Okay, let's be honest: I think I live in an area where Valentine's day isn't this popular (huh, the truth is out!). I know, I know shame on us you may think, but really: we know it exists and some couples are celebrating it but generally spoken the society just doesn't seem to hop on the whole commercial aspect of it as promoted by several advertisements weeks in advance (like personalized candy shells with your partners face on it - yaah, cool idea dude but who really devours in chocolate with your better half's face on it, has kind of an cannibalistic touch, hasn't it?).
I might only guess from what I see on the internet and in this super-duper digital surrounding it seems like the whole rest of the world is suuuper excited about this one day to be 14th February: baking countless desserts filled with hearts in all kinds of shapes and textures (heart shaped bread, cupcakes topped with sprinkles in heart shape just to name a few) and pink and red is everywhere! The pictures of all those decoration work and luscious homemade indulgences have been overflowing all social media sites I know recently.
Not that I mind scrolling through chocolate, chocolate, red sprinkles, pink frosting and even more chocolate (okay, I actually do so when it's post-dinner time and I'm just sitting there with my laptop screen throwing photos of countless chocolate feasts at my face right in front of me - major sweet craving alert!) it just seems foreign - in a good way!
Unlike halloween when the huge pumpkin-and-corn-and-sweets-and-pumpkin-and-sweets flood dominates the foodienet (foodie + internet, neologisms at their best!) I'm all in this time! To speak out another truth here: we're not that much into halloween neither - apart from two to three bigger parties in some cities there is no hype going around, don't even think of trick-or-treating! Now you surely believe that Germany is a nation of party objectors - let me tell you to not buy in it until you've experienced our carnival or the well-known Octoberfest, cause we can party for sure!
According to the dictionary a valentine (ˈvælənˌtaɪn), n is either
1. "a card or gift expressing love or affection, sent, often anonymously, to one's sweetheart or satirically to a friend, on Saint Valentine's Day"
2. "a sweetheart selected for such a greeting"
I crossed out the "satirically" in the above definition because why not using this special day where the whole world somehow feels the love to show your friends how much you appreciate them?! Our circle of friends decided to do so by doing giveaways for each other to show how happy we are about our friendships. I think this is such a nice and sweet idea because often days we just miss out to show love and happiness for each other in our daily rushed global world.
Baking for friends and family is definitely my piece of cake so i'll let the cake be my valentine (haha! - but really, we have a close relationship and get along so well) and go for chocolate (who would have guessed?) and some raspberries for the obligatory pink touch baked in small ramekins to have an even cuter, more valentine-y appearance. Throw in some ricotta mixed with vanilla and a fine, buttery streusel and you're all set for a sweet (plain cake) and sinful (chocolate cake) yet fruity (raspberries) and special (ricotta filling) valentine's Day dessert or Weekend treat for your special someone, your family, your friends or yourself alone ('cause you+cake= perfect couple; no shame on that!) and that's not only true on February 14th!
P.S.: I've also tried the recipe in a loaf pan, which works like a charm to - just look at the beautiful high-rise and the lovely ricotta centre:
Individual Marbled Cakes with Raspberries, Ricotta and Streusel
- time needed: 30 minutes + up to 45 min baking time
- makes enough for 10 individual ramekins or one large loaf cake
For the Streusel:
- 200g (Whole Wheat) Flour
- 100g Butter
- 50g Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Salt
For the Ricotta filling:
- 200g Ricotta cheese
- 25g (Vanilla) Sugar
- optional: 1/2 Vanilla pod, scraped
- 1 egg yolk
For the cake:
- 2 Eggs, one egg white
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 1 pinch Salt
- 2 cups Flour
- 1 and 1/2 Tbsp baking Powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 and 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 5 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- 80g Raspberries
- optional: 50g dark chocolate chips
- Line your muffin/cake tins or cake pan (or whatever you are using to bake the cake(s) in ;-)) with parchment paper. If you use frozen raspberries put them into a small bowl to defrost.
- Mix 1 and 1/2 cup flour with 50g sugar and 1/2 tsp salt. Then work in the cold butter with a fork or your hands until a dough forms. Set aside.
- Put the ricotta cheese into a small bowl and mix in the (vanilla) sugar, one egg yolk and optionally some scraped vanilla beans (about 1/2 a pot or more, according to your liking).
- Beat together the remaining two whole eggs and the eggwhite, a pinch of salt and the remaining sugar. In a seperate bowl mix the flour with the baking powder and baking soda.
- Alternately mix in the buttermilk and the flour into the egg-sugar-mix until just combined, about 2-3 portions each.
- Divide the dough in two and mix in the cocoa powder together with up to two tablespoons buttermilk in one part.
- Assemble your cake(s):
- if using individual tins: scoop one heaping tablespoon of the cocoa batter into the tin, then press 2-3 raspberries on top (and the chocolate chips if using) before scooping another heaping tablespoon of the plain batter on top. Swirl the layers together with a fork. Now make a small hollow in the middle by using a tablespoon and scoop a heaping teaspoon of the ricotta mixture on top. Roughly spread a little batter above it, to hide the ricotta, then sprinkle some Streusel on top.
- if using one cake pan:pour the cocoa batter into the bottom of the pan, then assemble the raspberries on top (and the chocolate chips if using). Now add the other batter, reserving 2-3 tablespoons and swirl both together with a fork to create a marbled effect. Form a hollow on the top of the cake by spreading the batter to the sides and scoop the ricotta mixture in it, spread it apart, so you create an even surface. Use the leftover batter to spread on top of the ricotta filling and then distribute the streusel on top.
inserted comes out without any batter attached. Take the pan out and let cool on the countertop
for at least ten minutes (preferably more until cake(s) are cooled down completely).
Remove the cake(s), pull of the parchment paper and serve. Enjoy!