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Summary: A dark, rich chocolate cake layered with deep balsamic fresh cherries and satiny smooth dark chocolate mousse. A chocolate celebration dressed up in a lace chocolate collar, more cherries, dark chocolate flakes and slivered pistachios. Makes one 9″ cake. Serves 15.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

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  • Ingredients:
  • Chocolate cake
  • 4 eggs
  • 50 g clarified butter {or unsalted butter, melted}
  • 100 g dark chocolate
  • 100 g vanilla sugar
  • 90 g plain flour
  • 30 g cocoa powder
  • Pinch salt
  • Sugar Syrup
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Squeeze of lime
  • Balsamic cherries
  • 500 g cherries, pitted
  • 2-3 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Dark chocolate mousse
  • {adapted from the Thermomix cookbook}
  • 5 eggs, separated {or 4 large}
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 80 gm powdered sugar, divided
  • 1/2 vanilla bean scraped
  • 1/2 t vanilla bean powder {or paste}
  • 60 g unsalted butter
  • 40 g low fat cream, room temperature
  • 220 g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 400 g low fat cream, chilled, beaten to medium peaks
  • 5 g {1t} gelatin powder dissolved in 1 1/2 tbsp of water
  • Chocolate border
  • 100 g dark chocolate, melted
  • Fresh cherries, chocolate flakes, slivered pistachios for garnish



Step 1

Chocolate Cake
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line the sides and bottom of a 9″ baking tin.
Sift the flour, cocoa and salt. Reserve.
Melt the chocolate with clarified butter in the microwave. Reserve.
Place the egg and vanilla sugar in a big bowl and beat over simmering water until light and moussey, and doubled in volume. About 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and continue to beat until cool, 3-5 minutes more.
Gently fold the flour mix into the beaten yolks in 3-4 batches.
Quickly yet gently fold in the melted chocolate with butter and pour the batter into the prepared tin.
Bake for about 25 minutes until a tester comes out clean/ or the top is springy to touch.
Cool on rack and then slice into 2 layers.
Sugar Syrup
Place sugar and water in a pan and stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add lime and cool.
Balsamic Cherries
Place ingredients in a non reactive pan and simmer until the cherries release their juices and begin to get soft and hold their shape, about 4-5 minutes. {Don’t overcook or the cherries will break down and lose shape}
Remove the cherries to a bowl. Place pan with the liquid on medium high heat and reduce to about a third, nice and thick. Cool.
Dark chocolate mousse
Recipe is for the Thermomix. I reckon it can be adapted with the same proportions for regular top of the stove cooking, like a creme patisserie.
Heat empty TM bowl for 2 minutes at 50C, speed 2.
Insert Butterfly. Place egg whites in TM bowl with cream of tartar and beat for 4 minutes on speed 4 with MC off.
Through hole in the lid, add half the sugar, 1 tsp at a time during the last minute. Set aside in a large bowl. remove butterfly.
Without cleaning, place yolks, remaining sugar, vanilla bean powder and scraped seeds, butter, 40g cream and chocolate into TM bowl. Cook for 4 minutes at 70C on speed 3.
Add a third of the beaten egg whites back into the bowl and stir for 10 seconds on reverse +speed 3. Add to the remaining whites.
Fold everything gently together, including gelatin. Use immediately or chill for about 30 minutes until required.
Place a large piece of foil on a flat platter. {The cake can be transferred to a serving platter later}. Place one layer of the cake on the base and moisten it with sugar syrup. Place a dessert ring around it and bring the foil up around firmly as the mousse is yet to set and will be rather runny.
Reserve 3-4tbsp of the balsamic cherries for the topping. Spoon half of the remainder over the cake base. Pour half the mousse over the cherries.
Moisten the next layer of cake with the sugar syrup and place gently over mousse followed by remaining balsamic cherries, and then the remaining mousse.
Cover and leave to set overnight. Gently demold and transfer cake to serving platter with a cake spatula or large flat spoon. Dress it up with a chocolate border {instructions follow}, remaining balsamic cherries, fresh cherries, chocolate flakes and slivered pistachios.
Chill until ready to serve. Let it stand outside for 10-15 minutes before serving to allow for easy slicing of the border.
Chocolate border
Cut out parchment paper borders to fir around the cake. Place the melted chocolate in a ziploc bag and snip of a corner. Doodle designs all over the borders and when just about to set, place snugly around the cake, pressing into place ever so gently.
Leave the cake in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes for the chocolate to harden, then gently peel off the parchment. {It was very hot here, so I placed the strips of melted chocolate in the fridge to firm up a bit first}

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