Tag Archives: chocolate cake

Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Mascarpone Filling and Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Recently we celebrated our nephew’s 20th birthday.  He’s a chocolate lover so I decided to make him a chocolate cake.  To dress it up, I added a raspberry spin to it.

I used my go to chocolate cake recipe which is in Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. The chocolate ganache frosting is my favorite because I don’t care so much for buttercream frostings. It’s also the easiest thing in the world to make. Just boil cream and pour over a bowl of chocolate chips or chopped choolate. Let sit, then add corn syrup and vanilla and stir. It is the frosting I used for my lovely Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Filling.

For a raspberry filling between the layers, instead of just jam, I mixed raspberry preserves with a bit of mascarpone to make it creamier but not too heavy.

To finish it, I decorated the top with fresh raspberries and dusted it with confectioner’s sugar right before serving.

It was delicious! The cake is not overly sweet and pairs well with the chocolate ganache.  The creamy hints of raspberry are also a great foil for the rich chocolate.

I will definitely be making this cake again for a special occasion. If you make it, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Mascarpone Filling and Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Chocolate Cake adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything:
Non-stick spray
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
unsweetened cocoa powder (or flour if you don’t have any cocoa) for dusting
2 cups (9 oz)  all-purpose flour
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups milk
Raspberry Filling:
¾ cup raspberry preserves
¼ cup mascarpone at room temperature
Chocolate Ganache Frosting:

9 oz. chocolate chips

1 cup heavy cream

½ teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons corn syrup

About a 1/2 cup of fresh raspberries

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

1.  Spray two 9 inch layer cake pans with non-stick spray and line bottoms with parchment paper.  Dust with unsweetened cocoa powder to coat sides and tap out excess.  Set aside.
2.  Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
3.  Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan or double boiler. If in a saucepan, cook over very low heat, stirring occasionally. If in a double boiler, cook over hot (not boiling) water, stirring occasionally. When the chocolate is just about melted, remove from the heat and continue to stir until mixture is smooth.
4.  Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
5.  Use an electric mixer to cream the butter until smooth, then gradually add the sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, 3 or 4 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, then the vanilla, and finally the chocolate.  Add flour mixture to the chocolate mixture, a little at a time, alternating with the milk. Stir until smooth.
6. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks.  Fold them gently but thoroughly into the batter with a rubber spatula. Divide batter into the cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then invert onto a rack, peel off parchment, and cool completely.
7.  Make filling.  Mix together preserves and mascarpone and set aside until ready to use.

8. Make frosting.   Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl.  Bring cream just to boiling.  Pour over chocolate and let sit 5 minutes.  Add vanilla and corn syrup and gently stir until completely incorporated and smooth.

9.  Assemble cake.  Cut the cakes in half to make four layers.  Spread 1/3 of the raspberry mixture on one layer – be sure leave a margin around the outside because when you top with the cake layer, the preserves will spread.  Top with the second layer and spread another 1/3 of raspberry mixture.  Repeat with third layer, and top with fourth layer.

10.  Do a light top frost with  ganache while it is still pourable.  Chill cake and bowl of ganache  in fridge for abou 30 minutes.  Stir ganache after 15 minutes.  Frost top of cake. Put ganache in bowl back into fridge and stir every 15 minutes or so for another 30 minutes or so.  Frost sides of cake later when ganache is thicker.  (I waited a whole day to frost the rest of cake sides.)

11.  Decorate with fresh raspberries and dust with confectioner’s sugar.
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Filed under Desserts

Asian Chicken Salad with Peanut Sauce and Soba Noodles

Last week, we’ve so enjoyed having my mom visit us from California.  She came to celebrate her 82nd birthday. 🙂

Denis did not photoshop this photo. His comment: What 82 year old woman has that jaw line!??

Other than when we took her to visit Denis’ lovely parents in Shelter Island, she’s been in our garden weeding, picking up leaves, pruning plants–basically working her green thumb magic on it (which I sadly did not inherit)!

I wish I had “before” pictures to contrast this with! There were less flowers all around, and the rocks and back were covered in leaves and weeds!

We call her the Energizer Bunny.

Instead of eating out, she preferred me to cook “things from [my] blog” for her, so all week, I prepared various dishes for her and revisiting some old recipes.

Lots of smoothies:

A ton of sushi, of course (click on each image for recipe):

With Miso Soup:

For her 82nd birthday which was the same day as Father’s Day, I made Reese’s Pieces and M & M waffles for brunch using our trusty Cadbury Egg Waffle recipe:

I bought a small bag each of Reese’s Pieces and plain M & Ms and scattered them on the batter before cooking in waffle iron.

And Crispy Fish Tempura Bites for dinner:

with Miso Green Beans:

And Rich Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache Frosting for dessert:

I used a double amount of  Chocolate Ganache Frosting in place of this frosting

Other meals were quick Chicken Quesadillas using cooked rotisserie chicken (after a long day of shopping–not much time to cook!):

I filled ours with cooked chicken, cheese, onions, and salsa

and Creamy High Protein Avocado Dip:

I discovered I don’t have to spend a lot of time searching for favorite recipes anymore — I can just do a search on my blog!

For her last night here, I decided to make something special and created my version of a chicken salad with peanut sauce, because she had mentioned she had had a great one awhile back during her many travels.  It is a quick and easy when you have leftover cooked chicken! We used more of the rotisserie chicken.  I also used my favorite peanut sauce recipe using roasted peanut flour (if you can’t find this, just peanut butter is fine–use this recipe instead minus sesame seeds) and coated cooked soba noodles and chicken with it (angel hair or vermicelli would work too).  Then I made a salad with shredded Napa cabbage, romaine lettuce, shredded carrot, julienned daikon radish, cilantro, green onions, and snow peas.  I topped the salad with the peanut sauce coated noodles and cooked chicken and garnished with more chopped cilantro and chopped roasted peanuts.

It was really good!  We had leftover sauce which I diluted with a bit of rice vinegar and used as a salad dressing over the course of the week –sans mom.  😦
We miss you obaachan! (Japanese for “grandma”)  Thank you for all your hard work here!!

Asian Chicken Salad with Soba Noodles and Peanut Sauce

Peanut Sauce:

¼ cup peanut butter (or 1 tablespoon peanut butter plus ½ cup peanut flour and 2 tablespoons water)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon ginger, minced

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Salad Greens:

4 cups shredded Napa cabbage

2 cups shredded Romaine lettuce

1 cup sliced cucumber

1 cup julienned carrot

1 cup julienned daikon or other radish

1 cup blanched snow peas

2 scallions, sliced

¼ cup chopped cilantro, divided


2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

4 oz. soba noodles

2-3 cups cooked chicken, shredded

¼ cup peanuts, chopped

  1. Make peanut sauce.  Process all ingredients (peanut butter to sesame oil) in a food processor until smooth.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Prepare vegetables.  Mix salad greens together in a large bowl, reserving about 2 tablespoons of the chopped cilantro for garnish.  Set aside.
  3. Make vinaigrette.  Whisk soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil together in a small bowl.  Toss salad greens with vinaigrette to taste.
  4. Cook soba noodles according to package directions.  Drain.
  5. Assemble salad.  Toss cooked soba noodles with shredded chicken and prepared peanut sauce (use as much sauce as you want depending on how dry or wet you prefer the noodles—you will probably have some leftover!).  Divide salad greens into four bowls.  Top with noodles and chicken.  Garnish with reserved cilantro and chopped peanuts.


Filed under Appetizers, Breakfast, Desserts, Dinner, Fish, Pasta, Sides, Snack, Vegetables