Hello Everyone! Yes, I know it is a Sunday which for those of you who are new to my blog, I don’t normally post on a Sunday – but I wanted to get all the Noche Buena recipes up before the New Year because I’ll probably have another batch of recipes to post from a New Years Day Lunch (maybe dinner depending on how energised I am to cook after a long day/night out the previous night) that I am planning to host – a small one though with probably 2-3 dishes maximum. Noche Buena was hectic and I don’t want to have a repeat that’s a week apart from each other. I won’t be doing Media Noche because I will most likely be camping out the whole day/night for a good spot by the harbour to view the Harbour Bridge Fireworks at midnight.
Anyway, tonight’s recipe is from our Noche Buena dinner that Jialing and I hosted on the Eve of Christmas. This Cherry Ripple Black Forest Cake is one of the many desserts we had on the menu for the night. When deciding on a cake to make for the festive dinner, we found it difficult to decide on a cake that felt festive – besides a Yule Log. Even though I wasn’t too fond of a Black Forest cake, that is what we decided on. The reason why I am not fond of it is because every time I indulged in a store bought Black Forest cake, they ALWAYS use those horrible canned/tinned/jarred Maraschino Cherries that I absolutely hate. Not for our Black Forest cake NO! I was determined to use fresh cherries and if I had to use cherries from a can, at least not the maraschino ones!
Before Jialing and I went to do our groceries for the dinner, we talked about how we haven’t been seeing any fresh cherries at the local supermarkets. But when we got to Coles, we saw that cherries were on special and looking very fresh! I was so happy! Also, please do check out the original recipe over on Taste. Like how I’ve probably been describing over and over again in my previous posts, the recipe says to use a little more than 1/4 cup of Jim Beam Black Cherry Bourbon, but I didn’t want to buy a 700ml bottle for $30 for that amount. So from the leftover vodka I had from the East Orange Frosting I made for my Gingerbread Men, Jialing had the idea of infusing that into the cherry syrup for that boozy touch. Also, our sponge didn’t rise that much to be able to cut it into three layers, so we ended up having a two layer cake.
PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 20 MINS | SERVES 8-10
For the chocolate sponge
- 1 & 1/4 cup self-raising flour
- 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cocoa powder
- 200g dark cooking chocolate, melted and cooled
- 200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 large free range eggs
For the cream-jam filling
- 1 can (425g) pitted black cherries in syrup, drain and reserve syrup
- 300ml double cream
- 250ml thickened cream
- 1/2 cup black cherry jam
For the choc-cherry ganache
- 100g dark cooking chocolate, chopped
- 60ml thickened cream
- Vodka-infused cherry syrup*
- Fresh cherries
- Chocolate curls
*Add the reserved syrup to a small sauce pan together with about a tablespoon of vodka to the reserved syrup and bring to a simmer to infuse the flavours. Use this to brush onto the sponge cake layers and in the chocolate ganache.
- Preheat oven to 160C. Grease the sides of a 20cm round springform cake pan with melted butter and line the base with baking paper.
- Chocolate Sponge Cake: Sift the flour, almond meal, and cocoa powder into a medium sized bowl. Whisk until combined and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar using an electric handheld mixer until pale and creamy. Beat in the melted chocolate and eggs, and fold in the dry ingredients and buttermilk until well combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside to cool slightly before transferring the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Choc-cherry Ganache: While the cake is baking in the oven, stir all the ingredients (leaving about 1/4 cup of the vodka-infused syrup for brushing) for the choc-cherry ganache in a small saucepan over low heat for 5 minutes or until the chocolate has melted and is smooth. Set aside cool slightly.
- Cream-jam Filling: Using an electric mixer, beat the double and thickened cream in a large bowl until firm peaks form. Then fold in the jam to create a swirled effect.
- Assembly: Cut the cake horizontally into 2 (or 3 if you can) even layers. Place the cake base on a round cake board and brush the cut surface with half of the vodka-infused syrup and spoon over the cream-jam mixture. Dip each pitted black cherry into the ganache and place on top of the cream filling. Brush the vodka-infused syrup on the cut surface with the other half of the cake layer and top over the base. Pour the choc-cherry ganache over the cake and decorate with fresh cherries and chocolate curls. Sprinkle with a bit a icing sugar for a Christmasy finish.
– Ally xx