Layered chocolate and cherry wine cake : My most decadent cake yet

I have made this cake twice – once as a wedding present for a dear friend and once for my huband’s birthday – both in 2013, both decadent as anything and both having gone down an absolute treat with their respective recepients.

Weddings and wedding presents – always a tricky one for me. There are those people that tell me what they want and make my life easy. And then there are others who I care about, but I have no clue as to how my miniscule contribution could make a difference to there generally well set up lives. It is in the latter situation that I usually opt for cooking (usually baking) something for them so that they can remember the taste of it (and perhaps its maker) for many years to come.

I’m not a huge chocolate eater myself but I knew my friend was and I know my husband definitely is. It is his weakness and I often joke that he’d be easily kidnapped if someone dangled dark chocolate on a stick in front of his eyes. So, for me, this cake was a challenge on many levels – coming up with the right texture, appearance and taste for the occasion were very important. So I set about surfing the internet for inspiration and ideas and came across this lovely recipe by Lindsay & Taylor and I decided to give it my own twist.

Hope you like it and will give it a go.

Manasa

Triple-layer chocolate cherry cake with dinosaur

Triple-layer chocolate cherry cake with dinosaur

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Cherry Ripe truffles

If you are from Australia or lived in Australia, you will know about these chocolate bars called Cherry Ripe. They are easily available in Australia but are hard to come by even in the neighbouring country of New Zealand. These pleasurable bars contain a filling of coconut and cherries and an outer casing of chocolate. More recently, there has been a “Dark” Cherry ripe where the outer casing is made of dark chocolate and it is awesome. You might think a Bounty bar is the best thing in the world if you like coconut but you’ve tasted nothing until you’ve tasted a Cherry ripe.

Clearly, I have love goggles for this chocolate bar and being deprived of it in England makes me crave it even more. Of course, like most things, it isn’t for everyone. For instance, if you hate coconut or just dessicated coconut – this bar ain’t for you. If you hate candied cherries, yet again, this bar will fail you. Everyone loves chocolate (right) so I’m not going to bring up people who don’t (because they don’t exist) but if you are allergic to chocolate, then again, this isn’t for you.

I was going through a Cherry ripe craving and thought if I couldn’t find any here, I’d make them (the kind of attitude my maternal grandma has). I surfed the interwebs for some recipes and found inspiration in ones by Dan Lepard, Irena, Cadbury® (makers of Cherry Ripe)  and a clever truffle coating technique by Steph. Overall though, the dark chocolate cherry truffles are MY PRECIOUSES (insert Gollum voice here)…….Funnily enough, I enjoyed making them but I couldn’t get myself to eat one until 2 days later. I was in fear of being let down by my take on the legend that Cherry Ripe. I made them on New Year’s eve and they were all gone in the week and got the stamp of approval from my partner so I think I did fine.

Commercial and my cherry ripes

Commercial Cherry Ripe bars and my cherry ripe truffles

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Raspberry and White chocolate Brownie

THIS RECIPE IS NOT MY OWN !!!

A picnic in the park is always a lovely way to spend a sunny spring day in England. As one such day happened to be my birthday, I invited some friends along to the park. I had a lovely cheesecake made for me by my partner which I didn’t want to share (Myyyy precious!). So I decided to bake something myself to take along to the party. This chocolate brownie recipe is one I just chanced upon while looking for a recipe the very first time I tried making brownies. I’ve never looked back. I hope you think so too!

I forgot to take a picture of the whole brownie when it was done baking so all I had remaining was the last few slices – sorry!

Source: http://aww.ninemsn.com.au/food/1008232/raspberry-and-white-chocolate-brownie

Notes:

1. The recipe is perfect and gives amazing results so I wouldn’t change much about it in terms of proportions.

2.I’ve baked it in shallow trays, baking dishes and even a pie-tray so don’t panic if you don’t have the right baking equipment – the taste is what you are after.

3. If you eat it straight out of the oven, the white chocolate bits are still gooey and the raspberry still liquidy – yumm!

4. It is a really easy recipe and a sure-fire party hit. I’ve never had any leftovers.

Changes:

1.  I swapped vanilla for almond essence and that turned out quite well.

2. I would toss the raspberries and white chocolate in a little bit of flour before adding them to the chocolate just to make sure they don’t all settle down at the bottom of the baking tray.

3. Use 3/4 cup of sugar or less if you are watching your sweeth-tooth.

Tips:

Watch the top of the brownie, especially if you have a dinky oven like I do. Brownies can burn easily and they are not very tasty if they do.

Pictures:

White chocolate and raspberry brownie
1. Melt chocolate and butter using a double-boiler set up 2. Glossy, melted chocolate and butter 3. Add sugar 4 & 5. Add eggs one by one and stir well after each addition 6. Toss white chocolate in cup of flour 7. Add white chocolate to the brownie mix 8. Toss frozen raspberries in the second cup of flour 9. Add raspberries to the brownie mix 10. Mix well until uniform 11. Put the dense brownie mix into a baking tray – I’ve used a tart/pie tray lines with brown paper (to make cleaning easy) 12. Cut into pieces or slices