Choc-cherry mud cake Recipe
Melted butter, to grease
250g butter, chopped
200g dark cooking chocolate, coarsely chopped
530g (2 1/2 cups) caster sugar
185ml (3/4 cup) water
300g (2 cups) plain flour
2 tablespoons self-raising flour
30g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder
125ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk
3 eggs, lightly whisked
120g (1/2 cup) pitted morello cherries, drained
2 tablespoons cherry brandy
420g dark choc melts
300ml pouring cream
60g dry-roasted hazelnuts, chopped
375g pkt dark choc melts, melted, extra
Cherries, to decorate
Choc-cherry mud cake Recipe
Preheat oven to 160°C. Brush two 15cm (base measurement) square cake pans with melted butter. Line the bases and sides with non-stick baking paper.
Combine the butter, chocolate, sugar and water in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in combined flour and cocoa powder. Stir in buttermilk and egg. Pour into pans and bake for 2 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, combine the cherries and brandy in a bowl. Set aside, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours to macerate. Strain the cherries, reserving the brandy.
Place the choc melts in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream just to the boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate. Set aside for 30 seconds or until the chocolate is soft. Stir until combined. Place one-third of the ganache in a bowl. Stir in the cherries and hazelnut. Set aside for 2 hours or until the mixture thickens. Reserve the remaining ganache.
Use a large serrated knife to trim tops of cakes. Place 1 cake, cut-side down, on a wire rack over a baking tray. Brush with reserved cherry brandy. Spread with cherry mixture. Top with remaining cake, cut-side down.
Place the reserved chocolate ganache in a microwave-safe jug. Heat on High/800watts/100% for 30 seconds or until the chocolate is runny. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Pour over the cake to coat completely. Set aside for 1 hour to set slightly. Transfer to a serving plate.
Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Cut four 10 x 15cm rectangles from acetate. Use a cotton ball to clean the acetate. Place on a sheet of baking paper. Use a palette knife to spread acetate with some extra choc melts to about 3mm thick. Remove excess chocolate. Transfer to lined trays. Place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes or until set and chilled slightly.
Carefully peel off the acetate from 1 chocolate panel. Gently press, shiny-side up, onto one side of the cake. Repeat with the remaining chocolate panels.
To make the bows, cut ten 2 x 18cm strips of acetate. Use a cotton ball to clean the acetate. Place on a sheet of baking paper. Spread the acetate strips evenly with the remaining extra choc melts to about 3mm thick. Fold to make a loop and join the ends together. Use a peg to secure. Remove any excess chocolate. Transfer to a lined tray and place in the fridge for 5-10 minutes or until set and chilled slightly. Remove the pegs and acetate. Arrange the bows on top of the cake and decorate with cherries.
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