Friday, March 08, 2024


This cake is what I would call the perfect dessert. Brownie base, fantastically crunchy almond layer, gloriously tart cherry jelly, and a cloud of chocolate mousse on top. Simple perfection in every bite.
It does have a slightly more involved preparation process than an average cake, but it rewards with each slice. The combination of textures and flavours is one of the best I have ever made, and if you love the blend of tart and sweet, you will definitely love this cake.
It is best refrigerated until the very serving, so the mousse stays nice and firm, and I do not recommend placing it in the freezer, unlike many other of my cakes. This one is meant to be enjoyed nicely chilled, with a small cup of strong espresso, and some glacé cherries, or even homemade cherry syrup.

For the brownie base
60 grams plain flour
30 grams rye flour
90 grams granulated sugar
20 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
120 millilitres tepid water
25 millilitres vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
For the pomegranate sour cherry jelly insert
100 grams sour cherries, fresh or defrosted
50 grams pomegranate arils
50 millilitres cold water
40 grams cornflour
10 grams vegan block butter, cold
For the almond crunch
100 grams dark chocolate (at least 75% cocoa solids)
30 millilitres plant-based double cream
30 grams flaked almonds
For the chocolate mousse
100 grams dark chocolate (at least 75% cocoa solids)
200 millilitres plant-based double cream
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Start by making the cherry and pomegranate jelly, as it needs to be frozen. Blend the sour cherries with the pomegranate arils, water, and sugar until puréed to your liking, add in the cornflour, and blend once again. Pour the mix into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and let it come to a boil over medium heat, stirring often with a rubber spatula. Once it starts to boil, cook until thickened, about a minute or two, stirring vigorously and constantly, because it will stick.
As soon as it is done, remove it from the heat and add in the diced vegan block butter. Mix well, either by using a wire whisk or an immersion blender, and transfer it to a 12-cm round cake pan or a pastry ring, lined with baking parchment, bottom and sides. Cover the top with a piece of plastic wrap or a round of baking parchment, and place it into the freezer for at least 4 hours, or until frozen solid.
Next, make the dark chocolate mousse filling. Chop the chocolate finely and place it into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Pour in the plant-based cream and the vanilla, and place the pan over medium heat. Heat it up slowly and evenly, gently stirring from time to time, until completely melted and blended. Remove it from the heat, let it cool down to room temperature, and then place it into the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or until very cold.
To make the chocolate brownie base, let the oven preheat to 180°C and line a 15-cm cake pan with baking parchment. Next, sift both types of flour into a large bowl, add in the granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda, and whisk very well. Pour in the hot water, oil, vanilla, and vinegar, and whisk until just combined. Transfer to the lined cake pan, and bake immediately, in a nicely preheated oven, at 180°C, for about 12-15 minutes. Watch it carefully so it does not overbake. Once done, remove it from the oven, and let it cool completely in the pan.
To assemble, place the brownie base onto the serving platter, place a cake ring around it, line it with a strip of acetate, and close it in place. Melt together the dark chocolate and the plant cream, either over low heat or in the microwave, and immediately add in the flaked almonds. You can even crush them a bit additional with your hand. Mix well, pour over the base, level it nicely, and place it into the refrigerator until set.
Take the chocolate mousse out of the refrigerator and whip it with an electric mixer on high until stiff peaks form, and it becomes creamy and lighter in colour. Remove the frozen jelly insert out of the freezer, remove it from the mould, and place it onto the chocolate almond crunch layer. Take out a few generous tablespoons of the mousse, to use as the decoration, and start adding the rest of it onto the cake by the spoonful, to make sure everything is evenly distributed, and there are no air pockets. Level the top, decorate with the reserved chocolate mousse, and place it into the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. Yields 16 servings. © Tina Vesić 2024