November 4th 2008 06:00
Chocolate Mousse Cake with Morello Cherries
About Chocolate Mousse Cake with Morello Cherries
This is an absolute winner - the cake is spread with dark chocolate mousse, filled with morello cherries soaked in cherry brandy, and then topped with soft, curled flakes of chocolate. For chocolate lovers, there’s heaven in every mouthful! This is an adult cake and so it works best with dark chocolate that has 70-75% cocoa solids.
About Morello cherries
The Morello cherry – the sour cherry, is a species of Prunus in the subgenus Cerasus (cherries), native to much of Europe and southwest Asia. It is closely related to the Wild Cherry (P. avium), also known as sweet cherry, but has a fruit which is more acidic, and so is useful primarily for culinary purposes.
About Cherry brandy
Cherry Brandy is a fruit brandy produced from indigenous Marasca sour cherries, is the best known of all Badel’s fruit liqueurs. The aroma of this dark red beverage reveals its Dalmatian origin, while its unique sour sweetish flavour ensures Cherry Brandy a position at the very pinnacle of fruit lequeurs. The most famous brand is the HERRING Cherry Liqueur (also known as Peter Heering or Cherry Heering) of Denmark founded in 1818. Cherries are pressed into a must, matured in oak casks and then blended into a liqueur. HERRING Cherry Liqueur is the original “cherry brandy” ingredient in the Singapore Sling drink from Raffles Hotel, Singapore.
Serves 10 - 12
For the base
6 large eggs, separated
150 gm / 5 oz golden caster sugar
50 gm / 2 oz cocoa powder, sifted
For the filling
225 gm / 8 oz dark chocolate with 70-75% cocoa solids
2 large eggs, separated
700 gm / 1 lb 8 oz pitted morello cherries in syrup
2 teaspoons cherry brandy
225 ml / 8 fl oz double cream
For the decoration
100 gm / 3½ z dark chocolate with 70-75% cocoa solids for the chocolate curls
1 tablespoon morello cherry jam
cocoa powder as needed, sifted
1. Line a 23 X 32 X 1 cm / 9 X 13 X ½ inch Swiss-roll tin with baking parchment, cut and folded to give a depth of at least 4 cm / 1½ inch.
2. To prepare the chocolate filling, break the pieces of chocolate into a basin and add 2 tablespoons of water. Place the basin over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the bottom of the basin isn’t actually touching the water. Keep the heat at a minimum and wait for the chocolate to melt.
3. Remove from the heat and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.
4. Beat the egg yolks – first on their own and then into the warm chocolate mixture. Allow to cool.
5. At the same time, whisk the egg whites to the soft-peak stage and gently cut and fold them in the just cooled mixture.
6. Cover with clingfilm and leave it in the fridge till you’re ready to use it, but for a minimum of an hour.
7. Drain the cherries in a sieve, discard the syrup.
8. Place the cherries in a shallow dish, spoon over the cherry brandy and leave aside till needed.
9. To make chocolate curls, melt the 100 gm / 3½ oz of chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, make sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
10. When the chocolate has melted, pour it on to a flat, smooth surface. It should be about 5-mm / ¼-inch thick. If you don’t have a flat, smooth surface, the underside of a large plate will do.
11. Leave the chocolate to set – what you want is the chocolate to be set hard enough so that if you press the surface of the chocolate, it doesn’t leave an indentation. If you use a plate, you can set the chocolate by placing in it the fridge to chill for 45 minutes.
12. Use a cheese slicer to make the chocolate curls, or a knife will do if you hold the blade in both hands. Just pull it all along the chocolate towards you and it should curl up. What is very important to know here is that if it doesn’t curl and you end up with a pile of chocolate shavings they’ll look just as nice – either way, place them in a rigid plastic container and then put this in the fridge until you need them. The curls look lovely dusted with a light sprinkling of cocoa powder.
13. Preheat the oven to 180ºC / 350ºF.
14. For the base, place the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk with an electric hand whisk until they begin to thicken.
15. Add the caster sugar and continue to whisk – but be careful not to overdo this, as it can eventually become too thick, which makes it difficult to fold in the egg whites.
16. Fold in the cocoa powder.
17. Using a spanking clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to the soft-peak stage.
18. Take 1 large spoonful of the egg white and fold into the chocolatey mixture to slacken it, and then gently cut and fold in the rest of the egg whites.
19. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
20. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 20 – 25 minutes, it will look very puffy, but a little finger gently pressed into the centre should reveal that it’s springy in the centre and cooked. It’s important not to overcook it.
21. Remove from the oven and don’t panic as it sinks down, because this is quite normal. Leave until it’s absolutely cold.
22. Turn the cake out on a sheet of greaseproof paper.
23. Drain the cherries again in a sieve placed over a bowl, to catch the liqueur, and sprinkle all but 1 tablespoon of the liqueur all over the base of the cake.
24. Remove the chocolate filling from the fridge and, using a palette knife, spread it carefully and evenly all over the surface of the cake.
25. Softly whip the double cream and spread this all over the chocolate filling, then lightly press the cherries into the cream.
26. To roll up the cake, take hold of one edge of the paper beneath it and lift it – as you lift, the cake will begin to come up. Just gently roll it over, pulling the paper away as it rolls. If the cake cracks as you roll it, this is not a problem – this can look very attractive and, anyway, it’s all going to get covered in chocolate!
27. To decorate the cake, spoon the cherry jam into a small saucepan.
28. Add in the reserve tablespoon of liqueur from the cherries.
29. Warm gently, then brush it all over the surface.
30. Place chocolate curls all over that.
31. To serve, lightly dust the surface with the sifted cocoa powder.
To make the chocolate filling, you can use a jar of pitted Morella cherries in syrup.
**From “The Delia Collection Chocolate” and “Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia” **