Sunday, 22 April 2012

Chocolate mousse cake with cherries

Indulgence as its finest, just don't count the calories!

Serves 8-10

Genoese Sponge

20g Butter (to grease a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin)
125g Cocoa powder, sifted
4 Eggs, at room temperature
125g Caster sugar
30g Butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm

Cherry Compote

400g Fresh or tinned cherries (drained weight),de-stoned (If using fresh cherries, add enough cold water to come above the cherries in the pan)
150g Caster sugar
Zest of a large orange
2 Cloves

Creme Anglaise3 Egg yolks
75g Caster sugar
1 Vanilla pod, split down the middle
250ml Milk

Chocolate Mousse

200g 70% Cocoa solid's dark chocolate, broken into pieces
200ml Creme Anglaise (see above)
200ml Double cream
50g Dark chocolate, placed in freezer for 1 hour prior to cooking, finely grated or curled with a peeler.

1. For the Sponge, grease the cake tin and pre-heat the oven to 190C. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar using an electric mixer (5 minutes, or so) or a balloon whisk (this will take longer,around 12 minutes) and whip until light and creamy in colour and ribbon trails start to form when stirred with the whisk/ Shower in the sifted cocoa and gently fold in with a spatula. Trickle in the butter and fold again, do not overwork the mixture. Place in the cake tin and level off the top with a pallet knife. Bake for 30 minutes giving the tin a quarter turn after 10mins.

2. For the Cherry compote, place all the ingredients in a pan and while the sponge cooks, set over a medium heat,stirring occasionally to prevent the cherries from burning, reduce the liquid until it forms a thick, shiny syrup, around 15-20mins. Leave to cool.

3. Remove the sponge from the oven and turn out of the tin onto a wire rack to cool, be very careful as the sponge is incredibly delicate. Once cooled start the Creme Anglais.

4. For the Creme Anglais, add the egg yolks and sugar to a bowl and whisk until smooth, add the milk to a pan and drop in the vanilla pod. Heat the milk on a medium heat until just beginning to bubble, take the pan off the heat and add half the mixture to the eggs, whisking all the time, once combined add the other half and whisk thoroughly, return the mixture to the pan keeping the heat on medium. Stir the mixture until it coats the back of a wooden spatula, or spoon. Once this mixture is at this stage, take off the heat and in same bowl place in the dark chocolate, add the Creme Anglais to the dark chocolate and whisk until smooth.

5. In another bowl ,whip the double cream until ribbon trails appear (around 3-5 minutes using an electric whisk, longer for balloon whisk depending on your strength of course!) and fold into the chocolate using a spatula. You now have your chocolate mousse.

6. Using a sharp knife, slice the sponge across the centre to create two discs of equal size. Drain the syrup off the cherries and using a pastry brush, brush the cut-sides of the sponge with the syrup. Lay one layer of sponge onto a flat plate cut-side facing up and add half the cherry mixture, top this with a thin layer of the mousse mixture using a pallet knife to achieve an even spread. Add the second sponge layer and repeat. Using the remaining mousse, cover the edge of the cake using a pallet knife to achieve a smooth finish. Top with the grated chocolate and refrigerate for 4 hours.

7. Cut into wedges and enjoy. The cake will keep in the fridge for around 2 days.

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