This Black and White Chocolate Cake with Blackberry Compote is how I celebrate Vikalinka turning FIVE!
Five years ago today I published my first post. A lot has changed since then. What started out as a food diary that was meant to be an online record of my recipes has since turned into a small business that allowed me to quit my job as a teacher and work full time as a recipe developer, food photographer and writer. Blogging has allowed me to work from home, travel and meet fascinating people!
I will be forever thankful that one fateful morning I asked my Facebook friends if starting a food blog would be a good idea and got an overwhelming “YES” from so many of them. In all honesty they were getting sick of my food photos but does it really matter why. What matters is that I can’t imagine what my life would be like without Vikalinka, and that of course includes you…my faithful readers.
Thank you so much for your support, your visits, that provide for my family, and all your questions and comments. Because of you I have become a better baker, cook and photographer!
So I felt like five years of Vikalinka’s life is worth celebrating and so I did. I celebrated the only way I know how. I baked a cake and shared it with my friends and family. This Black and White Chocolate cake holds everything that I love. Chocolate. Both dark and white. Blackberries. And finally… Truffles.
I know this cake is not seasonal. No pumpkins, apples or pears in view. Not even a touch of cinnamon. Still I felt like this cake should be about things that are not seasonal but rather constant. And chocolate is always there for me when I celebrate or need a shoulder to cry on. Chocolate is for ever!
Joking aside, I struggled for days trying to decide what should go into my celebratory cake. Five years is a major anniversary in the blogging world, where online stars rise and burn out quickly. No one, myself included, believed I’d still be doing this 5 years later, let alone turn this gig into a full time job!
But let’s talk about this black and white chocolate cake. The recipe itself is not difficult to execute but it will take a bit of time as there are three main components. The chocolate sponge, the blackberry compote and the white chocolate buttercream. They all need your care and undivided attention.
If you don’t want to pick up a piping bag for decorating, don’t worry about it, the chocolate truffles alone are enough. The piping not necessary but I wanted my anniversary cake to look extra pretty, so I went all out.
I used foraged frozen blackberries from my freezer, so the filling turned out to be a very cheap/free option, so if you have any frozen berries, feel free to use them. Berry compote works particularly well in this rich, double chocolate cake to balance out the sweetness and to bring in a much needed sour note, not to mention the amazing fragrance and flavour the wild blackberries add to the overall taste. Delicious!
- For the cake
- 1¾ cups/220 g flour
- ¾ cup/90 g cocoa
- 2 cups/400 g granulated sugar
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs, large
- 1 cup/ 250 ml whole milk
- ½ cup/ 125 ml oil
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1½ cups/150g blackberries fresh or frozen (I used frozen)
- ½ cup/110g sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 cup/100g blackberries (if frozen defrosted)
- 300g/ 10 oz good quality white chocolate, chopped (not chocolate chips)
- ½ cup/125 ml whipping/double cream
- ½ cup/125 g unsalted butter, cubed and softened
- chocolate truffles
- white sugar pearls
- Preheat your oven to 350 F/180 C, butter and line 3 8"/20cm cake pans with parchment paper.
- Mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl until combined. In a separate bowl mix eggs, milk, oil and vanilla essence. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and beat with an electric mixer until well incorporated.
- Divide evenly among 3 pans and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. I bakes 2 layers together and then the third one later.
- Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove cakes from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Combine 1½ cups of blackberries and sugar with water in a small saucepan and cook on low heat until thick and mixture coats the back of a spoon. It will take about 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and process in a food processor or a blender until smooth.
- Push through a fine sieve to get rid of the seeds.
- Combine the compote with fresh or defrosted blackberries and set aside.
- Heat the cream in a saucepan until it just simmers but not boiling.
- Take off the heat and pour over chopped white chocolate in a medium sized bowl.
- Let it sit for a couple of minutes and then stir until chocolate is melted into the cream.
- Cool for 10 minutes and then start whipping in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer.
- Mix for 10 minutes until light and fluffy and is completely cooled, then start adding softened butter by a tablespoon, mix well until entirely incorporated into the frosting after each addition. (You will have enough frosting to fill the cake and ice in the manner of a naked cake.)
- Load a half of your white chocolate buttercream in a large piping bag with a plain round tip.
- Pipe a border around the first layer, it will keep your blackberry compote from leaking out of the sides.
- Fill with half of your raspberry compote. Then pipe in the buttercream on top and smooth it out with a spatula.
- Top with another layer and repeat the process. Finish with the third layer.
- Cover the entire cake with the remaining white chocolate buttercream and then using an offset spatula scrape the mascarpone cream off the sides of the cake to reveal the sponge, thus creating the “naked cake” effect. Decorate the top with chocolate truffles, maltesers and white sugar pearls. Pipe rosettes if desired.