September is a month of birthdays for our family. This weekend we set about celebrating my mother and brothers birthday. We started off with a family photoshoot and ended up at my sister’s place eating party food. I took it upon myself to make a birthday cake – mainly because I love baking! I decided that I would like to make a fruit based cake with layers. I have recently bought yet another cookbook ‘Have Your Cake and Eat It’ from the Book People that arrived at my place of work. The chocolate cherry cream cake was very appealing! It was also a bit of challenge to me as it introduced me to the world of geonise sponges and chantilly cream. I now know that the geonise sponge originates from Italy and is has a heavy whipped egg base to provide a light air leavened lighter cake. I will say now, that this technique is definitely something that I will need to practice. I found that the cake that I eventually made was perhaps more dense than it should have been and I was not able to slice each cake in half as per the recipe instructions. However the lashings of cream and jam that made it to the cake seems to compensate somewhat.
40g (1/2 oz) melted butter, plus extra for greasing
6 medium eggs
190g (6 3/4 oz) golden caster sugar
150g (5 1/2 oz) plain flour
45g (1 1/2 oz) cocoa powder
500g (1lb 2oz) black cherry jam
875g (1lb 14oz) fresh black cherries, stoned
FOR THE CREME CHANTILLY
450ml (16fl oz) double cream
110g (4oz) caster sugar
3 tablespoons kirsch OR 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
1. Preheat the oven to 180oC/gas 4. Grease and line the base and sides of 4 x 20cm (8 inch) round sandwich tins with non-stick baking parchment.
2. Place the eggs with the caster sugar in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and whisk with an electric hand whisk until tripled in size, plan and leaves a ribbon trail. Remover from the heat.
3. Sift together the flour and cocoa powder into the batter and gently fold in with a metal spoon or rubber spatula until fully combined. Drizzle in the melted butter.
4. Transfer the batter to the prepared tin and bake for 12 – 15 minutes until risen and springs back when pressed. Do not overbake as the sponge will be dry. Transfer to a wire rick. Leave the cake to cool for 5 minutes, then turn out and leave to cool completely.
5. To make the creme Chantilly, whip the cream, sugar and kirsch or vanilla together until voluminous and firm but still glossy. Be careful not to over whip.
6. To serve, cut the sponges in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Place one sponge on a cake plate and spread with one-third of the cherry jam, then one-third of the kirsch creme Chantilly.
7. Repeat with the other sponges, jam and cream finishing with the final sponge. Decorate with fresh black cherries.
Reference: Have Your Cake and Eat It – Mich Turner