Thursday, 13 October 2011

Upcoming Birthday Cake

So I guess with the addition of Uncle Laurie's new girlfriend our nearly non-stop celebration season starts just about now! After her birthday at the end of this month {which is already half gone!} comes Mr Woo & my 3rd wedding anniversary!
and then...
Uncle Laurie's birthday, My Mom's birthday, Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!, New Year, this year the biggest celebration Baby Woo's arrival, Mr Woo's baby brother's birthday, my niece's birthday, my birthday, my twin brother's birthdays, my other niece's birthday, my Grandmother's birthday, my sister in law's, Mr Woo's Dad's birthday in mid April. And last, but by no means least, Mr Woo's birthday in May! PHEW!

Then we get a break.

I'm pooped just thinking about it!

I offered to make a special birthday cake for Uncle Laurie's girlfriend. She  requested chocolate cherry. Most of the recipes I've found call for cake mix and canned cherries. EW! GROSS! They must be nice otherwise there wouldn't be so many recipes out there? But it's not my bag baby.

Here's the "gourmet" recipe I've found:

Chocolate Cherry Cake

This delicious cake is easy, rich but light, and so wonderfully moist. There is about 20 minutes prep time, and around 55 minutes cooking time. To make chocolate curls, melt dark chocolate, spread thinly onto a marble slab or inverted heavy tray, set aside until firm. Scrape with a knife at a 45-degree angle (away from you) to create curls. These extravegent curls give this dessert that 'cake shop' glamour!

Serves 10.

150 gms dark chocolate (54% cocoa solids)
150 gms butter, softened
170 gms caster sugar
6 eggs, separated
150 gms self-raising flour, sifted
3 tsp cornflour
50 ml kirsch, plus extra to drizzle {kirsch is a knock your shocks off cherry liqueur}
250 ml (1 cup) pouring cream

Cherry compote
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
500 gms pitted cherries

150 gms dark chocolate (54% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped
140 ml pouring cream

Preheat oven to 175C. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cool slightly. Beat butter and 150gm caster sugar in an electric mixer until pale and creamy (4-8 minutes), then add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add melted chocolate and stir to combine, then fold in flour in batches. Whisk eggwhites to soft peaks, then fold through chocolate mixture. Pour into a greased and baking paper-lined 23cm spring-form pan and bake until a skewer withdraws clean (30-40 minutes). Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.

For cherry compote, combine sugar and 500ml of water in a saucepan and cook, stirring over medium heat, until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, add cherries, bring to boil again, reduce heat and simmer until cherries are tender (5 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside. Makes 1 litre of cherries and juice.

Meanwhile, drain juice from cherries (reserving 180ml and discarding remaining). Place cherries in a bowl. Mix cornflour with 20ml reserved cherry juice to make a paste. Combine remaining cherry juice, drained cherries and cornflour paste in a saucepan. Stir over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens (2-3 minutes). Add 30ml kirsch and set aside to cool.

For ganache, melt chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (3-5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir until smooth and glossy.

Whisk cream and remaining sugar until stiff peaks form, add remaining kirsch and whisk briefly to combine. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

Halve cake horizontally, drizzle base generously with kirsch, spread with cream and spoon over cherry compote. Sandwich with top half of cake. Drizzle with more kirsch, then pour over ganache and scatter with chocolate curls.

That's more like it I think! I hope anyway...

*Uncle Laurie has informed me that he intends on making a "mini cake to go on top of your cake".
Oh really?
"I'm not trying to out-do you or anything", when someone says that they probably are aren't they, haha! I'm not bothered, I just don't want his massive "mini cake" creation smashing my cake!
He is not a baker. He is going to try to make a fondant covered Land Rover & person & go on top of this cake.
He doesn't have any idea how heavy a fondant sculpture is! Oh well. I guess even if it's a pile of broken mess the Chocolate Cherry Cake will still taste nice.*

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