Chocolate, Almond and Red Hill Cherry Layered Chocolate Cake

Chocolate, Almond and Red Hill Cherry Layered Chocolate Cake


For the Genoise
Preheat the oven to 200C. In a bowl, mix eggs, sugar and warm over hot water. Transfer to a mixer and whisk at high speed for 10 minutes until light and tripled in volume. Fold in the clarified butter, sift the flour and cocoa and gently fold into base. Place in a lined 25cm x 15cm tray  and bake for 20-25 minutes. When cool, cut out to fit a 10cm x 15cm mould. Heat 65ml of water, 65g of caster sugar and 30ml of brandy and pour over the sponge, allow to absorb.

For the Creme Centre
Whisk egg yolks and sugar. Bring cream and milk just to the boil and pour over sugar and eggs, before returning to the pot. Cook slowly to 82C. Strain over chocolate, mix well and pour over prepared Genoise. Leave to set for minimum 2 hours.

For the Topping
Mix water, sugar and cocoa in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add cream and allow to simmer. Add gelatine (bloomed), strain over chocolate and mix. When at room temperature, form the top layer over the creme, approximately 2mm. Leave to set.

For the Cherry Sorbet
Boil sugar and water then combine in a blender with puree and lemon juice. Pass through a fine strainer and churn in ice cream maker.

For the Almond Ice Cream
Combine cream and milk in a saucepan and simmer. Toast the almonds and combine with milk. Let sit for 2 hours. Whisk the yolks and sugar together, reheat the almond cream and pass through a fine strainer over eggs and sugar. Return to the pan and stir, heating to 82C. Pass through a fine strainer and allow to cool overnight. Add the almond essence and salt, then churn in an ice cream machine. Freeze until needed.

For the Poached Cherries
Boil the cherry juice sugar and brandy and pass through strainer. Simmer the halved cherries in the syrup for 5 minutes. Allow to cool

For the Almond Milk Chips
Heat combined ingredients to 80C, blend and strain. Reheat this almond milk to 80C and mix with a hand mixer to make a foam. Carefully spoon the foam on to a lined tray and allow to dry for 5 hours at 70C.

For the Chocolate Toffee Chards
Mix fondant and glucose in a small saucepan and heat to 160C. Remove from heat and quickly stir in chocolate until well combined. Working quickly, turn caramel on to greaseproof paper, top with another sheet and roll as thinly as possible with a rolling pin. Before it sets, stretch out paper-thin chards of toffee and allow to cool. If the toffee sets, place between 2 heavy trays and place in the oven at 170C. When soft and can handle, stretch more chocolate chards. Store in a dry cool place.

For the Chocolate Sauce
Warm the cream and water and pour over the chocolate. Mix until smooth.

To Serve
Using a wide pastry brush dipped in chocolate sauce, in one stroke make a small square in the centre of the plate. Remove the cake from the mould using a hot knife. Trim the edges and slice a finger width slice. Place on chocolate square. Next to the cake on the right, place a small pile of toasted almonds.

For each plate, halve three cherries. Dress with syrup from the brandy cherries and place around the cake. Quarter 2 brandy cherries and place pieces around the cake with a couple of pieces on the cake. With a melon baller dipped in hot water, make two perfect cherry-size balls of cherry sorbet and place onto right of the cake. With a warm spoon, quenelle the almond ice-cream onto the toasted almonds and lean on the cake. Break up the milk crisps and lean on cherry sorbet and halved cherries. Stick the chocolate chard into the almond ice cream and lean across the cake. Finish with some viola flowers and slivered fresh almonds.

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