The rich chocolate sponge, moistened with brandy and cherries, is still one of my favorite of all the chocolate cakes. Dark chocolate cherry cake is a perfect party dessert. The cake can be make in advance and it always looks impressive.
- 1 oz. dried cherries
- 1/3 cup brandy
- 7oz. dark chocolate
- 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup superfine sugar
- 3 large free-range eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 Tbsp. whole milk
- red food coloring (optional)
Soak the dried cherries in the brandy overnight.
The following day, preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly grease an 8-inch round cake pan (or other cake pan).
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water, stirring from time to time. When almost melted, remove from the heat and continue stirring to melt any remaining lumps. Set aside to cool.
Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and cream together until light and pale in color. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well each time to ensure the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Stir in the cooled melted chocolate, then fold in the flour and ground almonds, the milk, and brandy-soaked cherries. Add the salt.
Whisk the eggs whites in a bowl until stiff, and then gently fold into the chocolate mix.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan, level off the surface, and then place in the oven to bake for 45 minutes. Leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning the cake onto a wire rack.
Meanwhile, whisk confectioners' sugar and milk in a bowl until glaze is smooth. Brush the warm cake with a glaze and allow to cool completely.
Cut the warm cake into the wedges and top with fresh berries and streaks of the crème fraîche.