12 July 2013

Chocolate Cassis and Cherry Cake


With my brothers at home for the holidays I am literally baking every other day to keep up with the amount they eat. This means that not only do I get to spend a seriously pleasing amount of time baking but also that I can experiment a little with new flavour combinations. 

This time I didn't feel like doing any old chocolate cake (not that there's anything wrong with the classic). I felt like adding a little something different to give the cake a kick. So i sploshed in, with a slightly heavy hand, a good ol' glug of cassis to the cake batter. And it tastes good. Not only does the blackcurrant liqueur add a prominant fruityness which compliments the bitter chocolate really well but it also gives the cake an adult kick since it's alcoholic. 

At the minute I'm also really enjoying cooking fruit to add to my baking. For this recipe I cooked about 150g of cherries with just a splash of water and a sprinkling of sugar to help them soften and then let the simmer for 10 minutes to reduce the juices until I had an intensely flavoured cherry syrup. 
I used this a filling between my two cake layers as it added a perfect brake of sweet fruitiness to the otherwise rich and decadent cake. 

To any of you thinking "chocolate cake and bikini season don't go well together", I think you should note at this point that I've pretty much just provided 2 of your 5 a day in this cake - cherries and blackcurrants (despite being in an alcoholic form). To deny yourself this cake would be to deny your body of much needed vitamins and minerals - I'm only thinking about your health.

Side note - I used to HATE recipes in cups. I would avoid them at all costs in the belief that cups were really difficult to use and quintessentially un-British. I was wrong. Cups are the easiest things in the world to use and without scales this recipe is crazy quick. You could honestly have this batter ready in under 10 minutes. So, if you are an avid cup avoider like I used to be, give them a go.

Chocolate Cassis Cake Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 light brown sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tsps coffee granules
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsps vinegar or lemon juice
1/3 cup sunflower oil
1/3 cup creme de cassis (for a strong flavour, 1/4 cup if children will be eating)
2/3 cup water

Preheat the oven to fan 160. Grease and line two 7-inch baking tins.
Measure out the flour, sugars, cocoa powder, coffee and baking powder and add to a large mixing bowl.
In a seperate bowl combine the remaining ingredients.
Add the wet to the dry and mix until fully incorporated. Separate the batter between the two tins and bake for 15 minutes.
Cool in the tins for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Cherry filling ingredients:
150g fresh cherries
1-2 tbsp water
1 tbsp caster sugar

Slice the cherries in half and remove the stones. 
Throw them in a pan with the water and sugar and cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes until they have softened and any juices produced have reduced to a sticky syrup. 

Chocolate ganache ingredients:
100g dark chocolate
50ml double cream
2 tbsps water
25g greek yogurt

Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie or a microwave. Stir in the cream, water and greek yogurt until you have a thick, glossy mixture. 

Place on of the cake layers upside-down on a serving plate/cake stand. 
Top with the cooked cherries and drizzle over the cherry syrup.

Spoon about 1/3 of the chocolate ganache mixture on top of the cherries.

Add the second cake layer, right side up. 
Spoon over the remaining ganache and spread until the cake is evenly covered.

Top with a few more sliced cherries for an elegant finish.

It might seem that a lot is involved in making this cake but it hardly takes any time at all. You can whip this up super speedily and make like me and be back out in the sun in no time - promise 


1 comment:

  1. Oooh this cake looks right up my strada! Chocolate and cherries (especially those soaked in some kind of alcohol) is definitely a winner as far as I'm concerned.

    Caroline x
    Cocktails and Caroline