Britain's Best Bakery's Mich Turner shows Eamonn and Ruth how to make her tasty chocolate cake... but which of the duo can decorate it the best?
Makes 1 20cm (8”) round cake
200g (7 oz) dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), melted and cooled
250g (9 oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
350g (12 oz) soft brown sugar
5 medium eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
Zest of 2 oranges
100g chopped pecans
75g (3 oz) whole naturally coloured glace cherries
75g (3 oz) dried cherries soaked in 4t bsp vintage port for 30 minutes
140g (5 oz) plain white flour
For the buttercream
175g (6 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
350g (12 oz) unrefined icing sugar
For the ganache
150ml (5fl oz) fresh double cream
300g (10 oz) unsalted butter
600g (20 oz) dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids chocolate) broken into pieces
225g (8 oz) fresh cherries
3 hand moulded chocolate roses made with modeling chocolate / chocolate sugar paste
Gold spray lustre
Bake: Fan 140C (275 F)/ conventional 160 C (325 F) gas mark 3
1. Preheat the oven. Grease and line a deep 20cm (8in) round cake tin with non-stick baking paper .
Ensure all the ingredients are at room temperature
2. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of just-boiled water or in a microwave and leave to cool
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs slowly whilst whisking continuously.
3. Pour the cooled melted chocolate in a steady stream. Stir in the vanilla and cherries with any remaining port. Gently fold in the flour.
4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 55-60 minutes. The cake should still have a slight wobble as it comes out of the oven. Allow to cool in the tin then turn out on a wire cooling rack.
To make the ganache
Bring the cream to the boil in a heavy based saucepan. Place the butter and chocolate in a bowl and gently melt for 1 minute in a microwave or over simmering water. Remove the cream from the heat and pour over the chocolate and butter. Stir until completely melted, glossy and shiny. Use 1/3 for the buttercream; 1/3 for pouring and 1/3 for hand piping.
To make chocolate ganache buttercream
Cream the softened butter and add the icing sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in 1/3 cooled chocolate ganache.
1.. Place the upturned cake on a thin board. Use a palette knife to cover the top and sides of the cake with chocolate ganache buttercream. Chill (in the freezer) until the buttercream is firm (approx. 15 minutes).
2. Place a clean cooling rack over a sheet of non-stick paper. Place the chilled cake on the cooling rack and ladle the warm pouring ganache onto the centre of the top of the cake. Use the bowl of the ladle to swiftly and purposefully swirl the ganache around encouraging it to move outwards and down the sides of the cake. Allow to set for 5 minutes.
3. Spoon the remaining cooled, thickened ganache, between two piping bags fitted with a star nozzle and a leaf nozzle.
4. Place the cake on a decorative stand. Hand piped with chocolate ganache stars around the base of the cake.
5. Dress the cake with hand moulded chocolate roses, hand piped ganache leaves and fresh cherries.