Well, what have we here—a naked chocolate cake filled with raspberry marshmallow buttercream frosting. I do recall not three weeks ago someone talking about resolutions, dieting and all that jazz. I haven’t forgotten. In fact, I have a couple of healthy ideas up my sleeve. Really. Folks, you’ll have to excuse me when I succumb to this urge to create something sweet just for the sheer pleasure of baking and creating. If you’re on a diet, just take the cake for whatever entertainment it provides, or make a mental note of it as something you might refer to for a special occasion. So now on to the cake.
I write this post on the eve of a federal holiday, Martin Luther King Day, so I have the luxury of time added to the weekend to talk about a cake I baked two weeks ago.
It’s called a naked cake because the sides are left exposed. And that’s a good thing if you’re trying to save on time and frosting. All you have to do is fill the cake layers.
There’s no need to aim for perfection. You can be as neat or as messy as you like with a naked cake.
Since there is no frosting on the sides of the cake to retain the moisture, you have to start out with a very moist cake and make sure to store the assembled cake in an airtight container at room temperature.
To make the raspberry marshmallow buttercream frosting, I first cooked raspberries in water and sugar and let the mixture boil for a few minutes until it turned a deep red and the raspberries had disintegrated. Then I strained the mixture for a smooth raspberry syrup that yielded slightly more than ¼ cup. The intensity of the pink color in the frosting will depend on how much of the raspberry syrup is added.
Assemble the cake alternating with pink and white frosting between the layers. It’s a very generous cake recipe. I could have stopped at three layers and saved the other two for another time, but I thought I might as well make hay while the sun shines.
You can divide each tall slice sideways to get two smaller pieces from each slice. It’s a delicious and moist chocolate cake that goes well with the raspberry marshmallow frosting. I just love the combination of chocolate and marshmallows. I went through a phase in high school when I ate nothing but a treat that had a marshmallow mound sitting on a cookie with the whole thing covered in chocolate. That’s all I had for lunch for about a month. Then I would bake chocolate pinwheel cookies every other weekend, alternating with Baked Alaska. In college I would bake all kinds of stuff not so much to eat but to bring to class and give away.
You can make the optional chocolate hearts ahead of time and store them in the freezer.
You could also bake just three cake layers out of the cake batter and bake the rest of the batter to make cupcakes. Or use all the batter to make a gazillion cupcakes.
- 1 ¼ cups skim milk (296 g) heated to simmering
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee (10 g), dissolved in 1 ½ cups hot water (314 g)
- 3.15 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (90 g)
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (352 g)
- 1 ¼ cups unsweetened cocoa powder (115 g)
- 2 ¾ teaspoons baking soda (15 g)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder (8 g)
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt (8 g)
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon (1.5 g)
- 1 ¼ cups regular mayonnaise (not non-fat or reduced fat) (290 g)
- 2 ¾ cups granulated sugar (565 g)
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (7 g)
- 1 cup raspberries (one 6 oz container / 170 g)
- ¼ cup water (53 g)
- ½ cup sugar (108 g))
- 1 ½ cups (3 sticks/339 g) unsalted butter
- One 7.5 ounce jar (213 g) marshmallow crème / fluff
- 8 cups powdered sugar (+-) (912 g)
- 3 – 4 tablespoons skim milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (7 g)
- 1 teaspoon salt (7 g)
- About 8 fresh raspberries
- Optional: 1 cup melted semi-sweet chocolate for the chocolate hearts
- Pre heat oven to 350°F. Spray five 8-inch baking pans with non-stick cooking spray.
- Chop the unsweetened chocolate and place it in a bowl.
- Heat the milk until simmering.
- Dissolve the coffee in the hot water.
- Pour both the hot milk and hot coffee mixture into the unsweetened chocolate. Let it stand for about a minute, then whisk to blend. Set aside.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
- In a mixer bowl using the flat beater attachment, beat the mayonnaise while adding the sugar gradually. Beat in the eggs one at a time mixing well.
- Blend in ⅓ of the sifted dry ingredients and ½ of the chocolate coffee liquid. Add one half of the remaining dry ingredients and the remaining chocolate coffee liquid mixing well. End with the last ⅓ of the dry ingredients mixing just until smooth and well blended. Mix in the vanilla extract.
- Divide the batter among the cake pans. Bake all the pans at the same time for 30 – 33 minutes or until center of the cake springs back when lightly touched and the sides of the cakes separate slightly from the pan.
- Place the cake layers on a rack and allow to cool. Turn out cake layers from pans and set aside or freeze covered in plastic wrap for later use.
- Place the raspberries, water and sugar in a small saucepot on medium heat.
- Cook the mixture on medium heat and let it come to a boil stirring occasionally to mix.
- Let the mixture boil for about 7 – 10 minutes until the raspberries have completely disintegrated and the liquid has reduced and turned to a deep red syrup. Stir well and remove from heat.
- Strain the hot raspberry syrup into a glass container. Will yield slightly more than ¼ cup of clear raspberry syrup. Let the syrup completely cool before adding to the frosting. You’ll need only about 3 tablespoons for the frosting.
- Cream the butter in a bowl of a stand mixer using the flat beater attachment.
- Beat in the marshmallow crème until smooth. Add the salt.
- Add the powdered sugar. Add the skim milk by the tablespoon in between adding the powdered sugar, for a total of 2 - 3 tablespoons. Mix in the vanilla extract. Frosting will be very stiff at this point.
- Remove 3/5 of the frosting and leave 2/5 in the bowl. Add about 1 – 2 teaspoons skim milk for a medium consistency to the 2/5 frosting that remains in the bowl. Transfer the white frosting in an icing bag with a round icing tip.
- Return the 3/5 frosting to the mixing bowl and add the cranberry syrup one teaspoon at a time, for a total of about 3 tablespoons, depending on desired color and texture. Place the pink frosting in an icing bag with a round icing tip.
- Melt the semi-sweet chocolate, pour in an icing bag or Ziploc bag and make a tiny snip in the corner. Can also use a squeeze bottle.
- Pipe different size free-form hearts on a sheet of parchment paper while the chocolate is still warm. Store the hearts in the freezer to set until ready to use.
- Place a cake layer on a cake plate and pipe raspberry frosting on top. Stack another cake layer and pipe white frosting on top of the second layer.
- Continue alternating with raspberry and white frosting ending with the pink raspberry frosting on top of the cake.
- Garnish with fresh strawberries and optional chocolate hearts.
- Store assembled cake at room temperature under a cake dome or in an air tight container. Remove the raspberries before storing as these are easily perishable.
- Serves 12 – 16.