from one generation to the next
January is birthday season in our house so we don’t make New Year resolutions that are doomed to failure before a week has passed. Instead we indulge in spoiling our nearest and dearest. Our family elder’s first choice would always be red wine, whisky and chocolate cake, so Maggie Beer’s chocolate cake with whisky soaked raisins seemed the perfect choice.
The first celebration was for adults only so we reached into the depths of the cellar to find an old iconic Aussie shiraz to serve with the standing rib roast I planned to cook in the kettle barbecue, then we finished our meal with birthday cake, a special very chocolatey, very moist and very rich cake.
Five people made a big mess of the cake before I thought to get out the camera, some even came back for a third serve, what you see is the aftermath. We were all impressed with the flavour and texture, it was beautifully light and clean. Perhaps that’s the magic of including Scotch.
Maggie Beer’s Chocolate Cake with whisky soaked raisins
1/3 cup raisins (muscatels)
1/3 cup whisky
160g blanched almonds
50g white spelt flour
375g dark chocolate couverture
finely grated zest of an orange
210g unsalted butter
170g castor sugar
pinch of salt
5 free range eggs
175g pouring cream
250g dark chocolate couverture
Pour the whisky over the raisins and leave to macerate for several hours.
Preheat the oven to 170C. Oil a 20cm springform cake pan and line it with baking paper.
Put the almonds on a paper lined tray, then toast them in the oven until golden, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool a little then process to a fine meal. Set aside with the measured flour.
Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl over a saucepan of hot water. Do not allow the bowl to come into contact with the water. Gently stir until the chocolate is smooth and glossy, then remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the orange zest.
Cream the butter, salt and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. The mixture will split, but come back together once the flour is added.
Fold in the chocolate, then stir in the whisky soaked raisins, almond meal and flour.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, then bake until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, about 60 minutes.
Remove the cake to a cooling wire. After 5 minutes release and remove the sides of the cake tin and allow to cake to cool completely.
to make the ganache:
Put the cream into a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
Remove the cream from the heat and stir in the chocolate.
Continue gently stirring only until the ganache is smooth.
Spread the chocolate over the top and sides of the cake and decorate as desired.
Allow the ganache to set before cutting the cake with a hot knife.