Friday, 20 December 2013

Cherry chocolate spice cake

200g butter, 100g icing sugar, 75g dark chocolate, 120g caster sugar, 3 eggs, 100g self raising flour, 25g cocoa powder, 1 tsp baking powder, 150ml red wine, 1 tsp cinnamon,
1/2 tsp cloves, 1/2 tsp allspice, 100g natural glace cherries, 2 packs chocolate fingers, 1 pack maltesers. 

Serves: 6 Preparation: 1 hour

When it comes to Christmas, mulled wine is at the top of my list of indulgences. The scent fills the house and warms the blood. When it comes to festive cakes, not everyone likes the traditional fruit cake so I always make an alternative. Last year it was mulled wine cake, which was lovely... but this year I wanted something a little more decadent, which meant at LOT more chocolate. Unlike the "dry" spice cake of last year, this cake involves cherry mulled wine syrup to flavour the cake, glaze the cake and ice the cake. A holy trinity of taste that I will definitely be making again and again!

1) Bring the red wine, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and cherries to the boil in a pan. Add 20g sugar and simmer until the wine has reduced to a syrup, pour through a sieve (saving the cherries) and set aside to cool.

Cream together 100g sugar and 100g butter using an electric whisk, then whisk through the cocoa powder and eggs, one egg at a time.

3) Add a tablespoon of the mulled wine syrup and sift together the flour and baking powder. Whisk into the cake batter, then bake in a buttered tin for 35 minutes at 155 degrees or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cake rack to cool completely.

4) To make the chocolate icing, melt the chocolate gently in a bain marie. Cream together 100g butter and 100g icing sugar, then slowly add the melted chocolate and a tablespoon of the mulled wine syrup, whisking continually.

5) Using the remainder of the mulled wine syrup, glaze the cake thoroughly before spreading on the chocolate icing. To decorate the cake, stick the chocolate fingers round the edge, using the chocolate icing as sort of grouting. The chocolate fingers form a sort of dish in the centre to fill with maltesers and the mulled cherries. I also dusted this with edible gold shimmer because CHRISTMAS!

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