Chocolate and Cherry Cakes

An afternoon tea isn’t complete without chocolate cake. Add cherries to the mix and you’ve got a real treat on your hands, teamed with a splash of cream.

Method:

Makes 12 mini cakes

You will need a 12 hole mini sandwich tin.

Ingredients:

For the sponge:

175g soft unsalted butter
130g caster sugar
45g soft brown sugar
3 medium eggs beaten
150g self raising flour
25g cocoa powder
40g melted dark chocolate
Pinch of fine salt

For the filling and topping:

1 jar good quality cherry jam
400ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla paste
50g icing sugar
2 tbsp kirsch or cherry brandy (optional)
12 fresh cherries

1) Preheat oven to 160c fan/180c.

2) Using a mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy.

3) Gradually whisk in the eggs with 1 tablespoon of the flour.

4) Add the remaining ingredients and fold with a spatula until incorporated.

5) Place the mixture in a piping bag and divide evenly between the 12 holes of the tin.

6) Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for around 20 minutes until a skewer inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean.

7) Let the cakes cool in the tin for 5 minutes before removing and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

8) Whisk the cream, vanilla paste, icing sugar and kirsch until soft peaks. Place in a piping bag fitted with a plain round nozzle 1cm diameter.

9) Cut the cakes in half and pipe a ring of cream on the bottom of each one, leaving a round gap in the centre.

10) Fill the centre of each cream ring with a teaspoon of cherry jam.

11) Gently press the top half of each cake on the bases and pipe a star of cream on the top.

12) Place a cherry on the top of each star.

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