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.