Hi again! I know! I have been slacking off!
Well not really. My parents were visiting, then I got a massive shoulder issue. It was an old injury(?) from using too much PC. My desk at home in particular tends to worsen the issue quite a bit. So I have been putting this off!
Enough of my pain and suffering. Let’s move on to this cake.
I have mentioned before I quite like the mousse topping sponge cake combo, it looks great and there are a lot of room for customizing flavours. I made this for a co-worker’s leaving party. This particular co-worker has been one of the key-supporter of my office baking. I get praise but also suitable critique on how I can improve on my bakes, so I decided I need to go an extra step to make sure this is a good cake.
The reason there are so much berries on top, is not only because berries are a great addition to cakes for colours and the summery flare. Also because I had went berry picking the previous week and I was up to my eyebrows with berries and they just needed using up.
This summer was particularly bad for wildfires here in BC. We spent a good amount of our August days looking up at yellow hazy sky with a red sun and cleaning ashes off anything that sit still (outdoors AND indoors!) The blueberries didn’t care, they were still nice and big and juicy and sweet. Picking blueberries were easy, they grow in gigantic clumps and all you have to do is close your hands on a clump and give it a light tugs. Everything ready to eat would fall into your hands.
Raspberries though, was a different story. It was coming to the end of raspberries season when we went picking, the bushes looked quite bare…. unless you change your perspective and look from the underside of the bushes and perform some acrobatics to get to the hidden berries. It was a real challenge and SUPER satisfying.
So the request was a chocolate cake of sorts. I decided it will involve chocolate and cherries. (didn’t pick our own though, I wonder what is it like?) In this recipe the cherries have been soaked in rum for about an hour, and they gets surprisingly boozy! I have a jar now that has been soaking in rum for about 3 weeks, at some point I will have a look and see what that’s like.
So the original recipe is for a 6″ cake. I needed a cake to serve more than 12 people so I decided to just double the recipe for the mousse to make a 9″ cake. Because of that I also made a different sponge that was more work. The original cake recipe works and is easier to do so I have included this one instead. The mousse ended up being a touch on the soft side so I don’t think my changes made it better, so just follow the original recipe for a smaller cake and I think it might be better that way. If you need to share this with more people? Just make two. :>
Recipe adapted from Sweet Gastronomy, makes an 6″ cake.
For the Cake:
Fresh cherries, enough to fill a cake tin
30ml of Rum (original calls for brandy, don’t have brandy, this works too)
250g Chocolate Chunks/chips
120g Unsalted Butter, cubed
110g Self Raising Flour
4 Eggs, lightly whisked
For the Mousse
80g Chocolate Chunks/chips
200ml Heavy Cream
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
10g Cocoa Powder
Fresh Berries of your choice
To Make the cake:
1. Remove pits from cherries. I used a cherry pitter, which is a fun gadget. If you don’t have one, you can always use a knife and cut the cherry in half and remove the pit and use the half cherries same way as whole. Soak cherries in rum.
2. Preheat oven to 170°c/338°f. Grease and line cake tin with parchment paper.
3. Melt chocolate and butter over a pan of simmering water, remove from heat once it has all melted. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, eggs and flour and beat with an electric mixer.
4. Once your chocolate butter mixture has cooled down enough, slowly add the mixture into your egg mix. Beat the batter for a little while until it is smooth and a bit lighter in colour. Then pour the batter into the tin. Place in the middle rack and cook for 45 mins. Test it with a skewer after the time. Remove from tin and allow to cool.
To make the mousses:
1. Put about 2 Tsp of milk into a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over to bloom. Melt chocolate once again, with a bain marie. Once melted, remove from heat and allow to cool. Heat the rest of the milk in a small pan.
2. Once your gelatin has bloomed, add back into the warm milk mixture alongside with the vanilla extract. Stir the gelatin until dissolved. Careful, you want the milk mixture to be hot enough to combine with the chocolate but not boil.
3. Pour hot milk mixture into the chocolate mixture. Stir to combine until smooth.
4. Beat heavy cream until soft peaks. Now here comes the tricky bit, you want will have to fold the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream. Mix sure your chocolate mixture is not too hot before folding it into the cream or else it might turn kinda grainy.
To Assemble the cake:
1. Use the same cake tin … or a different tin if you like. Line it again with parchment this time on the bottom as well as on the side. Put the cooled cake bake into the tin.
2. Take your cherries out from the liquor and place them on top of the cake. Don’t worry about the extra liquid the cherries bring to the cake. It’d be fine.
3. Once your cherries have been placed, pour the mousse on top of the cake. Let the whole thing chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
4. After chilling, dust cocoa powder on top, and decorate with berries of your choice. You can remove the tin and parchment at this point. I personally would not remove them until ready to serve. The paper collar helped keep the fruits in the right place.
You know what the funny thing is? The leaving co-worker didn’t end up leaving. Not because of my baking of course, but I’d like to say that because it makes for a better story.