I’ve been making versions of this cake for a few years, and it always goes down well. I recently made it for an afternoon tea when my aunt and uncle visited, my aunt is mildly lactose intolerant, so this dairy-free cake was ideal (there is some cream in the topping though). When placing the berries on the cake it’s best to use disposable gloves to avoid staining your fingertips, or if you are dexterous like me; use chopsticks. Good quality cocoa power is best, Droste is my favourite brand and Whittakers dark chocolate.
75g (2 1/2 oz) butter
1 tbs vanilla bean paste (I like Queen brand) or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups raw sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup plain (all purpose flour)
300g fresh or thawed raspberries
375g dark couverture chocolate, chopped
1 cup (6 fl oz) cream
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Line the base of square 20cm cake tin with baking paper.
Melt the butter and vanilla in a saucepan over a low heat then set aside to cool slightly.
Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 8 minutes or until the mixture is light, creamy, and tipled in bul (this step is important- the sugar needs to be completely dissolved)
Sift the cocoa and flour twice, then sift over the egg mixture and fold gently using a metal spoon with the butter mixture until just combines (do not over-mix). Pour the mixture into the lined cake tin and bake for 30 minutes, or until cake shrink away from the side and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake.
Cool the cake in the tin, then turn onto a cooling rack and remove the baking paper.
To make the chocolate topping, place the chocolate, cream and butter in a double burner (or a metal bowl placed on a saucepan of boiling water) and melt the chocolate and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat and refrigerate until cool.
Place the raspberries on the top of the cake in an even grid pattern. Fill a piping bag with a small plain nozzle and pipe the chocolate topping to fill the little space between each raspberry, allowing some to drizzle down the sides of the cake.