Almond chocolate cake with Kirsch buttercream, cherries & chocolate mousse

Ingredients – serves 8

For the chocolate cake:

  • 3 eggs
  • 60 g butter
  • 100 g sugar
  • 50 g honey
  • 115 g flour
  • 5 g baking powder
  • 65 g ground almonds
  • 20 g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 50 g dark chocolate
  • 100 ml double cream

For the kirsch buttercream:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 100 g sugar
  • 135 g butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 teaspoon Kirsch

For the chocolate mousse:

  • 300 double cream
  • 150 g dark chocolate

For the topping:

  • 30 cherries

Method

Make the cake:

  • Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  • Line a 20 cm springform tin with baking parchment.
  • Whisk the eggs with the sugar and honey for 8 minutes until pale and fluffy.
  • Gently warm the cream until it reaches boiling point, then remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and stir until dissolved.
  • Pour the chocolate mix over the whisked eggs and give it a good stir.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa over the mixture, tip in the ground almonds and fold together.
  • Melt the butter on a very low heath, add it to the batter and whisk in until well combined.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, put it in the heated oven and bake for 5 minutes.
  • Lower the heat to 160C/140C fan/gas 3 and bake for another 50 minutes. Take out of the oven and leave to cool.

Make the chocolate mousse:

  • Break the chocolate in small pieces into a large pan and pour in 75 ml of the cream.
  • Put on the lowest possible heat and stir until the chocolate has melted and everything is combined. Take of the heat and set aside.
  • Put the rest of the cream into large bowl and whisk to soft peaks.
  • Pour the melted chocolate into the bowl containing the whisked cream and fold together until they are evenly and smoothly mixed.
  • Put in the fridge and leave to firm up for 1 hour.

Make the kirsch buttercream:

  • Put the egg whites and sugar in a mixing bowl, simmer over a pot of water and whisk constantly but gently until the temperature reaches 60°C (if you don’t have a thermometer: until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are warm), then remove from the heat.
  • Whip the warmed egg withes for 10 minutes with the whisk attachment of the mixer, until the meringue is thick, glossy and cooled down.
  • Switch over to paddle attachment and mix in the butter cubes, one at a time. Keep mixing until the buttercream has reached a silky smooth texture.
  • Add the Kirsch to the buttercream and beat until incorporated.

Assemble the cake:

  • Cut the cooled cake in half. Cut 18 cherries in half and remove the pit.
  • Spread half of the buttercream on the bottom half of the cake, leaving a gap of 2 to 3 cm. Put halved cherries on the buttercream, then cover them with the remaining half of the buttercream.
  • Add dollops of the chocolate mousse to fill the gap and spread a thin layer on the buttercream.
  • Put the top layer of the cake back on and sandwich together. Decorate the sides of the cake with the remaining halved cherries.
  • Pipe some chocolate mousse on the cake and top with the reserved whole cherries.

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