For this bake-along, Lena, from Frozen Wings and Joyce from Kitchen flavours and I are baking according to a baking theme, "Chocolate and Cherries", and this is my creation...
To maximize the flavour of chocolate and cherries, I've added a little bit of liqueur in these cakes, putting these "sexy" little cakes in a fine line between being "naughty" and being kids friendly. In the actual situation, my son was excited, seeing me baking these cakes and wanted these cakes so much that he was very upset when I had second thoughts of giving him these cakes. Eventually, I gave in and he really enjoyed eating these cakes. As he was eating his first cake, I had to quickly hide the rest to moderate his consumption...LOL
When I first saw this recipe, I was very much attracted to its addition of cherry puree in a chocolate cake base. The hidden cherries in these chocolate cake has indeed enhance these cakes making them extra moist and velvety.
These miniature cake bases were made mainly based on the recipe of "Black Forest Cakes" from Australian women's weekly mini cookbook, Cupcakes and Cookies and here's part of the recipe that I used (with my modification in blue):
425g can pitted cherries in syrup
165g butter, chopped
100g dark eating chocolate, chopped coarsely (I use 70% cocoa cooking chocolate)
1 1/3 cup (295g) caster sugar
1/4 cup (60ml) cherry brandy (I use rum)
1 up (150g) plain flour
2 tbsp self-raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder (I use the Dutch-processed ones)
150g dark chocolate (70% cocoa) - melted to drizzle the cake before serve
Preheat oven to 160°C/140°C fan forced. Line a 12-hole standard (1/3 cup, 80ml capacity) muffin pan with paper cases. (Instead of using paper cases, I've used rice bran oil spray to grease a 24-hole standard (30ml capacity) muffin pan.)
Drain cherries; reserve syrup. Process 1/2 cup cherries with 1/2 cup syrup until smooth. Halves remaining cherries (I keep them as whole cherries to serve); reserve for decorating cakes. Discard remaining syrup.
Combine butter, chocolate, sugar, brandy (rum) and cherry puree in small saucepan; stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Transfer mixture to medium bowl; cool 15 min.
Whisk in sifted flours and cocoa, then egg. Divide mixture among cases; smooth surface.
Bake 1/3 cup-sized cakes for 45 min. (I baked my 30ml-sized cakes for 35 min.) turn cakes, top side up onto wire rack to cool.
My baking notes:
- Using 1/3 of the recipe, I've made 11 of these bite-sized cakes.
- As there isn't much raising agents present in this cake base, each muffin cup is 85-90% filled.
- To serve, spread slightly less than 1/2 teaspoonful of melted chocolate on each cake. Place one whole cherry onto the cake and drizzle the cherry and cake with melted dark chocolate.
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