Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

Hello lovely readers!

I have never done just a frosting post, but with this frosting, I couldn’t help it!

Last week, one of my beautiful friends, Emma, got married! It was a small wedding, but a very touching one. Well, I have known this amazing girl for the past 10 years. We met on the first day in the first class of university, and the two of us, along with another phenomenal friend Breanna, have been close ever since. We also got into a little tradition of taking a picture of the three of us at each of our weddings. I know, we are pretty freakin’ adorable.

Anyways, I digress. I was asked to help out with the wedding! I put my Teacher-in-July time to good use, and made paper flowers for the centerpieces, a decorative paper flower bouquet, and I was the exclusive cupcake provider for the wedding!

It was an amazing honour to be able to provide the cupcakes for the wedding, and I couldn’t be happier for this wonderful human I am lucky to call a friend. Cheers to you, Emma!

For dessert, I provided twelve dozen cupcakes. Six dozen were London Fog cupcakes; that is, my Earl Grey Tea cake to which I added a simple vanilla buttercream frosting, and the other six dozen were Chocolate Raspberry. I used my Death by Chocolate cake recipe, and topped it with this beautiful buttercream.

I unfortunately only got a few pictures in passing, and no close ups of the London Fog cupcakes, so I can’t really write a post on that buttercream. The above picture was not even taken by me, but I saved it because it is a beautiful picture of my work (cupcakes and paper flower bouquet), so I am using it as shameless self-promotion. But, I can tell you that I used my cake recipe, and just cut the baking time down to about 25 minutes for the Earl Grey tea cakes.

The Chocolate Raspberry cupcakes were decadent. As I have already done a post on the cake, I figured why not create a post on the Raspberry frosting?

So, here goes! The best thing about this frosting is that you can use fresh or frozen raspberries! I had a huge Costco bag of raspberries, so I used frozen and the frosting turned out gorgeously.

Lastly, don’t worry. I had to times this recipe by five in order to ice all 6 dozen cupcakes. The recipe below is for a single batch of cupcakes, usually between 12 and 16 cupcakes. Remember, icing varies depending on the maker, so if you don’t like a lot of icing on your cupcakes, you will be able to ice more of them.

Ingredients

Yield: 4-5 cups icing (enough for 12-16 cupcakes)

1½ c. raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1 c. butter, softened
3½ – 4½ c. icing sugar
1 tbsp. heavy cream or milk
¼ tsp. salt

Put the raspberries in a food processor or blender, and blend until a puree is formed. Push the puree through a metal sieve into a saucepan to remove the seeds.

In the saucepan, gently boil the raspberry puree while stirring occasionally. Allow to boil for 10-20 minutes, or until it is about ¼ to 1/3 of the original volume. It should be nice and thick, like jam. Transfer to the fridge or the freezer to chill fully. The puree must be cold before adding to the frosting, or the frosting will separate.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter until fluffy. Turn the mixer off, add 2 cups of icing sugar, and incorporate the sugar on low, then beat in to fully incorporate.

Beat in 2-3 tablespoons of the chilled raspberry puree and the salt. If you want to add more raspberry puree, you can, but it will change the consistency, and you might need to add extra icing sugar to stabilize.

Beat in the remaining icing sugar, a half cup at a time, until your desired sweetness. If the frosting is a little thick, you can add the cream or milk and incorporate until your desired sweetness and consistency is achieved.

Spread onto your desired cake, or pipe onto cupcakes.

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Chocolate Raspberry Charlotte Cake

Hello again!

I have had an extended absence from the blogging world, and for that, I am sorry! It has been a crazy last month and a half. Since my last post (almost a month ago! Agghh!) classes have ended, final exams are over, graduation is done, and I have been to, and am back from, Edmonton, where I marked diploma exams for a week.

After I got back from Edmonton, I got sick with a cold for a week, got better, went to Lethbridge, and began to clean out and move my classroom.

With all that insanity behind me, I decided to make something a little fancy before the insanity starts again. I have a friend’s wedding coming up, and I am making centerpieces and the cupcakes.

A charlotte cake is French in origin, usually with a sponge cake of some kind at the base, and ladyfinger cookies surrounding a fluffy smooth mousse filling.

I decided to make my own version of a charlotte. I did use recipes I found for all components, but put all the recipes together for my own version. I used the sponge cake and raspberry mousse filling from this site, and the chocolate mousse from here. Honestly, I should have halved the chocolate mousse recipe, because it made so much. I have reflected the proper measurements below, but if you want just a chocolate charlotte, double the recipe and use just the chocolate mousse as a filling.

The recipe I used consists of the following: a ladyfinger cookie outline surrounding the pan, a sponge cake base, a raspberry mousse, a chocolate mousse, and a middle layer of ladyfinger and sponge cake trimmings.

Here is a fancy dessert that (other than the sponge cake), requires no turning on of your oven. In fact, some versions of a charlotte use more ladyfingers as a base instead of a spongecake. This is a perfectly fine, and the only reason I didn’t use ladyfingers was because I ran out, so I made a sponge cake base. Them’s the breaks.

I will warn you: this dessert is not for the faint of heart! It’s a time and labour intensive dessert, but SO worth the effort.

Ingredients

Yield: 1 9 inch cake

For the sponge cake:

4 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. flour
¼ tsp. baking powder
3-4 tbsp. raspberry preserves, jam, or liqeur

For the raspberry mousse:

2½ c. frozen raspberries
½ c. sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. unflavoured gelatin
2 c. heavy cream
6 tbsp. icing sugar

For the chocolate mousse:

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. heavy cream
¼ c. milk
¼ c. plus 2 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
3 eggs, separated
¼ c. sugar

For the lining and garnish:

2-3 dozen ladyfinger cookies (more if you use ladyfingers as a base as well as the lining)
1 c. heavy cream
Fresh raspberries (if desired)
Chocolate shavings (if desired)

To prepare, line the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper, and the sides of the springform pan with plastic wrap. Trim ladyfinger cookies ½ inch, so there is one flat edge. Place upright in the springform pan, sitting on the flat edge. If desired, line the bottom of the pan with more ladyfinger cookies, and use the cut pieces to fill in gaps.

If not lining the cake pan with ladyfinger cookies, begin preparation by making the sponge cake. In a 7 inch cake pan, line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350°F.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs for 1 minute. Add the sugar, and beat again on high speed approximately 7 minutes, until light, fluffy, and 3-4 times the volume.

Sift together the flour and baking powder. Sift the flour mixture into the egg mixture in two additions, folding after each addition. Be thorough, and catch any hidden flour pockets, but keep the air in and do not over-mix.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 23-25 minutes, until top is golden and springs back when poked lightly.

Let cool completely, then slice cake in half. My cake did not slice evenly, so I had one even layer, and I turned the remainder into a secondary “crumb” layer with my ladyfinger pieces in the middle.

For the raspberry mousse, combine the frozen raspberries and sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the raspberries reach a jam-like consistency. Remove from the heat and strain through a sieve into a bowl, pressing on the fruit to extract as much liquid as possible.

Into the strained raspberry juice, stir in the lemon juice and gelatin. Transfer back to the saucepan, and over the warm burner whisk together until gelatin dissolves, then take back off the heat and let cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of a mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream and the icing sugar together until thick and spreadable. Once the raspberry syrup is at room temperature, fold into the whipped cream a ¼ at a time, until all of the raspberry syrup is incorporated. Set aside, at room temperature.

For the chocolate mousse, in a heat-proof bowl add the chocolate, and melt over a double boiler or in the microwave for 30 second blasts, stirring constantly.

Add the milk, and whisk completely. Add the butter, and the egg yolks, whisking again until fully incorporated.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cream until fluffy and thick. Fold in the chocolate mixture.

In a clean mixer bowl (with no grease whatsoever!), whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, and whip egg whites into stiff peaks.

Fold egg whites into the chocolate mixture until cohesive.

To assemble the charlotte, in the prepared springform pan lined with ladyfingers, place the sponge cake in the base of the pan. Brush with the raspberry preserves, jam, or liqueur if using.

Spread half of the raspberry mousse in an even layer, and place in the refrigerator for 10-20 minutes to set up. Top with half of the chocolate mousse, and refrigerate again to begin setting up. Be careful not to knock the ladyfingers out of place.

If desired, use another layer of ladyfingers and cake crumbs on top of the chocolate mousse layer.

Top with remaining raspberry mousse, set for 10-20 minutes again, the remaining chocolate mousse, and refrigerate 3-4 hours until set.

To garnish, whip the cream into soft, thick peaks. Fill a piping bag with a star tip, and the whipped cream. Pipe onto charlotte, and garnish as desired with raspberries or chocolate shavings.

Raspberry Lemon Cookies

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So I had a day off today, and I realized that it has been about two weeks since my last post! I have been so busy these last two weeks, and now that Family Day is here, I get a week off (from subbing at least!). I spent the day not really doing much, but I went to get a haircut, and then just puttered around the house doing some chores/errands, and had a great phone call date with a friend I hadn’t seen or talked to in a few years (yes, years!). But that’s the best thing about my friends – so many of them don’t care when they see me or talk to me, and we pick up as if we last saw each other yesterday. I truly believe in the quality of friendship over the quantity.

As I was scrolling through Pinterest, I found this recipe for Raspberry Lemon cookies. Considering I love all of the above, and I felt like it’s been a while since I have made cookies, these were calling my name. The ingredient list was fairly basic, and the one thing I didn’t have (a lemon) I substituted for plain lemon juice and lemon extract.

The one tip which I will pass along is this: make sure your raspberries are frozen when you put them in the cookie dough. The dough feels quite loose and wet (so much so that I added an extra half cup of flour, which is reflected in the recipe I have posted below), but the frozen raspberries actually solidify the dough quite nicely. Then the cookies are simply dropped onto a cookie sheet, and baked! So simple!
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Ingredients

Yield: 24 cookies

½ c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
1 egg
½ lemon, zest and juice (or, 3 tbsp. lemon juice and ½ tsp. lemon extract)
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
2 c. flour
¾ c. frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking trays with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla, egg, and lemon and cream again.

Add in the salt, baking powder, baking soda, and flour, and mix until combined into a sticky dough. The dough may be looser that most cookie dough – this is okay!

Fold in the frozen raspberries, and immediately drop onto cookie sheets and bake for 14-16 minutes, until the edges and bottoms are just barely golden brown and the tops of the cookies are no longer shiny.

Let cool on the cookie sheet for about five minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Layer Cake

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Now, this cake, my friends, is not for the faint of heart. It is not a cake that can be easily whipped up in a spare hour or two. However, believe me when I say that this cake is well worth the effort. I mean it. The finished product is absolutely incredible. Three layers of rich chocolate cake. Each layer is topped with a generous serving of chocolate ganache, which also forms a seal and keeps in a beautiful layer of raspberry filling. Finally, after assembling, the entire cake is coated in a luscious, yet delicate, raspberry swiss meringue buttercream and a chocolate ganache glaze finishes off this masterpiece.
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I made this cake for a potluck style dinner party with some friends of ours… we each made half of a meal, and then came together for a full on feast. A feast it was as well! There was elk schnitzel, a stuffed crusted pork tenderloin, awesome cheesy potatoes, maple pepper carrots, sourdough with spinach dip, and for dessert, pavlova and this cake. Like I said, it was a feast. We probably could have served six, but there was only four of us and that was fine with me.

Either way, back to the cake. This amazing concoction I got from Annie, and her recipe is here. I didn’t make any changes to the recipe, except I couldn’t find espresso powder, so I ended up buying a small jar of instant coffee, and it made no difference. The reason bakers add coffee to a chocolate cake is because the coffee amps up the flavour of the chocolate and really makes it stand out.
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If you have some time, and want to immerse yourself in a great recipe that is complex but not complicated, with multiple components that really combine to create a phenomenal finished product, then this cake is the perfect solution. I will probably be dreaming about this cake for a while.
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Ingredients

Yield: 1 9-inch cake

For the cake:

1½ c. cocoa powder
1 tbsp. espresso powder (or instant coffee powder)
1½ c. boiling water
¾ c. sour cream
1 tbsp. vanilla
1½ c. (12 oz.) butter, at room temperature
2½ c. plus 2 tbsp. sugar
3 large eggs
1¾ c. plus 2 tbsp. flour
1¼ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt

For the raspberry filling:

16oz. frozen raspberries, thawed
1/3 c. sugar
3 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. lemon juice

For the ganache filling:

8oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 c. heavy cream
3 tbsp. butter, at room temperature

For the raspberry buttercream:

1 c. sugar
4 large egg whites
21 tbsp. (1¼ c. plus 1 tbsp.) butter, at room temperature
1/3 c. strained raspberry puree
½ tsp. vanilla
Red or pink food colouring

For the chocolate glaze:

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ c. heavy cream
¼ c. corn syrup
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 3 9-inch pans. I used my miracle cake release and my bake even strips here. In a small bowl, combine the cocoa and the espresso powder. Add in the boiling water and whisk until smooth and slightly cooler. Whisk in the sour cream.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, then add the eggs in one at a time, beating after each addition. Add in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and stir to combine. Turn the mixer on low speed an add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the cocoa/sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat everything until just incorporated.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in pans for about 15 minutes, then transfer from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

To make the raspberry filling, drain the thawed berries, draining the liquid into a liquid measuring cup. Add enough water to make 1¼ cups of liquid. Add the liquid to a medium saucepan with the sugar and the cornstarch, and whisk together. Heat over medium-high heat, until mixture starts to thicken and bubble. Continue whisking until mixture is thick so no lumps form. As soon as the mixture thickens, remove from the heat and whisk in the lemon juice. Fold in the drained berries with a spatula. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and transfer to the refrigerator. Mixture will continue to thicken as it cools.

To make the ganache filling, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan or in the microwave until it is quite hot, but not boiling. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit 1-2 minutes. Whisk into a smooth ganache, then whisk in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time until completely incorporated. Let the ganache sit to thicken to a spreading and piping consistency. This can be sped up if you put the ganache in the refrigerator for a few minutes at a time, stirring occasionally. Once the ganache is spreading and piping consistency, transfer about ¾ of the mixture to a piping bag. Reserve the rest.

To assemble the cake, place a cake layer on a serving platter. Of the reserved ganache not in the pastry bag, spread half in a thin layer on top of the cake. Pipe a thick layer around the outer edge of the cake with the ganache in the piping bag, making a well to hold the raspberry filling. Spoon half of the raspberry filling into the well. Carefully place the second cake later on top of the fillings. Repeat the process of spreading the remainder of the reserved ganache, piping a well around the outer edge of the cake, and filling with the remainder of the raspberry filling. Top with last layer of cake and place in the refrigerator while you make the frosting.

To make the raspberry buttercream frosting, combine the sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl and set over a pot of simmering water (double boiler or bain marie), making sure that the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl. Heat, whisking frequently, until mixture reaches 160°F and sugar has dissolved. As soon as mixture reaches desired temperature, transfer the mixer bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat together until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature (bowl should be cool to the touch). Reduce the speed and add the butter 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition is incorporated. If frosting starts to look soupy or curdled, just keep beating. I promise, it will come together. The frosting will turn thick and smooth. Blend in the vanilla and the raspberry puree until completely incorporated. Add in food colouring or gel icing tint if desired.

*To make the puree, just throw some fresh or thawed raspberries in a blender or press through a sieve, getting as much of the berry flesh and juice out without any seeds.*

Frost the top and sides of the cake with the frosting in an even layer, getting the frosting as smooth as possible. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

To make the ganache glaze, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, and heat the cream in a saucepan or microwave. Pour the heated cream over the chocolate, and let sit 1-2 minutes, then whisk together. Blend in the corn syrup and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Let cool for about 10 minutes, whisking occasionally. Transfer to a measuring cup or pitcher (or make everything in a liquid measuring cup to dirty one less dish). Pour glaze slowly over chilled cake, making sure top is completely covered and glaze runs down the sides of the cake. Garnish with any leftover ganache in the pastry bag and fresh raspberries, if desired.

Lemon Raspberry Bundt Cake

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I had two days off in a row this week, and it was fabulous. Combine that with the fact that Paul and I did a deep clean of the kitchen, and I was a happy camper the past couple days. The ironic thing is that every time we clean the kitchen, I immediately want to bake something after. The sparkling appliances and countertops just call to me every time. However, Paul implored me to keep the kitchen clean for a couple of days, and I acquiesced. Today, I just couldn’t hold the baking bug in any longer.

Lemon Raspberry Bundt Cake 1

I had been eyeing this cake for a few weeks now, and I finally decided that it was the time to make it. With the weather getting colder, I find myself thinking of warm summer days again, and this cake was just the ticket to bid a final (and late!) farewell to summer.

Now, it’s a good thing that I do all the experimenting for you, my incredible readers. The in-pan cooling time was off, and some of my cake stuck to the inside of the pan. I have included the changed times for you, so that this unfortunate (but tasty) mistake does not happen to you! I tried to get the best pictures I could for you all, so bear with me if they are not as nice as they usually are.

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I found the original recipe here, after a search on Pinterest, and it was exactly what I hoped it would be. A light, lemony cake, speckled with raspberry and covered with a gooey, sweet glaze. It was the perfect thing to say goodbye to summer.

Ingredients

Yield: 1 10 inch bundt cake

For the cake:
1 c. butter, softened
2 c. sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. buttermilk
1/3 c. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon extract
½ tsp. lemon zest
2 2/3 c. flour
1¼ tsp. baking powder
1¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
3/4 c. raspberries, mashed

For the glaze:
2 c. icing sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Approx. 4 tbsp. milk

**If you do not have buttermilk, add 1 tbsp. white vinegar or 1 tbsp. lemon juice to a 1 c. measure, and fill with milk. Let sit for 5 minutes, then use.**

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt cake pan.

In the bowl of a mixer, cream together butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, lemon extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest until well blended. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Alternate between adding the flour mixture, and buttermilk to the wet mixture, mixing after each addition. After all the flour mixture and the buttermilk is added, mix until all ingredients are completely incorporated. Pour cake batter into bundt pan and spread until even.

Mash raspberries with a fork, or puree in a blender. Pour raspberries evenly around the top of the cake batter, and using a knife, swirl it into the cake batter.

Bake for 40-50 minutes. Check at 35 minutes by inserting a toothpick into the center. The toothpick should come out clean when the cake is done. Let cool for 20-30 minutes in pan, then run a knife around the edge of the bundt pan and turn cake onto a wire rack to cool. When cake is completely cool, cover in glaze.

To make the glaze, stir together the icing sugar, lemon juice, and the milk (1 tbsp at a time) until the desired consistency is reached. Mixture should be thin enough to drizzle, but not runny.

Lemon Raspberry Bundt Cake 3