Posted on: 28th May 2016 by: Aldo Zilli
Now to this week’s book, In The Kitchen, by Australian chef Simmone Logue. Simmone has been baking cakes for 25 years. She started baking in her flat and delivering to local cafés and now runs one of the biggest catering businesses in New South Wales. This is her first book and is a homage to her personal food journey.
The book includes recipes both sweet and savoury, but we chose cakes, as baking is what Simmone was first known for. Happy cake making! You can also follow Aldo on Twitter @AldoZilli or @ZilliMedia or find him on Facebook.
Aldo Zilli is currently executive chef consultant for the San Carlo Group of restaurants. For more information visit sancarlo.co.uk or follow them on Twitter @SanCarlo_Group.
Layered chocolate & sour cherry cake
For the cake:
300g unsalted butter
100g good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
360g caster sugar400g self-raising flour, sifted
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 large free-range eggs
1 heaped tbsp sour cream
50ml vegetable oil
For the ganache:
150ml pouring or whipping cream
150g good-quality milk chocolate, chopped
6 tbsp kirsch, optional
400ml double cream, whipped to soft peaks
400g tinned or bottled pitted sour cherries, drained
100g fresh cherries, stems intact
PREPARATION: 45 MINUTES
COOKING TIME: 50 MINUTES
Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Grease a 23cm round cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.
Place the butter in a saucepan with 300ml water. Bring to the boil and allow the butter to melt. Set aside.
Sift the cocoa powder into a large bowl. Pour in the melted butter and water and whisk until smooth. Add the sugar, sifted flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and mix well. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Pour in the sour cream and vegetable oil and mix until smooth.
Pour the batter into the cake tin. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes. Turn the cake out on to a wire rack and allow it to cool completely.
To make the ganache, pour the cream into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove it from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the ganache is smooth and shiny.
Allow the ganache to cool for about an hour, until it has a spreadable consistency.
Use a large, serrated knife to slice the cake into four equal layers. Place one cake layer on a cake stand or a flat plate.
Sprinkle the layer with 2 tbsp of the kirsch, if using. Spread a third of the cream over, then dot with a third of the drained, sour cherries. Repeat to create two more creamy, fruity layers and top with the final layer.
Using a spatula, spread the cooled ganache over the top of the cake and top with the fresh cherries.
Serve cut into slices.
For the sponge:
4 free-range eggs, beaten
200g caster sugar
200g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk
200g unsalted butter, softened
For the filling and topping:
500g fresh strawberries
1 vanilla bean
150ml double cream
1 tbsp caster sugar
150g strawberry jam
Sifted icing sugar, for dusting
PREPARATION: 40 MINUTES
COOKING TIME: 20 MINUTES
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5. Grease two 23cm round cake tins and line with baking paper.
Place all the sponge ingredients in a large bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat until smooth.
Divide the batter equally between the tins and smooth with the back of a spoon.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cakes are golden, remove from the oven and cool in the tins for 5-10 minutes. Turn the cakes on to wire racks and leave to cool completely.
When you’re ready to fill and top the cake, hull and slice half the strawberries, keeping the rest whole. Using a small, sharp knife, cut the vanilla bean in half lengthways then scrape all the seeds into a bowl. Add the cream and sugar and whip to soft peaks, using an electric mixer.
Use a large serrated knife to slice off the very top of one of the cakes, to make it completely flat. Place the sliced cake in the middle of a serving platter or cake stand. Smear the jam over the top of it, then add the whipped cream. Top with the sliced strawberries.
Place the second sponge over the top. Decorate with the remaining strawberries, dust with icing sugar, and serve within a few hours.
The recipes are taken from In The Kitchen by Simmone Logue (£17.99, Murdoch Books), photographs by Ben Dearnley.
To order your copy, call the Express Bookshop on 01872 562310, send a cheque or postal order made payable to The Express Bookshop to Express Bookshop, PO Box 200, Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 4WJ, or order online at expressbookshop.com.