Monday, March 07, 2016


I love cakes. And I really love moist and flavourful cakes that are rich and soft. This cake is just like that - smooth and rich, bursting with flavour from toasted walnuts, cherries in liqueur, and dark chocolate. I especially love the cherry chocolate buttercream. It is so light and airy, like a chocolate mousse. Keep in mind that this is a rich filling, and that it's enough to evenly spread it between the cakes, but in a modest layer. If you want your cake really generously filled, double the quantities of ingredients, and get baking.

Chocolate walnut cherry cake

For the cake
100 grams rolled oats
500 ml piping hot water
200 grams butter, softened
200 grams icing sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
200 grams plain flour
8 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
100 grams toasted walnuts, chopped
For the filling
200 grams butter, softened
200 grams icing sugar
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
100 grams cherries in liqueur
For the decoration
250 ml double cream
assorted food colouring (optional)

To make the cakes, start by pouring the piping hot water over the rolled oats, mix and let it cool down almost completely and absorb all of the water. It should take up to 10 minutes. In another bowl, beat the softened butter with the icing sugar until light and fluffy, then blend in the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating after each, but only until incorporated. Sift the flour with the cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda, then add it to the batter, and blend well. If the oats have cooled, but there is still some water left in the bowl, drain them well and discard the liquid.
Add the oats to the batter, along with the toasted walnuts, then blend on low until incorporated. Generously grease and flour the bottoms and sides of two spring-form pans (23cm, 9”), pour in the batter evenly and bake in a preheated oven, at 180˚C (350˚F) for 15-20 minutes. Check them for doneness around 15 minutes, to make sure they do not overbake. Take them out of the oven, let them sit in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove them from the pans and place them on wire racks to cool completely.
To make the buttercream, place the butter in a large bowl, and beat it with an electric mixer on high, for about 2 minutes. It should become completely creamy and slightly lighter in colour. Sift in the cocoa powder, and blend on high for 2 minutes more. When it becomes creamy, add in the sifted icing sugar in two batches, beating for at least 2 minutes after each. Strain the cherries, dice them, and add them to the buttercream, then blend well. The buttercream will be airy and smooth, with a whipped consistency.
To assemble the cake, level the cooled cakes, then split them in half. Place the first cake layer on the serving platter, then close the cake ring around it. Take the cherry buttercream and spread one third of it over the first cake layer. Top it with another cake layer and continue spreading the filling and topping with cake layers until you use everything up. Wrap the surface in plastic wrap and place the cake in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Once the cake is chilled and has firmed up, remove it from the fridge, and remove the cake ring. Finally, whip the double cream until stiff peaks form, add the food colouring (if using), and decorate the cake as desired. Yields 16 servings.