Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Celebrating the Cherries

Chocolate Cherry Ensemble Cake

For the cherry purée:

300 g stoned cherries
50 g sugar
30 g water
5 g lemon juice

Boil the water and the sugar in a heavy bottomed pan. Leave to cool. Process the cherries in a food processor. Add the sugar syrup and the lemon juice. Store in the fridge until needed.

For the cherry compote:

200 g stoned whole cherries
35 g sugar
100 g cherry purée

Combine the cherries and cherry purée in a pan and bring to the boil point. Stir in the sugar and cook over low temperature for 2-3 min. Cool. Take out the cherries from the purée and reserve separately.

For the chocolate ganache:

110 g dark chocolate
120 ml heavy cream

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer and pour it over the chocolate. Let the mixture rest for 10 min.  With a handheld whisk, stir the chocolate cream mixture until smooth and shiny. Leave it to rest (preferably at room temperature, which means that it should be prepared hours in advance or the day before).

For the chocolate cherry cake:

have all the ingredients at room temperature

170 g unsalted butter 
130 g sugar
200 g eggs
4 g vanilla extract
300 g flour
6 g baking powder
110 g dark chocolate
110 g blanched hazelnuts
180 ml milk
100 g cherry purée

Have a nonstick cake form prepared. 
Prepare the hazelnuts: Toast them in a hot oven (160C) for 5-10 min or until the skin darkens a bit. Take them out of the oven and until very warm, remove the skin as much as possible. It is a very easy process and a bit massy but is also fast if a handful of hazelnuts are processed together. Leave them to cool and chop roughly.
Sift the flour and the baking powder in a bowl.
Melt the chocolate over bain marie. Leave to cool slightly. 
Beat the butter and the sugar until very light and pale. Add the eggs in small bathes. Mix in the vanilla. Add the cooled chocolate, mixing continuously. Stop the mixer. Stir in the chopped hazelnuts, cherry purée. Mix in the flour in three additions, alternating with the milk.
Bake at 170 C for about 40 min. Remove from the pan immediately and leave to cool on a wire rack. 

Note: This cake is better if mature for day or two, foiled and kept in the refrigerator. 

For the cream:

200 ml heavy cream
15 g sugar

Have a mixing bowl and the whisk used for beating the cream in the freezer for an hour. Beat the cream at low at first to aerate. Add the sugar and increase the mixing speed. Mix until soft peaks are formed. Reserve in the refrigerator until needed.

For the decoration:

10-12 fresh washed cherries


Pipe 10-12 ganache bases and secure the cherries on top of them. 

Decorate with the cherries reserved from the cherry compote. Sprinkle with the reserved cherry purée-syrup from the cherry compote. Use as much of it as you like.

Bon appétit. 

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