Friday, June 11, 2010


This was a densely, deeply, darkly chocolaty cake, it should have been perfection - but I overcooked it!!

I should have followed my instincts - but instead I followed the recipe!!  My oven usually takes much longer than any recipe specifies to bake anything, but in this case I should have taken the cake out sooner than specified.  I actually did check (so I can't even blame the oven- and man has that oven had it's fair share of blame heaped on it!!!).  I did the testing with the spaghetti bit - but I should have taken the cake out of the oven while it was still moist (less than a brownie but more than a cake) and not have waited until it came out clean.  Doooh!

That said, this cake is a keeper.  I served it at a party with a number of other desserts - it was a good addition to the spread.  The key to this cake is the raisiny, rich cream that is served along side it.  They compliment each other to perfection.

I am trying to use some of the cook books I have stockpiled - my new rule is that I can't buy a new cook book until I have cooked two recipes from an unused one (my cook book buying rules are very similar to my diet rules in that they change to suit whatever temptation is in front of me!!!!)  This is my second foray into Diana Henry's "Crazy Water Pickled Lemons" (the Preserved Lemons were the first) and I have plenty more "post-its" sticking up waiting for attention! (I stick in a "post-it" when I fancy a recipe, not very tidy)

Chocolate, Hazelnut and Sherry Cake with Sherry-Raisin Cream

150g             Dark Chocolate
75g               Butter
125ml           Dry fino sherry
6                   medium eggs - separated
160g             caster sugar
150g             shelled, toasted hazelnuts - coarsely chopped
55g               self-raising flour
55g               cocoa

Preheat oven to 180 C
Prepare a 22cm (8 1/2 in) spring form cake tin.  I line mine with parchment.

Melt the butter, chocolate and sherry in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water.  Allow to cool slightly.
Whisk the egg yolk with the sugar until light and glossy.
Add the chocolate mixture and 70g of the hazelnuts.
Beat the egg whites until stiff.
Fold some of these whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen it.
Then fold in the rest, alternating with the sifted flour and cocoa.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes.*
When a skewer comes out slightly (very slightly) moist remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes - then turn out onto a wire rack.

* Diana says after 50 minutes "test the cake with a skewer and if it comes out clean, it's done; otherwise leave in for another 5 - 10 minutes"

Sherry-Raisin Cream

250g            raisins
250ml          oloroso sherry (I used Pedro Ximenez)
300ml          double cream
60ml            Greek yogurt
60g              icing sugar

Heat the raisins in the sherry in a small pan.
Turn off when just under boiling point - leave to plump up and cool.
Whip the cream and add the yogurt and sugar to it.
Add the plumped up raising and any remaining sherry.

To serve dust the cake with icing sugar and scatter the remaining 70g of  chopped hazelnuts over it.
Plate up with a dollop of  sherry cream on the side.



Lisa said...

Oh I do love Spanish sherry and to be able to use both my favourites in this luscious looking dessert is a real treat! Yum yum.

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

That cake sounds and looks amazing. My taste buds are pinging all around my mouth.

I love your new cookbook rule. Maybe I should try that too. I bought two cookbooks at the weekend and so far all I have done is read them in bed :)

Bigarade said...

mmm this sounds delightful!

Manu said...

Oh I need a slice right now just to survive this working Friday afetrnoon!!!!!

Unknown said...

so delicious! I really need a recipe for chocolate cake! It's our local village show soon and I want to win this year...

Lucie said...

This is fabulous BVG! I still have sherry here from christmas - at last I have a use for it! Thanks for this super recipe! Lx

Erin said...

ha I have such a huge collection of recipes that I just print off the computer! They could all be their own cookbooks! Isn't it crazy how they pile up? At least you have a goal in mind per cookbook!

Erin said...'s my site!! :)

Anonymous said...

That does look good! I love your cookbook rule too!!! I am in a pickle because every time I read someone's blog I think...'oh, I want to make that' and now I have a list as long as my arm of biscuits and bakes I have to try!

Rhyleysgranny said...

I will never live long enough to cook all the recipes I want to. LOL. That cake and raisin cream looks wonderful. I applaud you for using Pedro Ximinez. Lovely stuff with raisins

Choclette said...

Oh this cake sounds wonderful and it's another one to add to my list (which I keep losing). I hate it when I overbake cakes, I'd rather err on the side of not quite done to over done, but it's often hard to judge. As a general rule I'd go for a toothpick coming out not quite clean.

À LA GRAHAM said...

Okay, seriously I have to have this right now. Looks amazing! :)

Jemima said...

Wow, I have got some sherry I had no idea what to do've sold it to me! x

Manu said...

BG did you change your blog background? I love it!

Cookie Confessions said...

im a choco-holic, sounds deeeelicious!

La Bella Cooks said...

I always set the same rules for myself but then a shiny, lovely new cookbook always catches my eye. I just need to add onto my house to keep them all! The cake sounds lovely and that sauce must be heaven.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful desert. It looks so pretty and decadent!
*kisses* HH

Anonymous said...

All I can say is WOW with my mouth drooling! It looks so delicious! I wish you lived in New York, I would love to bake with you. My diet would be out the window!

Love your cookbook rule. I have to remember that! My husband is ready to kill me because I have hundreds. I can't help my self. I am addicted to recipes!

Chef Dennis Littley said...

it still looks like it came out great....such a dark chocolate wonder!! the sherry intrigues me....thanks for sharing!