By Well Seasoned, Apr 8 2018 04:00AM
Chocolate, mascarpone and raisin cake
There is very little around in the way of fruit at this time of year; some rhubarb, yes, and maybe the late blood oranges, but it is a tough time if you enjoy something sweet. This cake relies on the store-cupboard staples of chocolate, dried fruit and spice, which also brings in some of the flavours we associate with Easter. The mascarpone filling is not at all sickly, and good-quality dark chocolate brings its own bittersweet notes.
For the cake
100g dark chocolate
150g unsalted butter
50ml vegetable oil
60g golden syrup
3 large free-range eggs
50g plain yoghurt
80ml semi-skimmed milk
250g self-raising flour plus ½ tsp baking powder
25g cocoa powder
1 tsp Maldon sea salt, finely ground
150g light muscovado sugar
For the filling
1 cinnamon stick
½ vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out
1cm piece of root ginger, peeled
water to cover
50g light muscovado sugar
For the ganache topping
100g good-quality milk chocolate, broken into small pieces
80ml double cream
1. Preheat the oven to 160˚C.
2. For the cake, melt the chocolate, butter, oil and syrup together in a large bowl, either on a low setting in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water. Combine the eggs, yoghurt and milk, beating together well. Sift the flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt together and rub through the sugar, making sure to remove any lumps. Mix the egg mix into the chocolate mix, then make a well in the flour mix and add the everything is completely combined.
3. Pour into a greased and lined 20cm loose bottomed cake tin and bake for 60–70 minutes (check after 30 minutes and cover with foil if it is starting to get too dark). The cake should be well risen, may have some cracking and a skewer will come out virtually clean.
4. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then remove and wrap in cling film while still hot. This helps to keep the cake moist. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.
5. To make the filling, place the raisins, cinnamon, vanilla and ginger in a small pan and just cover with water. Bring to the boil and then simmer until the liquid has completely evaporated. Tip onto a plate, discard the vanilla and cinnamon and chill. Beat the muscovado
into the mascarpone and allow to stand for 15 minutes. Beat again and check the sugar has dissolved. Fold in the cold raisins and grate in the piece of ginger from the pan using a fine grater. Mix well.
6. For the topping, heat the cream to simmering point in a pan, pour the chocolate over it and let it sit for 5 minutes. Use a small whisk to emulsify the cream and chocolate together. Press cling film directly onto the surface and allow to cool.
7. To assemble, split the cake in half and trim the top if it is really uneven. Fill with the mascarpone and raisin mix and then coat the top with the ganache. Shave some chocolate curls over the top using a potato peeler if desired.