Woman & Home

Bake it SPECIAL

Dark chocolate and cherry Simnel cake

We’ve given the classic Easter cake a sophisticated chocolate and spirits makeover. Our food director called this ‘the best cake I’ve ever eaten’.

Serves 22  Ready in 3 hrs, plus soaking and cooling

for the chocolate marzipan:

300g ground almonds
250g icing sugar
60g cocoa powder
120g glucose
50ml kirsch or amaretto

for the cake:

400g dried sour cherries
400g Amarena cherries or cherries in kirsch, chopped
100ml kirsch or amaretto
350g unsalted butter
350g dark brown sugar
6 eggs at room temperature
350g plain flour
90g cocoa powder
2tsp baking powder
200g ground almonds
2tsp ground cinnamon

for the ganache:

3tbsp cherry jam, to assemble
150ml single cream
150g dark chocolate

you will need:

2 x 18cm cake tins, double-lined with baking parchment

1 Heat the oven to 170C/Gas 3. For the chocolate marzipan, put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it forms a ball; you’ll need to add more glucose if the marzipan isn’t coming together. Divide into 5 equal-sized balls and roll 4 into 18cm discs. Divide the remaining marzipan ball into 11 smaller balls for decoration.

For the cake, soak the cherries in

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