Chocolate and cherry cake

I haven’t baked for ages! Well, ages for me. Today I really wanted to make something sweet that made the most of the lovely Brock and Morten rapeseed oil that was kindly given to me. Brownies… nah, I already have several brownie recipes on here… carrot cake, no it is definitely a chocolate day. Hmmm, what about a chocolate cake? Wait, I also have some cherries in kirsch that Opies sent me a while back (sorry it’s taken me so long to utilise them, but they are kind of specialist). Ta-dah, and there you have it… Chocolate cherry cake. This is very rare for me, to use two products that have been sent to me in one recipe. Not because I am all high and mighty about it – hey, if they’re good, who am I to turn down some great freebies? But because companies tend to send me things that are quite obscure and not very easy to factor into recipes, so I rarely end up using them at all! Most often I give them away. However, the rapeseed oil has been in my house less than 2 days and I have used it several times already. It is extremely versatile. I like to bake with oil, it gives a luxurious, dense, moist quality to cakes, and it’s healthier too. The cherries are gorgeous as well, and just perfect for this cake. If baking for kids and you want to leave out any alcohol content, try canned cherries which I bet would give the same effect. 
My cake is adapted from a Chocolate and olive oil cake by the quite brilliant Nigella. I used rape seed oil instead of olive oil, less cocoa, flour instead of ground almonds, plus the small matter of adding 150g of melted chocolate!
This would make a great cake for Mother’s Day, which happens to be on Sunday. Especially if you grew up in the 80s, like me, and remember all those Black Forest Gateaux that your mum no doubt used to love. (Happy Mother’s Day to my mum if you’re reading by the way, love you!) If you wanted to make this cake gluten free then simply switch plain flour for almonds. Serving it with more cherries and creme fraiche on the side gives it a very black forest vibe, and that’s no bad thing…
You’ll need several bowls, just a heads up…

Serves: 8/16 (depending on thickness of slice)
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients: 
150g good quality dark chocolate like Green and Black’s, broken up
3 eggs
200g caster sugar
150g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
35g cocoa
125ml boiling water
125ml olive or rape seed oil
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
pinch of salt
20 cherries soaked in Kirsh (or canned cherries)

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 170C. Grease (I used oil) and line the bottom of a 23cm springform cake tin. 
  2. Melt your broken up chocolate gently, either over a bowl of simmering water, or in a microwave (I have never dared to do it this way before now, but it worked fine, just watch it constantly, stir every 20 seconds, and take it out before it’s totally melted – about 3-5 minutes on medium will do it). Set it to one side. 
  3. Mix your cocoa with boiling water and vanilla extract. Set aside.  
  4. Combine flour and salt with bicarb in a separate bowl. Again, set aside!
  5. Now beat eggs, sugar and oil with an electric whisk for 3 minutes in yet another bowl. With a hand whisk it’ll take longer, around 5 minutes, or until it becomes a little lighter and fluffier. 
  6. Finally, tip in your cocoa solution into the egg and oil mixture. Beat. Now tip flour in gradually into this mixture and beat again. Lastly, the melted chocolate and 20 or so cherries. Fold gently till all is combined. 
  7. Tip the lovely dark batter into your prepared tin and bake for 40 – 45 minutes. Test with a skewer (it should come out clean). Mine took about 43 minutes. 
  8. Let it cool for 15 minutes in the tin, then remove and place on a wire rack to cool. 
  9. Serve with creme fraiche and more cherries.  

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    2 Comments

    1. March 31, 2014 / 7:24 pm

      Hi Anna… yes it was a lovely cake. You could spruce it up by making two sandwiches and putting whipped cream with more cherries in the middle. But I liked its simplicity this way too. R X

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