RECIPE :: chocolate and cherry tort

humous : roast aubergines : chocolate and cherry tort

The idea for this cake popped into my head on the way to a tedious shift at work, so as soon as work finished I went on the hunt and found the only place selling black cherries was a supermarket so I grabbed a kg of them, went to the counter and had a bit of a shock when they charged £9 for them. The reason for this rambling and somewhat pointless rant is to say that this cake is beautiful but make sure you only think of cooking it in autumn or you could end up spending far too much money.

250g / 9oz of flour,
2tsp of baking powder,
1tsp of bicarbonate of soda,
50g / 2oz of cocoa powder,
400g - 500g / 14oz - 18oz of black cherries,
100ml of sunflower oil.
½ tsp of salt,
2tsp vanilla extract,
2tsp of apple cider vinegar and
200ml of maple syrup.

600g - 750g / 21oz - 27oz of cherries,
400ml of water,
100g of ground hazelnuts,
3tbsp of agar powder,
½ tsp of salt,
50g / 2oz of cocoa powder,
75g / 2 ½ oz of sugar,
2tbsp of arrowroot,
4tbsp of soya milk and
1tsp of vanilla extract.

1) Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 / 180C / 350F.
2) To make the cake; combine all the dry ingredients and 50g of quartered cherries into a large mixing bowl.
3) You need to make 200ml of fresh cherry juice, to do this take out the stems and the seeds and put them in a juicer or blend them and push the pulp through a fine sieve or muslin bag.
4) Mix the cherry juice with the rest of the wet ingredients and blend until emulsified.
5) Mix the dry and wet ingredients and put into a lined quick release cake tray. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until when you place a knife into the centre of the cake it comes out clean.
6) When the cake has cooled remove the cake lining and put the cake back in the tray and close it back up.
7) To make the mousse; put 300ml of freshly squeezed cherry juice, water and the hazelnuts into a blender and whiz away until creamy.
8) Put the liquid into a saucepan with the agar flakes, salt, cocoa powder and sugar, and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Make sure before you go any further that the agar flakes have been fully dissolved.
9) Mix the arrowroot with the soya milk then put into the hot liquid and stir until it thickens slightly.
10) Take off the heat and pour over the cake. Place it into the fridge for an hour to set.