A perfect gift for Dad at home this year is to bake him a spectacular cake to enjoy. Here are two recipes for delicious cakes from Bonne Maman
CHOCOLATE CHERRY DRIZZLE CAKE
(Makes 12-14 slices)
400 g (14 oz) Bonne Maman Cherry Compote
400 g (14 oz) milk chocolate, roughly chopped
200 g (7 oz) unsalted butter
90 g (3 ½ oz) self-raising flour
90 g (3 ½ oz) plain flour
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
200 g (7 oz) light muscovado sugar
200 g (7 oz) golden caster sugar
25 g (1 oz) cocoa powder
Grated zest and juice of 1 small orange
75 ml (3 fl oz) natural yoghurt
2 tbsp Grand Marnier
275 ml (9 fl oz) double cream
Grated chocolate or chocolate curls, to decorate
Sit a large sieve over a bowl and tip in the cherry compote. Leave to drain for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 170°c (fan oven 150°c), gas mark 3. Line a deep, 18-20 cm (7-8 inch) cake tin with non-stick baking parchment.
Put 200 g (7 oz) of the chocolate into a saucepan and add the butter with 125 ml (4 fl oz) cold water. Place over a low heat until melted.
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir in the orange zest, melted chocolate, eggs and yoghurt. Pour this into a lined cake tin and bake in the preheated oven for 1 ½ hours or until a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.
Pour the drained compote liquid into a small saucepan with orange juice and Grand Marnier. Bring to the boil and bubble until reduced to about 6 tablespoons. Leave to cool.
Put the remaining chocolate into a saucepan, add 2 tablespoons of the reduced cherry liquid and the double cream. Leave on a low heat until the chocolate has melted. Stir until smooth, then cover and chill the cherry ganache for 30 minutes
Cut the cake into 3 layers. Drizzle the bottom layer with some of the remaining cherry liquid, spread with a quarter of the ganache and scatter over half of the drained cherries. Sandwich the second layer on top and repeat with the remaining cherry liquid, another quarter of the ganache and the rest of the cherries. Top with the final layer, spread the remaining ganache over the top of the cake and decorate with the grated chocolate or chocolate curls.
Recipe from : Bonne Maman – The Seasonal Cookbook (Simon & Schuster), available through Amazon, WH Smith and Waterstones @ £12.99. Recipe development by Moyra Fraser.
CHERRY & CHOCOLATE MERINGUE CAKE
(Makes 8-10 slices)
Impress friends and family with this stunning Cherry & Chocolate Meringue Cake, perfect with a cup of tea or a glass of bubbly! This gorgeous dessert is simply filled with luscious chocolate ganache, Cointreau-infused Cherry Compote and finished with fresh cherries to serve…
600 g jar Bonne Maman Cherry Compote
6 large free-range egg whites,
at room temperature
330 g caster sugar
½ tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp cornflour
4 tbsp Cointreau or fresh
200 g good quality dark
200 g milk chocolate, chopped
400ml double cream
Fresh cherries and chocolate curls
Heat the oven to 200C, 180C fan, gas 6. Line 3 baking sheets with baking parchment and mark each with a 20cm circle.
Tip the cherry compote into a wide sieve over a bowl and stir gently. Leave to drain for 20 mins.
Whisk the egg whites in a large, clean mixing bowl using an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the caster sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, whisking well after each addition, bringing the whites back to stiff peaks before you add more sugar. Once you’ve whisked in half the sugar, add the rest in larger quantities. When all the sugar has been added, whisk the meringue back to glossy, stiff peaks, then whisk in the vinegar and cornflour.
Divide half the meringue between two of the circles, leaving a 2cm gap at the edge to allow for spreading. Use a palette knife to level off a little.
Spoon the remaining meringue mixture into the third circle and use the back of a metal spoon to make pillowy swirls at the edge.
Put the meringue in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 130C, 110C fan oven, gas ¾. Bake for 2 hours, then switch the meringues around on the shelves and turn off the oven. Leave the meringues inside to cool overnight. Remove, carefully peel off the baking paper and set aside.
Meanwhile, put the drained cherry compote liquid in a small saucepan with half the liqueur or orange juice. Bring to the boil then bubble gently until reduced by half. Leave to cool. Stir the remaining liqueur into the drained cherries.
Put the chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to the boil in a small saucepan or the microwave and pour over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Chill.
Whisk the chilled chocolate mixture with an electric whisk until the consistency of whipped cream. Whisk in half the chilled cherry liquid, which will be lightly thickened.
To assemble the meringue, put one of the rounds on a serving plate. Spoon half the chocolate ganache onto the meringue and gently smooth to the edges. Spoon on half the drained cherries and a drizzle of the remaining thickened juices.
Add a second round of meringue, flat side up, and dollop on the all but 2-3 tablespoons of the ganache, the remaining cherries and juices. Top with the thicker pillowy meringue.
Spoon the remaining ganache into the centre at the top, scatter with fresh cherries and chocolate curls. Chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours before serving to allow the meringue to soften a little.
Crème de Cassis is also delicious in the cherry juices as an alternative to Cointreau.