Chococo Co-Founder Claire’s showstopping Chocolate Ganache Cake
20cm loose-bottomed cake tine lined with parchment
For the base:
200g all-butter shortbread
60g unsalted butter
1/2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
For the ganache:
250g good quality 70% dark chocolate, chopped
300ml double cream
35g unsalted butter
80g dark soft brown sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt, crushed
100g griottine cherries (or fresh raspberries if you can’t find these cherries)
1-2 tbsp kirsch juice (from cherries)
1 edible pattern transfer sheet (available from online cake decorating suppliers)
200g good quality 70% dark chocolate, chopped
Fresh cherries or berries of your choice
1. To make the biscuit base for the tart, first crush the shortbread into powder using either a food processor or by putting the biscuits into a strong plastic bag and bashing them very well with a rolling pin.
2. Gently melt the butter and soft light brown sugar in a pan. Mix the biscuits with the melted butter and sugar mixture, press firmly into the base of the cake tin and put in the fridge to chill.
3. Whilst the base is chilling, put the cream, sugar and salt for the ganache in a heavy-based pan and warm gently to melt the sugar. Stir this mixture continuously and take it off the heat as soon as it comes to the boil.
4. Add the chopped chocolate and butter, stirring gently to melt together and form the ganache. If the chocolate doesn’t all melt, put the pan back onto a very low heat, stirring gently all the time to ensure the mixture doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan.
5. If using, now add the kirsch juice to taste (if just one tablespoon doesn’t do it for you!).
6. Set aside to cool for at least an hour. By the way, if the mixture ‘splits’ (doesn’t blend) on you, you may need to gently stir in a little more warm cream to help it re-blend into a smooth shiny ‘emulsion’.
7. Place the griottine cherries in a shallow dish and pat dry with kitchen roll to remove excess kirsch juice. Pour a thin layer of the cooled ganache onto the chilled base and sprinkle with cherries before covering them with the rest of the ganache. Leave to finish setting in a cool place for several hours. Ideally, you would put this tart in a cool, dry room to set rather than in the fridge, as this will help maintain the shine on the top of the ganache. If, however, the fridge is your only option, put the tart in there to set.
8. You can simply decorate the tart with cherries and/or other berry fruits, or you can have some fun melting chocolate to make shards and curls while the tart is setting. To make the chocolate shards and curls, melt 125g of the 200g of dark chocolate in a bowl sitting over a pan of gently simmering water (the water must not touch the bottom of the bowl).
9. As soon as the chocolate has melted, take the bowl off the heat, add the remaining 75g of chopped chocolate and stir gently to melt into the liquid chocolate. This will bring the temperature of the chocolate down to the right ballpark to work with.
10. As soon as the chocolate has melted together, spread a thin layer across the edible pattern on a baking tray. If you don’t have a printed edible pattern sheet, you can use thick plastic, e.g. a laminating pouch.
11. Cut different sizes of triangle shapes into the chocolate before it sets hard. Put in a cool room or the fridge to set (it shouldn’t take long as it is so thin).
*Top tip: don’t try to peel the chocolate away from the transfer too quickly. It needs a bit of time for the pattern to transfer onto the chocolate.
12. Pour your remaining chocolate onto a cold surface in a thin layer and, as soon as it starts to set, scrape a cold knife away from you in short sharp motions to create curls.
13. When you are ready to serve, remove the tart from the tin and enjoy decorating it to your own design. Use a hot knife to cut slices from the tart and serve with whipped cream for the full Black Forest experience.
For more tantalising Chococo recipes visit: chococo.co.uk