This month’s We Should Cocoa challenge, hosted by Choclette, has certainly proved rather challenging for me – to start with I had to get over my fear of the chosen ingredient, blackcurrants, which I developed after a mild allergic reaction to Ribena years ago, and secondly I had to actually find some of the elusive fruit to bake with.
All month I’ve been asking local fruit and veg traders if they had any or had seen any, but all said the bad weather had delayed them. I waited as long as I could, but in order to get the challenge baked and blogged in time I had to resort to blackcurrant jam instead of the real thing – sorry Choclette!
Luckily I’ve had this Dan Lepard recipe bookmarked for ages, which calls for a non-specific berry jam and none of the actual fruit.
The flavours worked brilliantly, with a plain chocolate sponge, jam sandwiching the layers and mixed into the icing, but unfortunately I think I baked the cake a little too long as it’s slightly on the dry side – I like chocolate cakes to be nice and moist, but that’s definitely baker error rather than a fault with the recipe.
I’ve only had a small slice, but my face isn’t covered in a massive rash and there’s been no throwing up as of yet, so I think my blackcurrant fear may have been unfounded – now I can look forward to finding ways to use the rest of the jam, which really is rather delicious!
Dark chocolate blackcurrant cake (adapted from a Dan Lepard recipe for the Guardian)
- 125g dark chocolate
- 100g butter
- 50g golden syrup
- 50ml natural yoghurt
- 175g light brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 250g plain flour
- 50g cocoa powder
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 jar blackcurrant jam
- 75g dark chocolate
- 150g icing sugar
Start by melting the 125g dark chocolate, butter and golden syrup over a saucepan of simmering water, and grease and line two 7″ round cake tins while it’s melting. Beat in the yoghurt, sugar, vanilla and eggs, one by one in that order. Sieve together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and fold into the mix, then divide between the two tins and bake for 25-30 minutes at 180 degrees – check with a skewer and don’t overbake!
For the icing, melt the 75g dark chocolate and beat in 75g of the jam. Add the icing sugar and a little water and beat again, adding enough water to make a thick, smooth icing. It will set as it cools so don’t worry if it seems a little liquid. When the cakes are cooled, spread a thick layer of jam on the bottom half (level the top first if necessary) then place the second sponge on top and spread with the chocolate icing. Tastes good room temp or heated up with cream or ice cream!