A little while back I got to make an epic birthday cake for my friend, Mary. Mary and I are both biologists and studied together in college. She was in town for her thirtieth birthday, visiting from Seattle, and asked me to make her a chocolate raspberry cake decorated with dinosaurs. The result was fabulous, I reduced down an entire flat of raspberries from farmers market for the filling and the lava. It felt decadent. I overflowed my biggest mixing bowl, I tripled the chocolate cake recipe and chocolate butter cream frosting. In the end the cake was covered in flowers from my garden, and featured a family of Ankylosauruses drowning in a, chocolate ganache, tar pit next to a volcano.

Chocolate Cake:
1¼ cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate    
1 stick butter
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1¼ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda    
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt

Heat sugar, water, butter and chocolate in a saucepan. Let cool slightly before adding the the vanilla, eggs and dry ingredients.

Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting:
1/3c butter
1/8 tsp salt
3c powdered sugar
3oz baking chocolate
1/4c milk
2tsp vanilla

Whip in electric mixer adding liquid and sugar slowly alternatingly.

Raspberry Filling:
Fresh raspberries, cornstarch, and a little bit of brown sugar and heavy cream. I have no idea, what the proportions are, I was having too much fun just tossing things into a huge pot.

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