As I think I've said here before, I'm not really one for chocolate desserts. Consequently, I always rack my brain when I need to come up with a new one. I was thankful when just as I was starting to lament about having to come up with a new chocolate dessert, one of my Flickr contacts (Yannick Chauvet) posted his photo of this cake with a link to his blog with the recipe. Halleluiah! I had to make a couple alterations to his recipe for my purposes, notably the eggs (since our eggs are so gigantic here in the States), and I cut out the white chocolate and increased the cherries. After the test batch, I found the ganache to be too much since I'm using a slightly different-sized baking pan, so I had to halve it from his original.
It's a lovely rich chocolate cake, reminiscent of a half-baked brownie. And I always find it strange that in order to cut the richness of a cake like this, you have to serve it with something seemingly of equal fatty richness like ice cream. However, the temperature contrast does the trick. I'm serving it with my pistachio ice cream. And just FYI, I'm making the cake with Theo Chocolate's 70% dark chocolate because the fruitiness compliments the cherries nicely (and because the Callebaut I also use, doesn't always like to work).
Chocolate Cherry Truffle Cake
makes one ten-inch cake serving sixteen
300 g very fine quality dark chocolate
75 g butter
100 g sugar
100 g flour
Pinch of salt
150 g brandied cherries (from a jar), cut in half
For the cake, melt the chocolate and butter over simmering water, stirring to smooth. In a mixing bowl, beat the sugar and eggs to light, foamy and full. Stir the melted chocolate into the eggs and sift in the flour and salt. Stir in the cherries. Pour into a greased and parchment-lined ten-inch cake pan and bake at 325º for 15-20 minutes. The top will look like a brownie, but the cake will still be soft to the touch. You want this to be like a half-baked brownie. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
125 g very fine quality dark chocolate
150 ml heavy cream
30 g softened butter
2 tsp liquor from the brandied cherries
Finely chop the chocolate and place in a small bowl. Bring the cream just to a simmer and pour over the chocolate. Add the butter and cherry liquor and stir gently until smooth and uniform, avoiding air bubbles. Pour over the completely cooled cake, rolling the pan around to let the ganache flow evenly over the cake. Fridge to set the ganache.
Unmold the cake and portion with a clean hot knife into sixteen slices.
You should make this cake a day or two before you want to serve it. And it should be served room temperature. You can give the ganache a pass over with a kitchen torch to refresh it for that just-poured glisten.