Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Feel-Berry Good Chocolate Book, Column & Cake

By Cal Orey,
The Writing Gourmet

After about 20 years of marriage, I'm finally starting to scratch the surface of that one [what women want]. And I want think the answer lies somewhere between conversation and chocolate. -- Mel Gibson

Yesterday, I received a feel-good surprise gift. Columnist Debbie Ballard of the Seattle Psychic Examiner had interviewed me about my new book and her piece Visions of Sugarplums, Chocolate-Style was published. It is about the budding and coming of The Healing Powers of Chocolate. No doubt, the writer has got one heck of a handle on chocolate (it takes one chocolate lover to know one) and it shows in her chocolate sprinkled prose...
Chocolate cake. It's been on my brain all week long. Debbie had asked me if my chocolate book included a Chocolate-Raspberry Cake recipe and sure enough it does. You can use this recipe and put your own fun holiday spin on it, whether you choose to make a double layer cake, sheetcake, cupcakes, or a bundt cake--it's all good. I do love the healthful ingredients in this recipe.

Chocolate-Raspberry Cake
* * *
Chocolate and raspberry are meant to be together. For a rich and luscious layer of glaze that adds a lovely raspberry flavor to the chocolate, spoon raspberry preserves over the batter just before baking.

½ cup Trans-Fat Free Organic
Margarine, at room temperature
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups granulated organic sugar

1 1/8 teaspoons baking powder
3 eggs

1 1/8 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/8 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 ½ cups buttermilk
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Spectrum Naturals Canola Spray
½ cup raspberry preserves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a hand mixer, cream the Organic Margarine in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and beat on medium speed, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, until well blended, about a minute. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds, until well blended. In a separate large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Spoon all of the creamed butter mixture onto the sifted dry ingredients. Pour the buttermilk over the top. Use a hand mixer on low speed; mix about 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl 2-3 times.

Spray a 10-up bundt pan with spectrum Canola Spray Oil. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, scraping the sides of the bowl. Smooth the batter. Using a teaspoon, arrange the raspberry preserves evenly over the batter. Bake in the center of the oven about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let it stand for 5 minutes, then invert onto a cake dish, being careful not to let the hot preserves ooze out and burn your skin. Allow to cool before serving. Serves 8.
(Source: Spectrum Organics online recipe collection, by Claire Criscuolo, [Source: The Healing Powers of Chocolate]
This recipe is festive and ideal for the holiday season, especially with nutritious red raspberries and dark chocolate. But note, don't be shy to use your own additions. I may use fresh blueberries and gourmet dark chocolate chips. It will be a feel-good chocolate gift to family and friends. Thank you Debbie, from one chocoholic to another. Yep, there is a Chocolate Heaven--I've been there, and am still doing that.


  1. Nothing like a little dark chocolate to chase the 'blues' of life's little delectable pleasures that stimulates mind, spirit and senses! Happy New Year, Cal, and may your new book be a 'sweet success'!
    Debbie Ballard

  2. Hi Debbie,
    Yep, it's a proven fact, according to the scientists that dark chocolate can boost you spirit. But I didn't need a doc to tell me that. I ate dark chocolate to get me through researching and writing the big book on chocolate--and I was happy during the ups and downs of it all. Yes, it's true. Dark chocolate can make you smile.