Thursday, 11 December 2014

Cherry, chocolate, cinnamon & brown sugar cake for IHCC



This month's I Heart Cooking Clubs Mystery Box challenge is to utilise any three of chocolate, cherries, cinnamon, rolled oats, couscous, pomegranate, curry, coconut milk, lentils and hot peppers/chiles in a dish from one of the IHCC cooks.

As my preserves cupboard is still groaning from August's harvest, I knew I had to incorporate cherries in some form. So that was one... and once you are settled on cherries chocolate is obvious.

I found this recipe from Diana Henry for a brown sugar, chocolate and sour cherry cake, and decided to add some cinnamon to it to meet the brief and deepen the flavours.

When I actually came to making it though, I was a bit freaked out. 400g sugar to 125g flour and 150g butter? That was so far off any cake ratio I have ever seen! It's usually much closer to equal amounts flour, sugar and fat. As I was intending to serve the cake to company, I decided that I didn't have the courage to follow the recipe and went with 150g dark muscovado sugar instead, knowing that it would be edible if not correct.

Instead of dried sour cherries and kirsch I used a combination of my homemade glace cherries and cherries preserved in rum, using the preserving liquid as my booze component. And I added 1/2tsp of cinnamon when I was creaming the butter and sugar. And I baked it in a 1lb loaf tin.

It was very nice, but not earth-shattering. Given how much I deviated from the recipe I can't possibly blame it for my disappointment (although I still can't see how the stated proportions could be correct). We only ate half, so the second half is in the freezer waiting to be turned into trifle or rum balls or something at some point when a sweet treat is called for.

13 comments:

Faux Fuchsia said...

So clever x

Chris Scheuer said...

It's always sad when you put in time and ingredients and the results aren't stellar. But I love your ideas for the leftovers!

Sue/the view from great island said...

That cake looks insanely good, the texture is gorgeous!

Suelle said...

It looks a great texture as it is, so I can't imagine what so much sugar was meant to achieve. I think it would be denser - like a brownie - with more sugar, so possibly not as good as your result.

The Cat's Mother said...

I think you should try the original recipe as written to find out what happens - and report back.

Alicia Foodycat said...

FF - thank you!

Chris - isn't it just? But the leftovers can be even better.

Sue - the texture was very good.

Suelle - definitely denser, but possibly claggy!

Mother - I don't think I can afford to use half a kilo of sugar in a failed experiment!

kitchen flavours said...

Hi Alicia,
Your cake looks moist with wonderful crumbs texture. I have a habit of reducing the sugar for almost all cake recipes, mostly by half! 400gm is way too much! I always wonder why so much sugar is used for cakes and bakes, is it the sugar in US and UK is less sweeter than ours? My sis and family is vacationing right now in UK, told her to bring back a couple of sachets of sugar for me to try! haha! I'm really curious!
I like your idea of making the leftover into trifles or rum balls!

Deb in Hawaii said...

Yes, those proportions would throw me too--yikes! It's a bummer it didn't turn out as good as the effort you made to bake it but it does look very rich and moist. I vote for trifle. ;-)

grace said...

well, it sounds like it could be a delicious creation in an ideal world--i like all of those ingredients! sorry you were disappointed. :/

Unknown said...

Oh this cake would make a lovely trifle,it looks delicious to me!

Zosia said...

That's too bad it didn't turn out as well as you hoped because the idea of a Black Forest type cake without all of the cream sounds really delicious! I too would have reduced the sugar.

Grace Phua said...

You are not alone in altering sugar levels of recipes. I always do it as I cannot palate overly sweet dishes or bakes at all. Although it's sad to hear that you are not satisfied with your bake, I must still say that your cake looks tightly crumbed and I'm sure tastes pretty good too. For the leftover cake, cake pops would probably be another alternative too ;)

TeaLady said...

Good combination of ingredients. Sorry It didn't work out. Looks delish.

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