and-raspberry-truffles-11

Truffles needn’t be only made with chocolate, these creamy tasting truffles speckled with a fresh fruity raspberry burst are great served straight from the fridge. Rich in calcium to aid bone strength and density they are also a good source of protein and they are low in sugar.

Makes 16

Prep 15 minutes

Chill 1 hour

Ingredients

150g/5oz rindless French soft goats’ cheese

1 teaspoon runny honey

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch salt

75g/3oz raspberries

25g/1oz pistachio nuts, finely chopped

1 tablespoon raw cacao powder

Method

◾Add the goat’s cheese, honey, vanilla and salt to a bowl and fork together until just mixed. Add the raspberries break up with the fork and lightly mix into the goats cheese mix.

◾Scoop heaped teaspoons of the mixture on to a small baking sheet to make about 16 rough shaped mounds.

◾Spoon the chopped pistachio nuts on to a saucer and the cocoa on to a second saucer. Roll half the truffles in to the pistachio nuts, one at a time until evenly coated then add to petites four cases.

◾Roll the remaining truffles in the cacao, add to petites four cases then chill for at least 1 hour until firm. Pack into an airtight box, store in the fridge and eat within 2 days.

Cook’s tip

Serve these tasty healthy truffles with coffee for a tasty snack.

Diary of an imperfect mum

Valentines Day Breakfast in Bed can be the perfect start to a romantic day for you and your loved on. Try this Raspberry and Chocolate Granola recipe for something that little bit fruity and different.

Raspberry granola

Fruity!

Serves 4

300g of raspberries

600ml of almond milk

100g of rolled oats

200g of buckwheat groats

50g of coconut flakes

100g of honey

50g of coconut oil

3 tbsp. of raw cacao powder

1 tsp of vanilla extract

Method

Preheat the oven to 170C

Mix the oats, buckwheat groats and the coconut flakes together.

Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan and mix in vanilla extract, cacao powder and honey together in a small saucepan on a low heat until fully melted.

Pour this over the dry mix and stir well together.

Line a large baking tray with baking paper or two small trays. Spread out the granola so it is evenly spaced.

Bake for 20 minutes until golden and crunchy.

Allow the granola to cool then place grab a glass and fill it half with the granola and top with the fresh raspberries until its ¾ full and then pour over the top almond milk and enjoy!

Tip: The granola can keep in a plastic container or sealed jar in the fridge for 3-4 days.

How do you get fruity on Valentines Day?

Make a Valentine Day cake because they do say the way to a person’s heart is through their tummy!

Berry-special-Valentine-cake-11

There’s no need to buy a special cake tin to make this extra special cake, a large Swiss roll tin or roasting tin will work fine with a homemade paper template. .

Cuts into 8 slices
Prep: 40 minutes
Cook: 15-18 minutes

Cake layers

175g (6oz) soft margarine
175g (6oz) caster sugar
150g (5oz) self-raising flour
25g (1oz) cocoa
½ teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs

Filling

100g (4oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
200ml (7fl oz) double cream
150g (5oz) raspberries
225g (8oz) strawberries, hulled, sliced
Little icing sugar, sifted

Method

1.Preheat the oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas Mark 4. Grease the base and sides of a 25 x 38cm (10 x 15 inch) Swiss roll tin or roasting tin with the same base measurement and line the base with a piece of non-stick baking paper. Add the margarine and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor, sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder then add the eggs and beat until smooth, or mix in a bowl with a wooden spoon.

2.Spoon the cake mixture into the lined tin and spread into an even layer. Bake for 15-18 minutes until the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the centre of the tin with fingertips. Leave to cool for 15 minutes then loosen the edges and turn out on to a wire rack.

3.When cold, peel off the lining paper and fold the paper into three triangles, with the two outer triangles going one way and the centre one pointing the other. Draw a large heart in one of the triangles that is about 14 x 20 cm (51/2 x 8 inches) then cut out, and use this as a template to cut two more hearts from the other triangles. Lay the templates on the cake and cut around them with a small sharp knife. Check the shapes are the same by stacking the cakes one on top of the other and trimming a little off the sides if needed, then separate the cakes once more.

4.Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of very gently simmering water for about 5 minutes. Stir until smooth then take off the pan. Slowly whisk in the cream until thick and glossy then chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes until thick enough to spread.

5.Spread the cream mixture evenly over all three cake layers. Arrange a single row of raspberries around the edge of one of the cakes, then crumble the rest and arrange with the sliced strawberries over the other two layers. Carefully stack the cakes together on a pedestal plate, if you have one, with the raspberry edged cake on top then dust the raspberries with a little sifted icing sugar. Chill the Valentine Day cake in the fridge until ready to serve.

Hijacked By Twins

You could try this Macaroons recipe to make a pretty gift for your Valentine.

macaroons

These pretty patisseries are very fashionable at the moment but can be very expensive to buy, so why not make your own and give as a gift in a recycled box lined with non-stick baking paper and a lacy paper doily tied with ribbon.

Makes 20

Preparation time: 40 minutes
Standing time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20-22 minutes

Macaroons
◾175g (6 oz) icing sugar
◾125g (41/2 oz) ground almonds
◾3 large egg whites
◾75 g (3 oz) caster sugar
◾Little violet or pink food colouring

To finish
◾75g (3oz) blackberries or strawberries
◾100g (4oz) butter at room temperature
◾150g (5oz) icing sugar
1.Preheat the oven to 140oC/275oF/Gas Mark 1. Line 3 baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.
2.Grind the icing sugar and ground almonds to a fine powder in a food processor or liquidiser then press through a sieve.
3.Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until they form moist peaks then gradually whisk the caster sugar in a little at a time. Whisk for 2 minutes until the mixture is thick and glossy, then whisk in a few drops of violet or pink food colouring.
4.Spoon half the icing sugar and ground almonds into the bowl then gently fold together. Add the remaining mixture and continue folding in until just mixed. Don’t over-fold or the mixture will go very runny and be difficult to pipe.
5.Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a large plain tube and pipe 2.5cm (1 inch) rounds on the paper lined trays. Give each baking sheet a sharp tap to ensure a good ‘foot’. You should make about 40. Leave to stand for 20 minutes for the macaroons to dry out.
6.Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the macaroons may be lifted easily off the paper. Leave to cool.
7.For the filling, puree the berries until smooth then press through a sieve. Beat the butter and icing sugar together in a food processor until smooth then gradually beat in 2 tbsp of the fruit puree. Use to sandwich the macaroons together in pairs. Arrange on a serving plate or in a pretty box.

Tips:
◾Once sandwiched together the macaroons are best eaten within 24 hours. Plain macaroons can be kept for 2-3 days in a cool dry place covered with extra non-stick baking paper and the filling in a covered container in the fridge.
◾You might also like to flavour the macaroons with ½ tsp of raspberry, lemon or peppermint extract when adding the colouring to the meringue.

Discover more fruity recipes using Seasonal Berries.

Will you be trying this macaroons recipe?

Cuddle Fairy