It’s been a couple of busy weeks since my last post – I feel like I need to catch you guys up on everything that’s been happening round here.
- I took a trip up to Birmingham to see my mother last Saturday, whom, incidentally, the cake in this recipe was made for. It happened to be pretty warm last weekend, and the journey took something like 4-5 hours. The cake had all of about 3 cherries still in place and looked like a total joke by the time I knocked on her door. #Fail (Lesson: don’t try to transport cake on long journeys, especially when it’s hot!).
- My first wisdom tooth has started making an appearance. The thing decided to get nice and infected (gross, I know, soz) but led to the whole of the right-hand side of my face and head being in agony. Cue emergency dentist appointment, a prescription for antibiotics and a little injection too. I’m now feeling a little better but as this tooth has been giving me grief on and off for about six months and it still hasn’t fully surfaced, I’m struggling to not worry about the remaining three that are likely to be rubbing their hands in glee, plotting their painful arrival in the near future.
- Did some babysitting this weekend – you guys, why is it no matter how often you wash their little hands and faces, toddlers are always SO darn sticky?! I’m convinced they have secret ways of being permanently messy! Turn your back for a small second and somehow they’ve found something else to smear all over the place. Also, why do they cry so much when it’s home time from the park! Surely they realise, it’s not viable to live on the swings, or, the slide for that matter!
- I did some research and may or may not have booked a three-week getaway for October! EEK!!! South Africa & Mauritius, here we come! (Sorry bank balance!) Although, I won’t lie, I’m slightly apprehensive about Jo’burg, am I overreacting? Is it actually as unsafe as the interwebs make out? Does anyone have any recommendations / tips / suggestions for either location? Hit me up, please!
- It’s been busy at work, as usual, which in many ways is a good thing but I’ve also lost my chum / team member. It’s always a little sucky when someone leaves but when that person happens to have been my desk neighbour of over a year and patient listener of endless food related rambles, it’s that little bit worse, you know.
- Are you guys bored of hearing about my life yet? I’ll stop now. I’ve probably put a few of you to sleep already. Let’s talk about cake instead?
Not sure what I’m doing posting three cake recipes in a row on my blog but it seems like I’ve been baking a fair bit lately. I’ve even had some cake orders in the last month! (Exciting stuff – can’t believe people entrusted me to produce desserts for their celebrations tbh.)
So, as I was saying, I made this cute little chocolate and cherry number for my mum last week:
I’ve not quite mastered the chocolate ganache drip(?) technique as you can see. I think it was just a little too thick so I’ve adapted the recipe below to take this into account, hopefully, you’ll have better luck!
Also, if it had been for me, I’d have used dark chocolate, but that’s not really up my mum’s street.
Gah, I love cherries. Why can’t they be around all year long?
Two layers of rich, moist chocolate cake, sandwiched together and frosted with a light and fruity black cherry whipped cream, topped with a layer of chocolate ganache, more cherry whipped cream and a ring of black cherries.
Come to mama!
Make the most of the summer and make this cake soon guys!
- 110g plain flour
- 160g caster sugar
- 50g cocoa
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 120ml buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 50g salted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 100ml boiling water
- 1 heaped teaspoon of instant coffee
- 450ml double cream
- 100g mascarpone
- 165g black cherry preserves
- 60g icing sugar
- 100g chocolate (I recommend dark)
- 165ml double cream
- Preheat oven to gas mark 5 and line 2 x 6 inch tins.
- Add flour, sugar, baking soda and cocoa to a bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add buttermilk, egg, vanilla extract and cooled butter to another bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the instant coffee to the boiling water in a jug and stir to combine.
- Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir before adding the coffee, mix well to combine.
- Divide the batter into the prepared tins and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Once done, carefully remove cakes from the tins and cool on a wire rack.
- Add the cream to a large bowl and whisk until frothy. (1-2mins).
- Sieve in the icing sugar and whisk until just combined.
- In a separate smaller bowl, whisk the black cherry preserves and mascarpone until smooth (around 1 min) before adding to the cream in the large bowl.
- Continue whisking until thick enough to frost. Careful not to over do it! You want it thick enough to hold shape, but if you go too far it’ll get clumpy.
Chocolate ganache (make just before pouring!)
- Break up the chocolate and place in a heat-proof bowl.
- Place the cream in a saucepan and heat on low until hot but not yet boiling. Swirl every 30 seconds or so, it’ll heat through in no time!
- Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit for around a minute before mixing together well with a fork.
- Allow it to cool a little and thicken until it reaches a good ‘pouring’ consistency so you can achieve the drips. (approx 2 mins)
- To assemble, smear a cake board with a little frosting before placing the first layer of cake on.
- Top with a layer of frosting and spread evenly with a palette knife before repeating with the second layer.
- Cover sides and top of cake with frosting and smoothen out with a cake scraper.
- Place in the fridge for 30mins to help the cake set.
- Pour over ganache and gradually push over the edges of the cake to create the drip effect.
- Place the cake back in the fridge until the ganache sets.
- Pipe the remaining frosting around the edges of the cake (I just held and squeezed, nothing fancy!) before topping with fresh black cherries.